The biggest single shift we made at my company Motivational Press was implementing automation systems in our marketing. It can be a great way for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, since it allows them to focus more on their high-level vision and day-to-day responsibilities. (The switch took our business to the Inc. 500 list in sales growth.) We also advise our top authors and consulting clients to follow these automated systems.
Here's an overview of how we got started, and some examples that can help guide you in creating your own automated systems:
Go From Social Media Ads to Opt-In to Autoresponder
The first system we implemented was a lead generation system to acquire targeted leads for the business. We set up an opt-in page that offered a complimentary download (an e-book on writing and publishing a book, in our case) in exchange for leads' names and email addresses. Once they submitted their information, they automatically received an email from us with the e-book. We then created social media advertisements that we put on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create new leads. Those leads were then placed in an autoresponder for a follow-up (we use MailChimp, InfusionSoft or Zoho Campaigns).
Let's look at an example for marketing consultants: You could write a report titled "7 Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make in Their Marketing Today." You could then set up a lead capture or opt-in page on your website where people could submit their name and email address in order to download the report. To acquire the traffic, consider placing ads on social media with headlines like "Are You Making Simple Marketing Mistakes?" or "Avoid Stupid Marketing Mistakes."
Create a Follow-Up Sequence
We designed a very specific process we use to follow up with our opt-in leads that uses automated systems. First, we send them a get-acquainted email to introduce the problem we solve, how we solve it and how we’re unique in solving the problem compared to our competitors. We follow up with a series of six additional emails that outline the various ways they can take action themselves to solve the problem and the ways we can support them if they choose to hire us.
In our first follow-up email at Motivational Press, we tell them how we are unique as a book publisher—what makes us better positioned to publish and market their book. Then, we follow up with various strategies on how they can write and publish the book themselves with opportunities to engage us further if they want to have us do the publishing and marketing of their book for them instead.
In our example above, we tell them why we are expert marketing consultants in the first email—how we are unique and what our background and credibility look like. Then, we share our secrets for how the leads can improve their marketing results. At the bottom of each email, we have a link to get a complimentary marketing assessment (we intentionally use the word complimentary, not free).
Link to Further Engage
You may want to consider setting up automated systems that provide a link for further engagement in each of your follow-up emails. This could be a link to schedule a call with you through an automated scheduler like TimeTrade, a link to an automated webinar that answers your prospects' most common questions or, in our case, a link to a web course on writing your book. The opportunity to engage further with us is available at the bottom of each follow-up message. We provide the automated engagement offers first (the webinar or the course) as it doesn’t require live contact with one of our representatives, and complete the follow-up process with the invitation to schedule a live call if we have yet to close them.
Once you’ve set up this automated marketing system, you can begin identifying additional ways to automate your lead generation and marketing processes. We’ve designed automated systems for LinkedIn lead generation, following up from networking events and conferences and have even broken down our follow-up systems by client type (e.g. entrepreneur, speaker, coach, realtor, medical specialist). Once you get started, the possibilities for growth can be endless.
Justin Sachs is a highly sought-after business and marketing expert and CEO of Motivational Press, an industry-leading book publishing company. He is also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).
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