3 Ways to Use Technology to Automate Your Marketing

Automation should be at the top of a solo business owners priorities.

When done right, you will see an increase in:

  • New subscribers
  • New clients
  • More sales

But the biggest stumbling block for many solo service professionals is the technology. They’re simply not tech-savvy, or the systems that they’re currently using are just too complex for them to use.

So…

  • they fudge together different systems (because they’re easier and/or cheaper to use);
  • nothing flows; and
  • they lose clients and subscribers.

Automating as many areas of your business as you can means that you’re not bogged down with the day-to-day running of your business; instead you are letting your systems and processes handle that aspect of your business for you.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to automating your systems and processes, then today, I’d like to share with you three simple ways in which you can start to automate your marketing and which can really help you grow your business. Use this article as a checklist so that you can ensure you have your own automation strategies in place.

1. Reminders/Notifications via your autoresponder system. Many business owners use autoresponders (automated emails) solely for communicating with their clients and sending them information at specified intervals, particularly if they’ve just registered for their “free taste”. But if they’re not using them as reminders for themselves, then they’re missing out on this valuable service.

For example: let’s say you want to send everyone in your program a thank you gift once they’ve completed your program. This would be easy to do if everyone started the program at the same time, but what if you’ve got a program that’s evergreen – meaning that a client can start at any time so you have many clients all at different stages of the program. When you set up an autoresponder that comes to you, it can act as a notification that Client A has finished your program and you need to mail them a gift and congratulations letter.

Or you can create a notification that alerts you to the fact that you need to call Client B 30 days after they’ve completed their strategy session with you.

If you’re using an all-in-one ecommerce platform such as 1ShoppingCart or Infusionsoft, then these systems allow you to send automated emails to alternate email addresses so that you can set up these notifications.

2. Emails: Templates/Canned Responses. If you find yourself sending the same (or very similar) email out to your clients again and again, then it’s time to set up an email template (in Gmail you want to look for Canned Responses). An email template simply contains the body of any email that you can tweak/add to for each client without having to re-create the entire email each time.

For example: if you want to send a call reminder to a client that you have an upcoming phone session, simply create the email with all the information that stays the same each time, i.e. phone number, and update the email with the specific date and time for each client.

3. Upsells/Cross-sells. These are very easy to set up if you are using an all-in-one ecommerce solution such as 1ShoppingCart or Infusionsoft and is simply a way for you to automatically offer your customer an additional product/purchase when they’re checking out. The product can either be an upgrade, an additional purchase, or a downgrade, depending on what’s right for your offering.

For example: Let’s say you have a six-week program that you’re currently selling. At checkout you could offer an upsell to add a 30-minute coaching call with you that will help the client implement the information they’re learning in the six-week program.

These are just a few of the ways that you can use technology to automate your marketing.

3 Ways to Ensure Your Autoresponder Messages Are Not Rejected

With great power comes great responsibility, or so we are told. Such is the case with autoresponders, the heart of e-mail marketing. No doubt they have revolutionized e-commerce and information marketing. However, as with so many great innovations, autoresponders are susceptible to abuse and misuse. Nothing represents irresponsible autoresponder use better than unsolicited commercial mail (UCE), and unsolicited bulk mail (UBE).

…Also known as spam.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate legitimate Internet marketers from spammers. The large internet service providers (ISPs) have sophisticated anti-spam technology that frequently traps proper messages; smaller businesses also employ spam filters. Today, standard practice within most e-mail systems is moving questionable messages into a ‘Spam’ folder or in some cases deleting them outright. No questions asked.

To ensure that autoresponder messages reach your subscribers’ Inbox safely, use the following three tactics:

1. Create a ‘White List’ Thank You Page.

Don’t assume that your list-building is safe after prospects enter their contact information into your opt-in page. Once they click your ‘Subscribe’ button, redirect them to a web page that gives clear instructions for confirming their request. If you are using a double opt-in procedure, tell them what to look for in your confirmation message’s From: and Subject: lines. Consider putting in specific instructions for getting onto Google (G-mail), Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN whitelists, since many subscribers use these services.

Even if new subscribers confirm their opt-in, remind them about whitelisting in your first (“Welcome”) message. It’s also a good idea to have your own accounts with large web-based e-mail clients, so that you can test and verify that your white-listing plan actually works.

2. Put each of Your Messages through a Spam Checker.

Successfully adding new subscribers and being placed on whitelists does not give you free reign to write e-mails as you please. Avoid your subscribers’ Spam box by pre-testing each message before scheduling it in your autoresponder. Several third party e-mail deliverability services include automatic checking software with your membership. Otherwise, consider downloading a leading spam checker; many are no-cost and web-based for convenient use. With experience, you will learn to recognize words, phrases, and writing styles that demand editing or in the extreme case, a complete rewrite.

3. Send Subscribers an Appropriate Mix of Content and Offers.

Internet marketers are regularly targeted as spammers, so it behooves you to do everything possible to maintain a good score with subscribers as well as their e-mail clients. After all, what’s the point of being white-listed and using spam checking software if you’re going to blow it with 100% hard sell e-mails? Stay true to your original intentions by demonstrating your expertise to readers, building real relationships, and making appropriate offers that solve problems. You will be doing the industry, list members, and yourself a great service.