How to tell when your business is ready for marketing automation

Are you an ambitious, nothing’s-gonna-stand-in-my-way business owner or are you an accidental entrepreneur who started off doing a few favours for a friend and somehow ended up running your own show?

No matter what kind of venture you run, at some stage you are likely to run into one of two problems.

Problem number one: Not enough customers. Those crickets are chirping and your significant other keeps emailing you links to jobs in the hope you will start applying.

Problem number two: Holy avalanche Batman! The phone won’t stop ringing, the emails keep coming and you are so busy trying to dig yourself out of the pile of enquiries that you can’t seem to find the time to actually get anything done.

With problem number one, the stress can be intense, particularly if you have bills to pay and are running out of capital.

The second problem is a nice one to have but can still lead to incredible pressure, anxiety and burnout.

Both these problems mean the writing is on the wall and it is time to implement a marketing automation solution. Here are a few more reasons why ‘now’ is the time:

You keep sending the same emails, over and over

From reminding clients about their appointments to answering the same five frequently asked questions, if you are spending even half an hour a day on repetitive email tasks, it is time to consider marketing automation.

One of the easiest things to set up is appointment reminders for clients. They’ll receive a message, either by phone or email around 24 hours before they are set to meet with you, and will be given the option to let you know if they can’t make it.

To limit the time you spend answering the same questions, your system can be set up to instantly send a list of FAQs to anyone who makes an enquiry via your website. This can include a handy ‘get in touch now’ call to action and phone number, to prompt them to become a paying customer.

Your staff’s talents are wasted

Are you paying someone to do the same boring job all day or wasting money on marketing staff who only take care of menial tasks?

By setting up marketing automation software and establishing lead nurturing and marketing campaigns, you can reduce a team of several people down to just one. Literally thousands of emails can be sent to your customers per day, even while you sleep.

[Samsung Galaxy sends teaser emails to its database to get them excited about upcoming product launches]

Instead of letting your marketing person go, you have now freed them up to work on new and exciting strategies, and to amplify the results of your existing campaigns. As a result, your company’s budget will be even larger and you can bring on more people.

You know the customers are out there…

But why aren’t they buying?

Marketing automation can make a huge difference to lead generation. For example, take a quick look at how many people have visited your website vs how many have made a purchase. If there is a large gap, you can do something as simple as offering a free lead magnet ebook, checklist or bonus offer. Those who opt-in are automatically added to your marketing list and by keeping in regular touch, you are increasing your chances of making the first sale.

[Google Adwords sends very specific details to customers, reminding them to keep paying for their online advertisements]

Many consumers interact with a company several times before they commit to buy. If your leads aren’t making it to that final purchase, marketing automation has the potential to completely revolutionise your business.

You have no idea how your business is performing ‘under the hood’

How many customers do you have? How many times do they buy from your business? What is the key factor stopping them from buying more?

If your business has stalled, it can really help to know the answers to these questions. A marketing automation system can highlight where your bottlenecks are, identify buyer trends and give you an idea of which of your email campaigns are most effective.

Data means power! You can use every piece of knowledge to tweak your marketing and lead nurturing efforts.

You want different clients

In the early days of running a business it is exciting to take what you can get in terms of clients. However, the saying applies to almost every organisation that 20 per cent of customers can take up 80 per cent of your time. This is particularly true for people who provide a one-on-one level of service.

By setting up marketing automation, you can ask questions which allow you to find out more about your prospective customers and identify the ‘tyre kickers’. You can also get your system to notify you of qualified leads who are ready to do business with you.

The branding and tone you use on your marketing communication will also help you attract the right clients. Whether you are fresh and funky or professional, you can speak clearly to your ideal customers through your emails.

People are only buying once

Repeat business is the holy grail of growth. When a customer returns to you a second, third or fourth time, the groundwork is done.

Once you have made a sale, your marketing automation system can keep in regular touch with your customers. This can include offering them specials deals or simply checking in for a quick hello.

There are so many strategies you can use to lengthen the lifespan of your customer relationships with the help of automated software. The real benefit is that you only need to create one email, which can then be sent to your entire database.

Your marketing automation can also send you notifications when a customer has been out of touch for a while, prompting you to put in a personal call or send an email.

You know you should be more social

I’m talking about social media. Many business owners don’t realise that marketing automation software also extends itself to running your social media accounts.

You can use other tools to schedule updates across Facebook, Twitter and the rest but bringing it all together in one place and managing it from an account like InfusionSoft can make life that little bit easier.

You have a couple of different target audiences

A real estate agent, for example, may target downsizers as well as first home buyers. These two demographics have very different needs and consumer profiles. The messaging they receive should be at least partially tailored so they can relate to it and receive information that is personally useful.

[Right in time for school holidays, Netflix reminds frazzled parents that there is an easy way to get the kids to sit still for a few minutes]

When you use marketing automation, you can segment your client base. Simple check-boxes allow you to tell your system which ‘box’ each customer belongs in. Then, when you set up your marketing campaigns you can craft messages which speak more directly to your customers and boost your lead generating efforts.

You blog, a lot, but nobody is reading

Marketing experts have been banging on about blogging for years so you dutifully write your fortnightly thought-leadership piece and publish it on your website. The expectation is this will boost your presence on search engine results and reinforce the credibility of your establishment.

The one problem with blogging is it is a two-step procedure. First, write and upload. Then, distribute your content.

[NYCGo promotes blogs about what is coming up around the Big Apple via its newsletter]

A regular newsletter sent to your customer base and containing links to your blogs will boost the click rate, drawing more users to your site and in turning letting Google know you’re the real deal.

Dreaming of a vacation?

Many business owners find everything grinds to a halt if they down tools, so they never do.

Is this really why you started your own venture? So you could work, all the time?

A marketing automation system can go at least part of the way to covering you when you’re not around.

You can also set up your system to continue to generate sales while you’re away, or to at least let you know the best leads who are waiting to hear from you when you get back.

Research into marketing automation software and its use has found the following:

  • Marketers can save over six hours a week on social media
  • Reply rates to marketing and follow up emails can improve by up to 250 per cent
  • You can spend 80 per cent less time setting appointments and meetings, not to mention reducing the inconvenience of last minute no-shows
  • Close to 80 per cent of marketers say automation increases revenue
  • More than three quarters of brands experience return on investment from the marketing automation in less than a year

The other great news about marketing automation is that subscribing to a platform is incredibly cost effective and you can start from any point in the life of your business. Whether you are a solo preneur or managing a team of fifty, you can get started with marketing automation with just an email address and a list of contacts.

What can be slightly challenging is getting the ball rolling. To the uninitiated, marketing automation software can feel instantly overwhelming. It does take a little time to get your head around using it and if you are already busy it can be hard to find the time to focus and master the best ways to use your system.

If you’re a flat-out business owner or are looking to get quick results from your automated marketing, it makes sense to hand the set-up, execution and tracking over to a professional. Win More Clients can help you with a strategy for your marketing automation and show you how to leverage it in the best way for your business. Get in touch today.

Tim Hyde

Tim Hyde

Tim is an Infusionsoft certified partner, fixer and seasoned business growth strategist with real world business experience. Tim works with coaches, consultants and small business owners to help them get more time money and freedom from their business by optimising and automating the customer lifecycle.

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