Almost 80% of the world’s best companies have used automation for the past two years in their marketing strategies, says the research firm Gleanster. Yet, automation isn’t something that’s made exclusively with big corporations in mind. In fact, it can do a lot more for the ‘small guy’ in terms of cutting down on operating costs, improving workflow, and giving more room for expansion and scaling your small business.
Still, it’s important to know exactly which tasks are worth automating to achieve maximum performance. Read the article down below and find out!
1. Lead generation
Leads are the lifeblood of your business; the more you get, the more you revitalize your business each day. Without them, your business would simply grind to a halt, slowly wither, and die.
Naturally, seeing how important leads are for your business, you’d want to automate the whole process and make it as fast (and efficient) as possible. Moreover, searching for new leads 24/7 simply isn’t possible; for a human that is.
As an example, use your email list to warm up readers and generate leads by offering a lead magnet in the form of a free eBook and the like in exchange for their email address. Automate the whole process and deliver the promised free content as soon as you get a hold of their email. Additionally, use lead generation software to automate the process even further and send instant notifications to your sales team concerning warm and cold leads.
2. Welcoming new customers
Once a new customer walks through that digital door, you want to give them an instant warm welcome and follow them up ASAP before the trail gets cold. Send them automated welcome emails and configure your software to offer them guidance and support during their stay on your website; creating that good first impression is key to success.
Again, use smart software to label these new leads as either warm or cold and automatically send them to your sales team to do a quick follow-up; especially so for sizzling hot leads. As for the stone cold-ones, try to warm them up with limited-time offers and more free content.
3. Automated billing and subscriptions
To run a successful business, you need to have a positive cash flow. Yet, if you do all of your invoicing and billing manually, your collection rate will be slow as an injured snail. In fact, your business needs cash right NOW to operate at peak efficiency.
To combat this issue, look for some automated direct debit solutions to collect recurring customer payments and recover lost revenue from failed payments. This will make your entire billing process faster and more secure without having to employ more accountants on your end. This can be particularly useful if you have subscriptions or recurring billing to manage, which require more than just receiving one-off payments.
4. Generate repeat business
According to Marketing Metrics, the chance of you selling a product or service to an existing client is around 60 to 70 percent, whereas for new prospects this is more in the range of 5 to 20 percent; a huge difference.
As a result, you want to automate the whole process of repeat purchases. For instance, don’t wait for clients to come back and make a purchase. Instead, send them an automated reminder that they ought to restock and resupply and prompt them to come back for more. Set these reminder emails to follow-up after the allocated time has passed and place a link directly to the product in question to streamline the whole purchasing process for your customers even more.
5. Abandoned cart reminders
When it comes to online shopping, abandoned carts are like a plague for online business owners. According to statistics, on average 70% of people who put things in their cart leave before finalizing their purchase. For a small business to lose so many potential customers it’s extremely devastating, to say the least.
The solution — set automated abandoned cart reminder emails to recover your losses and get people back to your website to complete that purchase! Moreover, you can combo with some smart cookie usage and save all the items they’ve picked up and send them directly to their shopping cart. It’s basically free revenue with no additional effort needed from your marketing team.
6. Testimonial and referral requests
Some customers are incredibly vocal, some are not. Don’t wait on them to share a referral or a testimonial and do that yourself. Send automated emails the moment they make a purchase and ask them to fill in a survey or write a review (if they enjoyed your services). In addition, you can include them into your follow-up emails as well, for that additional engagement.
Remember, word-of-mouth marketing is essential for your small business. By automating the whole process you’ll have more reviews to show for and new customers will follow suit.
By automating you ensure that you’re continually working on your business and not in it. Hence, you’ll be able to grow your business instead of managing every small detail and menial task every two minutes.