When I was 19, I did door-to-door sales selling coupon ads.
I was proud of the work because I was so determined to succeed I would show up (cold call) at anywhere, at anytime on the off chance that I could close a deal.
That included walking through a snow storm, and in the 95 degree heat of the summer.
I would blast the music in my car as I drove from appointment to appointment, sweat dripping from my forehead. Many times, I could never even get a straight “Yes” or “No” from the prospect, so I just kept showing up.
This worked to some extent, but it was exhausting and it cost countless hours that I could have re-invested elsewhere in the business…
Compare that to yesterday where I was relaxing on the beach with my girlfriend… and in that time 8 new leads came in. Today, I don’t have to spend any additional time for each additional lead we get.
The system I’ve setup:
- Qualify each lead as being a match (or not) automatically
- Provides potential clients an awesome amount of value, which in turn builds trust
- And saves me a priceless amount of time in the process
If you’re currently selling one-to-one, that’s where marketing automation via email can help.
This effectiveness of email is partly due to the fact that email is an asynchronous form of communication. This means people can read and respond at their leisure, both parties don’t have to be present.
To explain further…
When someone comes to your website and opts into your newsletter or another offer that requires an email address, marketing automation allows you to follow-up with that lead daily, weekly, based on certain actions taken or not taken–however you want to structure it, and it’s completed automated.
At a basic level, this is called an autoresponder.
And what makes autoresponders awesome is the fact that — done right, like with a free email course — your prospect is going to receive value and it won’t take any additional time from your schedule once it’s setup.
In fact it saves you time and makes your sales and lead generation process 10X more scalable.
In other words, you remove yourself as a potential roadblock from the sales process.
“How can I trust that setting up an autoresponder will even get me results?”
Good question. Let me give you two examples of where I’ve seen this get excellent results firsthand.
Case Study #1 – Kelly Cammack, Apollo Answering Service
Kelly is a client of mine, we’ve been working together for just over two years now.
I love using her as case study because she works hard to make her business the best in the market, and has always kept an open mind when it comes to applying new marketing concepts.
With the relaunch of her website, Kelly setup some marketing automation to follow-up with leads who filled out her forms using a tool called InfusionSoft (I’ll talk more about this in a moment).
Towards the end of the email sequence, prospects receive an email that looks like this.
By setting up a basic autoresponder to drive prospects back to her website and nudging them to make a decision, Kelly is getting more calls and it signing up more clients every week.
Here’s how she described the value of it in her own words:
“It saves me time!!! I use to always have to send emails, and now the initial pricing email goes out automatically. Which saves time. I often now don’t even call until about an hour after the email went out so they have time to review, and they ask better questions. Sales this month has been slow, and I have been busy with other things. Last month though was crazy. “
To some of you who are further along in building out your marketing funnel, this might seem too basic. Don’t worry though — I’ve got something a bit more advanced coming up below…
Case Study #2 – Saber Blast
Saber Blast was a web app I created a few years ago and then built out over time. I’ve since let it go by the wayside since it became too distracting trying to grow AutoGrow and app (which was essentially a separate business) at the same time.
However, I learned number of priceless marketing lessons as a result.
One of the first autoresponders I wrote was for Saber Blast. It educated subscribers on how to build a large email list via “alliance marketing” (the idea behind the SB app).
After the five lessons were sent to a subscriber, he or she would receive a “hard sell” email where I pitched the value of Saber Blast, followed by another final email where I offered a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Here are the stats on how it performed (and keep in mind, I “Forest Gumped” my way through it on the first draft so you can get even better results)
- 2% immediately converted and purchased an account on Saber Blast (which was a SaaS app that charged monthly)
- 4% converted on the free consultation offer (and I still have a professional relationship with some of those people to this day)
Not bad — and you can do even better I’m sure…
But… Can a simple autoresponder alone DOUBLE your leads? Perhaps… but this next marketing automation tip definitely will.
“Other than a basic autoresponder, how else can I use marketing automation to generate more leads?”
Ok, this might blow your mind.
Here’s the deal:
When most people opt-in to your list or convert on a form, you want to engage with them by delivering valuable content.
Once you do this (i.e. via free report, course or something else) and you can then try to sell them on your products or services.
But what if people who opt-in don’t convert?
It’s a big problem, because while maybe 5% will convert 95% will not.
That’s just the nature of selling I guess. Oh well!…
But what if you could do something with those 95% who didn’t convert — and how does this relate to what we’re talking about here with marketing automation?
Well, for the people who didn’t convert on your previous free or paid offer, it’s likely because it wasn’t relevant to them.
So what do you do instead of just ignoring the 95%?
- If they don’t convert on the first offer, offer them something else of value in a separate follow-up email 2 days later. This new offer should be hyper-targeted at helping the prospect get some result related to solving a problem that’s a priority for them right now.
- So in my case, subscribers might opt-in for a free report but then they don’t convert on to our Double Your Leads course, so I’ll use my marketing automation tool to RESPOND to the fact that they didn’t find the offer relevant enough, and instead offer something different (perhaps a 3 part video series on getting more traffic).
- If they opt-in to that new offer, great! They go off into “conversion land” to receive the valuable information that was promised and this time hopefully they’ll buy from you at the end of that new follow-up sequence. In either case, they’re engaged and they’re receiving value on a topic that’s relevant to them, which is good.
- However, if they don’t convert on that new offer, send them another free offer 2 days later that addresses their problem from another angle (in the case of my business it could be conversion, or building an email list)…
- And so on and so forth — you can see how this can turn into an infinite sequence of offering free, valuable information (courses, reports etc.) to help your prospects.
- The end result is something like the pie chart below. Instead of just converting / engaging 5% on your free offer you’ve not doubled or tripled that number.
To review, the reason WHY this is so power is because you’re taking people who would have almost completely been ignored and dropped out of your sales funnel, and you’re RESPONDING to their lack of engagement.
This is one advanced method for how to apply marketing automation to your business.
Still, all of this begs the question…
“What tool should I use to automate my marketing and follow-up?”
I recently discovered an amazing (free) marketing automation software tool that will help you
- It save countless time on emails and phone calls by automatically following up with prospects for you…
- It let’s you do so in a way that’s completely non-spammy and that actually helps them AND makes them want to buy from you
The tool I recommend to accomplishing this is Active Campaign.
AC is awesome. (Full disclosure: I’m an Active Campaign affiliate, but that’s only because I believe in their product and I am also a customer.)
AC offers so much value, it’s ridiculous.Their introductory plan is completely free up to 2,500 contacts (plus a paid account will get you a few extra features like lead scoring).
If you look at similar solutions like Ontrport or InfusionSoft, you have to pay hundreds of dollars per month (over $3,000 per year).
Why do that when you can use AC for free?
For the value it provides, I honestly cannot believe it’s free so go ahead and setup an account now. If you take no other action from reading this article, at least do that.
I created this 10 minute video to show you the top 3 key benefits it has to offer and walk you through the interface.
You can get access to it for free by clicking here and enter your email in the popup.
Something else that I cover in the video that I don’t have time to cover here is individual subscriber profiles. This feature of Active Campaign lets you see the “big picture sales story” of how each person behaves and the actions they take as they move through your funnel.
So since you’re online right now, you’re read this article through to the end, and you want to grow your business by generating more leads (while saving money and time), here’s what I want you to do to move a few steps closer to actually doing that:
- Step 1 – go and sign-up for a free account over at ActiveCampaign.com
- Step 2 – Create an email list and import your existing contacts
- Step 3 – Design your first automation series. Keep it simple to start and don’t worry about getting it “perfect.” Remember, perfection is the enemy of progress.
Marketing automation is a lot easier than other experts might have you think.
For some it requires a shift in mindset: from “hard selling” in a one-to-one sales situation, to being open to the idea of an automated follow-up campaign that adds value, builds trust, and saves everyone time.
For others, it’s going to require getting over the age-old excuse “I don’t have the time.”
Because as business owners, if we truly want to grow and have a true sense of freedom, which why we got into business in the first place — we have to make time.
And that’s the great promise of marketing automation.
See you on the beach — and as always, thanks for reading.
How do you plan to use marketing automation to grow your business? What other tools do you recommend?