1. Lead Generation
Lead generation is one of the fundamental basics that a business should have on ‘lockdown.’ Meaning that you should have a sales lead process that takes all the heavy lifting off of your plate and puts that weight on automated but personal processes.
How you decide to do that is up to you and your marketing or sales managers.
Many popular software products (outside of your standard CRM system) can handle this for you. Most of which can run in the background in a secured environment.
What does the lead generation process look like?
A contact form on a website is the most rudimentary example of lead generation.
Registration forms are also commonly used.
People can fill out a form to schedule appointments, book consulting time, receive a downloadable eBook, RSVP to an engagement, and many other uses are all part of essential lead generation.
So far, we haven’t explored much with automating any piece of this in collecting leads. However, what do you do with the leads generated when a new contact fills out your lead form?
Many businesses leave this to the Inbox, which is a massive mistake in losing a high-interest opportunity with your new lead.
What kind of journey are you taking your new leads on, if any?
Your new lead needs some immediate attention. These folks are looking for answers to popular questions or, at the very least, a kind welcome and introduction to your business and the products and services you are best known for.
Are you going to ‘nurture’ this newfound contact into becoming a satisfied client or customer? If yes, exactly what does that journey look like for you and them?
These questions and more are all handled professionally and automatically when your new lead has their interest most piqued... all using lead automation.
2. Long Term Follow Up
Long-term follow-up aka, client nurturing, is a method employed by business owners who wish to constantly keep customers updated in hopes that they will continue to build trust and eventually purchase your products and services over time.
This single act of constantly following up with clients and customers alike increases customer LTV. LTV stands for the lifetime value of a customer.
Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one? The first rule of any business is to retain customers and build a loyal relationship with them, thereby avoiding customer acquisition costs.
Customer retention vs. customer acquisition marketing is generally a hot topic around most marketing and sales meetings. And here's why:
- Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
- The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70% while selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
- One customer experience agency found loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and have 7x more potential to try a new offering.
- U.S. companies lose $136.8 billion per year due to avoidable consumer switching.
- American Express found 33% of customers will consider switching companies after just one instance of poor customer service.
With stats like these above, you may be asking why you don't have a customer satisfaction follow-up automation in place as part of your long-term follow-up process.
3. Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment applies only to eCommerce storefronts. If you don't have an online store where customers can purchase your products or services, this won't require your attention as part of an automation sequence.
On the other hand, if you have an eCommerce store and keep tabs on cart abandonment, this may be another opportunity to employ some helpful automation.
Depending on what software you are using for your shopping cart, different software vendors count 'abandoned' at different parts of the checkout process.
For example, Shopify only counts when the shopper is ready to enter credit card details and blows out of the cart.
In contrast, some other shopping carts consider abandoned by only putting something in the cart and leaves the site. In this case, the potential customer hasn't completed their personal information or shipping options, so they are not as committed as the shopper, who only lacks credit card details.
Automation that would be helpful here would be to email the potential customer in a timely fashion to remind them they left something behind in the cart, and we have saved it for you. This email includes a link for the shopper that takes them directly to the cart, where they can finish entering details and finalize their order.
Most shopping cart software includes an abandoned cart follow-up for a customer. However, if you want something more robust, you would be wise to check into an upgrade in this department, especially if you have a relatively high abandonment rate.
Say, for instance, you have a series of three emails or texts that offer a discount on the final email if they'll come back and finish their order.
These automations can run in tandem with the standard offering or standalone to accomplish a much-improved recovery rate of final checkouts.
Finally, coupled with a small budget applied to retargeting shoppers that have been to your store, thrown something in the cart, and left, these retargeting ads remind them of what they left behind. They can further entice someone to click on the ad and return to their cart to finalize their purchase.
What is an autoresponder?
It takes an incoming email and automatically responds to the sender in its simplest form.
The auto-response could be a thank you for your email or a free download, or some other form of response to let the sender know that you received their email and have further information for this person.
Now let's ratchet this up a bit. Let's say that you have further valuable information for your new contact. For example, maybe this person initially signed up for your newsletter, and your autoresponder sent the first newsletter in your queue.
Now you wish to let them know about an upcoming event in which you would like to send them an invite. Your second well-timed email or text update does just that and more.
The beauty about your invite email is that it was all done automatically and without further human intervention.
This frees you up to perform other work as needed. What about an automatic reminder email IF this person hasn't signed up for the upcoming event?
You can further tag your new person after they have signed up for your upcoming sales event.
Tagging them allows your autoresponder to segment people into special categories where you can now better target them with new email automations in the future.
5. Review Requests
"If ever a use case, such as review requests, screams for automation more so; I can't think of one."
That was what one of our clients told me one day.
And for the most part, it's pretty accurate that review requests from clients and customers beg to be dealt with consistently and automatically. Of course, this is if you ever have a hope of having great reviews on any social platform, website, or other media channel.
What do you need to automate review requests?
Review requests vary from business to business. However, it's safe to say that at a minimum, you would either need to know who your customer is so you can send a request text right away or have a brightly displayed sign with a QR code at the point of sale.
In the former, you would need a trigger. A trigger is nothing more than an event that will trigger the outgoing text request or follow-up email.
For the latter, a cashier could conveniently point the customer to the QR code so they could quickly scan it with their phone and leave a review then and there. Leaving a review on the spot would be the best-case scenario.
Automation for reminding customers to leave a review could include texts and emails. There are several ways to set this up to encourage the review, and really, it depends on how the business wishes to conduct these requests.
The critical thing to remember is to keep it simple and convenient for the customer.
BONUS - Reporting
As a bonus, automated reporting should be at the forefront of any sales organization if at all possible.
It only makes sense to trap important metrics throughout a period, whether daily, weekly, or monthly and have this rolled up into an easy-to-digest report, automatically delivered to the Inbox of those who need to see it.
To have a reporting mechanism in place that assembles the criteria and information is vital. These come in many forms and flavors, including price points and how they gather the needed information.
Some have included fancy graphs that display on PDF reports, and others kick out spreadsheet-looking reports with no fluff.
The important thing is that they are read and put to good use by adjusting and continually A/B testing all the above automations to optimize every part of the sales process.
“Next, take a look at what you shouldn't automate. Click here for the scoop.”