Automation: The Key to Customer Follow-up Success

Automation: The Key to Customer Follow-up Success

It’s not enough to get your client to buy. You need to keep them buying by building a long-term relationship with them. The key to doing this effectively is to offer follow-up customer service. Through follow-up customer service you continue offering valuable content, keeping lines of communication open, communicating your appreciation to the customer, and offering more deals.

A great deal of time, work and effort goes into effective customer follow-up, and this is why automation can help. Automation takes over routine tasks and does them for you so that you can focus on more important things. So what are some of the automated tasks we can do? I’m glad you asked. Listen in to this week’s #TechChat to find out.

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Recap from Video

Areas you can automate are as follows:

  1. The “Thank You” Message
  2. An Email Course
  3. Customer Loyalty Program – especially if you are a business coach you can offer an extra 15 to 30 minutes with you for referrals or discount when they buy in bulk.
  4. Customer Feedback

Now while we are talking about automating customer follow-up, let’s discuss what not to automate. That is when people need to speak to a human being. Whether for a problem or more clarification.

Learn more ways to automate your complete marketing with my new course in Sam’s Tech Academy. You can find it here 👉🏾 Marketing Automation Domination – Introductory Price (Very Limited Time!).

 

My Favorite Tech Tool: CoSchedule

My Favorite Tech Tool: CoSchedule

CoSchedule is my new best friend for marketing automation planning. Yes you read that right. I am so glad that I took a second look at this awesome program that just keeps getting better.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain…

What Is CoSchedule:

CoSchedule is an all in one marketing calendar for your business. You can use it to schedule blog posts, social media posts and to keep up with your team and what they are working on content wise for your business. It truly is an all in one marketing planning system.

I remember when I first tried it out some years back and it was overwhelming at first. Especially if you are not familiar with marketing plans and what all that entails. But just in the last year I decided to take another look. And boy am I glad I did. It seems every month they are making it better and better.

But I will let them explain in this introduction video what CoSchedule is and then keep reading as I let you know my favorite features and how I use it in my business.

How It Works:

3 of my favorite features are ReQueue, Social Sync and the WordPress Integration. Let’s take a look at each one to see what it is.

ReQueue

ReQueue is the best feature of all to me. It automatically lets you re-use your best social messages without the manual work. You know how I feel about doing things manually 😂. Now a few other applications have this feature, but CoSchedule really makes an art of it.

One app in particular I was using for this would reuse my posts that I told it, but it would do it immediately so that I had the same content coming out several times a week. CRAZY! With CoSchedule it intelligently finds the best time to repost your best posts AND it let’s you choose the frequency of how often to repost that content in a given time frame. So no more inputting the same content that did well over and over.

My requeue in CoSchedule

Social Sync

Social Sync is the newest feature to be rolled out. With Social Sync you now get a true complete picture of your social media posting strategy. CoSchedule can pull in your posts from various social networks that weren’t published with CoSchedule. This is a game changer for me because I use another tool to schedule my blog post for up to a year in different forms. Well now I can see those posts right inside of CoSchedule so it won’t schedule content on top of that. Check out the video below of me setting up this feature.

WordPress Integration

With the WordPress Integration, I can work on my blog posts within CoSchedule. I can also pull blog posts that I have done and schedule them within CoSchedule or when I am in WordPress create my whole social media campaign for that blog post right then and there. Easy peasy.

Wordpress Integration with CoSchedule

What I love about CoSchedule & How I Use It:

  1. Ease of Scheduling – I am able to not only schedule content from my browser but I can also use my phone, tablet or Chrome browser extension to capture articles and content to post. Just the other day I scheduled a few images I had created on my phone to all of my social media.
  2. Best Time Feature – This is really my favorite feature. I can’t tell you how hard it is manually trying to figure out the best times to post and then choosing those times only to forget that you scheduled something else in the timeslot in another app. I love that I can press best time on the post and it will pick the best times for each social network. What is so great about that is your content doesn’t all hit your social media sites at the same time.
  3. Reports – I really love the reports feature in CoSchedule. Because if you never look at the data and analytics you won’t know what’s working and what is not. By looking at the different reports for each platform I have connected in CoSchedule I know the times of day to send out things, what people liked, what people didn’t like and so much more. This is valuable information for any business owner to have in order to really grow your business online.
  4. Email Integration – with this feature I am able to connect my ActiveCampaign account and plan out my messages right from CoSchedule!

In closing, here are some key reasons why I think you need to make CoSchedule a part of your automation tool box.

  • Eliminate the guesswork In scheduling your social media. With so much competition, it’s tough to get through the noise. Best Time Scheduling spaces out your messages for maximum coverage, getting your the most social engagement every time.
  • Schedule dozens of social media messages in bulk. Create a predefined social sharing plan to reuse again and again, so you can focus on creating exceptional content, not manually filling in your social queue.
  • Instantly share content from anywhere on the web. Curate and share content with followers without ever leaving the browser. No more copy/paste commands or switching from one tab to the next! And with the CoSchedule App you are truly free to schedule content on the fly.
  • Stop guessing at what will (or will not) resonate with your followers. Utilize your social network reports to identify top messages AND create content you know your audience will love.
  • Organize All Your Blog + Social + Email Promotion in ONE Place. Eliminate the endless email threads, piles of sticky notes, and the dozen and half moving pieces. Focus on the real work of writing top-notch content AND growing your audience.

So that’s it. If you are ready to UP-LEVEL your marketing calendar for your business use my affiliate link for a free trial and see what it can do for you. You won’t be disappointed.

CoSchedule - The #1 Marketing Calendar

Why Are You Still Struggling with Your Systems?

Why Are You Still Struggling with Your Systems?

I see a lot of businesses struggle when it comes to automation and technology. This leads me to ask the question “Why are you still struggling with your systems?” Watch the video below to see what I am talking about and how you can finally stop struggling.
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Recap from Video

  1. Don’t know where to start. In organizing I use to tell my clients to start small and where it irritates you the most. And when it comes to systems and automation it’s kind of the same. Start where it’s easiest and where you have the most need.
  2. No money. You can’t afford not to. You may have to sacrifice. You may have to sell something. You may have to figure out how many clients you need to serve in order to invest in system setup and help.
  3. I’m doing ok for now. I always say stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You don’t want to get to the point where you have a influx of clients and work but you don’t have the systems setup to support. You may experience your PayPal poppin in reverse. And no one wants that.
So now you have no excuse to get your systems setup and your automation working. I’m here to help. Right now you can get either a 1 Systems setup or 3 system setup with me. If you are ready to get this off your plate click the link below to grab either your 1 system or 3 system setup.

Get your 3 System Setup here.

Grab your 1 System Setup here.

 

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Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation: What’s The Difference?

Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation: What’s The Difference?

#TechChat – Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation: What’s The Difference?

You may be wondering about all the chatter you hear about email marketing and marketing automation. And like most you may be confused about what they actually are or if they are the same thing.

Let’s first define what I mean by email marketing and marketing automation. Because a lot of people use them interchangeably and this just shouldn’t be. They are 2 different things. Albeit that they overlap they still serve different purposes.

Let’s Define Email Marketing

According to Techopedia, Email marketing is the targeting of consumers through electronic mail (email). And according to Wikipedia – Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email.

Some key things to note:

  • This is either your sales messages, your newsletter, or correspondence.
  • You use email marketing to build the know like and trust factor with your audience.
  • Allows you to use forms and autoresponders to collect data.

A popular email marketing tool is MailChimp. Even though they say on their website that they are a marketing automation tool (we will get into that definition shortly) they mainly are email marketing with a touch of marketing automation.

Let’s Define Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation – Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks. Via Wikipedia.

How this relates to coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs is that this helps you to do the same thing even if you don’t have a dedicated marketing department. This is huge. This means you get on the same playing field as the big guys.

I love how simply HubSpot puts it – “Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions.”

Exactly.

So now that we have defined Marketing Automation, let’s talk about tools that fall into that category.

Tools that fall into this category are ConvertKit (which straddles in the middle) and ActiveCampaign. Which is what I use now.

Tools that I use now: ActiveCampaign

I’m a firm believer in starting with a tool that you can afford and that offers growth on the front end. You don’t want to have a tool and start to get exponential growth and have to import all of your data into something new. You also will incur more cost trying to hire someone to do it or worst yet you have to do it.

So my advice is to start with either ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign.

Why You Need Both:

• Because sending out emails through your gmail or outlook in mass can get you on the spam list. (EM)

• It can look unprofessional when sending out marketing campaigns. (EM)

• You want to send the right messages at the right time to the right people. (MA)

• Again keep your messages out of the spam or junk box. (MA)

• Be able to remarket, retarget and really deliver and keep track of what your audience really wants. You are able to see what people have been responding to either positively or negatively. (MA)

You can grab your free trials of the software I mention in the video below:

  1. ActiveCampaign
  2. ConvertKit
  3. Ontraport

Watch the live below and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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How To Grow Your Coaching & Consulting Business By Automating Your Sales Process

How To Grow Your Coaching & Consulting Business By Automating Your Sales Process

When you think of automating your sales process what probably comes to mind is sales funnels. But just what is a sales funnel and why do you need to automate it?

Let’s start with the definition of a sales funnel.

Quite simply a sales funnel is the “process” of leading unqualified prospects to become buyers, weeding out the tire kickers along the way.

You want the sales process to be smooth & standardized and your sales funnel is what makes this a reality. Nearly every aspect of your sales funnel can be automated so that all you need to do is set it up and drive traffic to it. That’s the beauty. Put in the necessary work now upfront to be able to put sales on autopilot for the foreseeable future.

So, let’s break down the different components that make up your funnel and process that you can automate.

The Squeeze Page/Opt-in

The first part of your funnel and thus process is the squeeze page. You will also hear a squeeze page referred to as an opt-in page because people opt-in for your offer. Squeeze pages are often used as the entry point to your sales funnel(s). If you don’t have a full-fledged website, I highly recommend at least setting up a squeeze page to capture emails and leads until you get a full website.

 

 *Note – Never forgo getting a website built in hopes of just having a squeeze page only or using just Facebook. Why? Because you want to own your web real-estate for one and for two you want to offer more information as your business grows; like blogging, articles, services and products pages, testimonials, etc. All of which cannot be captured without being overwhelming on one page or a squeeze page.* 

 

The way these pages work is to initially qualify prospects by offering an opt-in form. The opt-in form is on the page that urges your prospects to sign up for your freebie or other incentive. This entire process can be easily automated so that prospects can enter your sales funnel at any time, 24/7.

Even while on vacation!

You can increase efficiency by adding pop-ups for your offer to your regular website and also an exit pop-up for those who leave your website or leave the squeeze page without signing up.

Once a prospect signs up, they’re redirected to a download page where they can get your freebie or incentive. This could be any type of item, such as an information product, a video or a coupon, but the entire process of downloading it can be automated. You don’t need to manually deliver the product to them.

You can use several tools for landing pages. A few to consider would be:

 

This is not an exhaustive list but a good start in finding a tool for squeeze pages.

Once the prospect has signed up for your offering and is on your email list, you can start marketing to them through their email. This is done through an automated software tool called an autoresponder. An autoresponder is essential for email marketing.

Through your autoresponder you can schedule automated messages that give your subscribers content and various back-end offers that help you qualify them even further. We will dive into email marketing and autoresponders in a future blog post.

The Sales Process

Now we are getting down to the nitty gritty. It’s essential for every coaching and consulting business to automate its sales process. You do not have the time to process each purchase manually. It’s impossible for your business to scale when sales pick up if you are processing sales manually. Doing so can lead to complaints and chargebacks.

Not good business!

One area of automating your sales process is the shopping cart. Automated shopping carts allow customers to shop and buy your products without any involvement from you.

Shopping carts are added to websites through software programs or online services, like Shopify. Many webhosting companies, like Squarespace, offer shopping carts as part of their packages.

Before you jump the gun and get a shopping cart, you need to figure out if that is what your business needs at this time or not. The questions to ask:

  1. Is this a one-off product that I’m offering?
  2. Do I plan on offering many digital or physical products?
  3. Do I just need something to offer clients a way to pay for my coaching or consulting services?

By answering these questions you will be able to choose the right tool of either a full on shopping cart or a service that just offers a way to make payment buttons that can be placed on your website or used standalone.

What Not to Automate In Your Sales Process: Customer Service

One area of your business that should never be automated is customer service. You can lead prospects through your sales funnel and allow them to buy from you completely on autopilot. But when there’s a question, problem or concern, you need to have a real person there to answer them. When you are just starting out you may be able to handle customer service directly, but as your business begins to grow you will need to use the help of software and/or other services to provide customer service for your business. Software tools, such as Zendesk, can be manned by REAL people. There are several companies out there that you can delegate your customer service operations to.

The point is to make sure that you just don’t set up some canned response and not have a real live person that your clients and customers can get in touch with.

No matter how big your business grows NEVER lose the personal touch.

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