Automated Marketing – Using Marketing Automation to Automate Profits, Not Losses
This is a guest post by Sam Woods who shares his thoughts on using automated marketing to build a profitable business .
When I think of “automated marketing”, images of a money printing press comes to mind.
Now it’s not quite that simple of course. The more realistic view is that automated marketing could help you print money by automating your marketing and sales.
But it could also be a Pandora’s box that brings destruction, mayhem, and automates your losses instead.
See, it’s not just about printing crisp dollar bills – automated marketing can:
- Reduce your operational costs.
- Shorten sales cycles.
- Screen, sift, sort, and qualify leads for you.
- Maximize customer lifetime value with efficient cross-selling and up-selling.
- Turn a cold prospect into a warm lead who’s willing to buy now and forevermore.
- And so on and so forth…
It’s really an alignment of marketing and sales.
And you should also think of it as a multiplier.
So, how can it be used as a force for profits or a force for losses?
Easy peasy: it has to do with your business and existing marketing and sales (because you are selling something, right?)
So, what should do?
How To Avoid Automating Your Losses
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first, yes?
Let’s just pretend for a moment that your business is not actually doing that great.
The problems you’re facing are:
- Lack of new prospects entering your funnels.
- Lack of customers coming out on the other end.
- Maybe you don’t even have clearly defined funnels.
- You have a CRM in one location, your email marketing platform somewhere else, your payment processing still somewhere else…your whole marketing and sales operation is fragmented and spread out.
- People sign up for a vaguely defined newsletter, but they unsubscribe quickly because nothing is “relevant” to them.
- Your email marketing isn’t doing much besides blasting people to kingdom come once a week.
- When someone asks you how many suspects turned into prospects, turned into leads, turned into sales last month, it’s like someone asked you to recite Isaac Newton’s “Principia Mathematica”.
- You aren’t able to segment your market and customers.
- The subscribers you do have are held hostage to a “list” and you can’t do much with them.
- You don’t really know how your prospects and leads interact with your company throughout the sales cycle, and you certainly don’t really know how to talk to them.
Oh boy, should I go on?
No, let’s leave that for now and let me say this as clearly as I can: If this even slightly resembles your current marketing and sales efforts, the only thing automated marketing will do is make it worse.
Marketing automation basically comes down to “funnels”. These are a sequence of steps, involving emails, tags, actions, triggers, rules, and behaviors.
The short and skinny of it is that unless you have clearly defined funnels to put people into, let alone knowing who should go into what funnel, you’ll end up pressing a big button that says “Automate!” but you’re only automating bad practices, poor habits, and a marketing + sales cycle that can’t even sell itself out of the proverbial brown paper bag.
So, what then, is all hope lost?
Nope, not at all.
Getting your marketing all automated could actually revolutionize everything, because if you set it up correctly, you can walk away with a lean, mean marketing and sales process, which on its own would save your business, but now it’s automated.
Holy crap, kids, hold on to your hats, this is unicorn-grade stuff.
What, then, is the key to solving this problem and unlocking the true, explosive power of automated marketing?
How To Automate Your Profits
We’re going to quickly talk about funnels again, but used properly.
Imagine this: Sally Suspect comes across your website and after some perusing, thinks you might have just the right product or service that will help her solve a big problem.
But she’s not ready to talk to someone yet, so she’s compelled to opt-in for a whitepaper, or video series, or something that she thinks will help her solve a particular smaller pain for now, while trying to decide if she should let you solve her really big pain.
You now have her email.
Through a series of other emails, filled to the brim with useful, pain-alleviating and stress-reducing content, you agitate that big pain she’s trying to solve and warm her up to the idea that you might just be the right guy (or gal) to help her with it.
You send her to other pages, to other content pieces, ask her questions about what she needs, who she is, and slowly but surely you’re collecting more information about her while staying in touch.
Eventually, you have a decent profile of who she is and what she needs, and you haven’t even really spoken yet.
Sally, too, has a good understanding of what you do and how what you do might help her with her big pain.
At this point, you have carefully crafted the steps in this funnel so that, based on Sally’s behavior, clicks, the emails she reads, the pages she visits, she seems to be ready to speak with you.
Lo and behold, as if by magic an email asking her if she wants to schedule a meeting plops down in her inbox.
And you never actually had to send it, manually. It was done automatically.
(Are you salivating yet?)
She clicks the link in the email, lands on a page where she can request a meeting, sends it off to you, and you end up with a nice email and meeting request.
You meet and talk for the first time but it’s as if you’re meant for each other all along.
Sally is thrilled to have found someone who can help her solve a big pain.
You’re thrilled because you didn’t have to do much besides just showing up.
The rest, from the beginning to end, was handled by a marketing automation tool (like Office Autopilot and Infusionsoft) that made use of tags, triggers, rules, sequences, steps, emails, forms, landing pages, tracking, lead scoring, analytics, and all that technical stuff.
And it did it for you.
That’s how you print money. THAT’S automated marketing
In addition to that scenario above, there are plenty of other suspects entering your funnel, but those who are not a good fit will eventually screen themselves out through a series of behaviors and interactions.
This might not mean much right now, but your funnels can make up for contingencies and accommodate different market segments, different buyer personas, different needs, different goals.
You’re essentially making use of technology to generate, nurture, qualify leads, and drive sales.
This happens through customized funnels and sequences that accounts for each contact’s profile, behavior, place in the buying process, level of interest, and criteria defined by you.
And you end up with a more time efficient and cost effective marketing + sales strategy that will do that one thing a money printer should do: increase your bottom-line.
In Short, Here’s What Your Automated Marketing Machine Can Do For You
We’ve mainly talked about the potential and possibilities of automated marketing. We’ll get to the juicy, meaty, know-how and how-to’s later, so for now, just remember these things:
- Prospects and leads who are not ready yet to buy from you can be nurtured, built a relationship with, and “warmed up” through a series of steps, in a sequence, in a variety of funnels.
- Their behavior will determine what gets sent to them and when, in order to best serve them and help you automatically sift, sort, screen, and qualify leads.
- Existing customers and clients can be given the time and attention they deserve and lead to an increase in your lifetime value of a customer. They may end up buying more and more often from you.
- You can track and gather data that will help you analyze and optimize your current funnels, with the goal of increasing conversion rates of all kinds.
- You can make better, smarter decisions about your marketing and sales efforts.
And maybe that money printing press isn’t such a unicorn after all.