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How can your small business compete with the big boys?
Simple. You automate.
But how and what?
With consistent customer flow being the lifeblood of most businesses, it makes sense it’s where you should focus your automation first. In fact, in this post you’ll uncover the three simple steps to creating an automated machine that constantly converts leads into sales.
But first, let’s look at where most small business owners (wrongly) start on their automation journey – social media.
Things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging etc.
The good news about these is they are pretty easy to automate, however…
‘Fans’ And ‘Likes’ Are Not Revenue
After all, lets be clear vanity metrics are not going to pay the bills.
Many small business owners spend far too much time analyzing their social media stats. It sucks time, and kills productivity, for little gain.
It’s Time You Could Be Using To Make Money
Speaking of money, this leads us onto the next area of automation – Sales.
Another big area of focus for most small business owners, because you’ve got to make sales right?!
Things you can automate here include; invoicing, accounting, payments etc.
Now, automating these things will save you time, so you’ll probably save a bit of cash by doing so.
But …it won’t MAKE you money.
And this is where we get to the good stuff.
‘Proper marketing’ is the stuff that you can implement to increase your sales, and measure in the most important metric for all small business owners.… cold hard cash.
Revenue. Revenue. Revenue.
And that’s what we are going to walk you through how to automate today.
A simple yet effective, 3 step automated marketing process that will consistently convert leads into sales.
Automating the essential nurture process, so that you stop leads slipping through the cracks. Capitalising on that time while your potential customers are thinking it over…
Something to plug the gap and keep you front of mind, in the time between being found and the actual sale – which let’s face it could be anywhere between 3 hours to 3 years, depending on what you sell and who the customer is.
This isn’t the latest gizmo or trick. Its not super-sexy-flashy-marketing. Its not new and shiny, and as such, for a lot of businesses they have let it fall by the way-side.
Which is great news for you, as you can get the edge on your competitors and the big boys by not only doing this, and doing it well, but automating it too.
Annuitas Group tell us that if you get this bit right, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. In other words, if we have a system in place to keep in the forefront of people’s mind while they’re “thinking about it” you can add nearly 50% to your bottom line.
Proper Marketing = Revenue. Revenue. Revenue.
So let’s get right into in, and walk you through how to build you very own automated machine that consistently converts leads to sales…
This is how you welcome prospects, build immediate goodwill and establish rapid trust in a predictable way FAST.
Indoctrination is done best when limited on doing 3 things:
1. Building credibility.
Here’s an example of how to do this from Marie Forelo:
Marie really tell us; who she is, what she does and gives us some of her personality. All whilst getting mega credibility points with the big “celebrity” name drops. Arianna Huffington & Tony Robbins anyone?!?
2. Getting engagement.
The act of getting people to responds and engage with what you send.
GrowHack did a great job of doing this below by asking the reader one simple question.
3. Establishing likability.
The key with likability is letting people have a peak behind the curtain into the “real” you. The Marie Forleo example above is great at this. But this can be harder when your company doesn’t have a personality fronting it.
A great way to get around this is to use testimonials from your ideal customers.
MarketingProfs do a good job of this, making a faceless company much more likeable using customer stories.
Here is an example of how NOT to do it from the usually awesome Virgin.
This was not a great welcome to the High Flyers club! Dull, drab, impersonal, with nothing else sent on. They have a great brand, and a very face face all of which could be so engaging, credible and liable. But it just isn’t. We are definitely not indoctrinated.
Here it is:
… “Life is about take off” – Really, what does that even mean?!?
1. Use samples as inspiration.
Go to Google and look around for some of your own. These as especially hard to find in the B2B world so doing this well will really help you stand out.
2. Get writing.
Cover these key points in your emails:
3. Keep it easy to read.
Now, not all these points need to be covered in one email. If you can do these things over the first 7-14 days that a lead enters your world, half of the battle is done and you set off the relationship on the right foot.
4. Use a proven sequence.
Here’s a sample framework to chain these things together and be sent over those first vital 7 days to indoctrinate:
5. Choose you automation tool.
All you need is a simple email auto responder and you have lots of choice here, depending on you budget.
My recommendation if you’re getting started is Active Campaign. Cost ranges from £9 to £49 per month. Its my favourite starter automation tool because you can trigger things based on people’s actions, which is needed for automation.
I use InfusionSoft (affiliate link) this starts at around £150 so not cheap, but the functionality for marketing automation is where you want to be. If you can afford a tool like this, it’s a no brainer!
6. Build out your campaign.
Whichever platform you choose, creating the campaign is simple, it’s just a drag and drop process:
7. Work out your timings.
When it comes to the delay between emails in the sequence I always like to hit them every day for the first seven days, especially when using the framework outlined above, because here’s what it gives…
Here’s a screenshot of mine:
When in markets where communication needs to be a little less frequent (which is very few, by the way) a good fall back is using a Fibonacci sequence.
Or what is sometimes called the “Golden Ratio”.
Don’t worry it’s not complicated, it just a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. Fibonacci sequences are found in patterns everywhere in nature from flower petals to animal flight paths!
Now when applied to an indoctrination sequence it might look like this:
Here is how it looks in Active Campaign:
Your automated email indoctrination is now done!
But there is another thing you can automate to take this to the next level….
8. Indoctrination of offline leads too.
With so much focus on online lead generation, putting offline leads through an indoctrination process is often forgotten.
Here’s how you can plug the gap, simply create a “hidden” form online (on your website) like this:
This is a web address only you know.
It’s a form powered and created by your email auto responder that when completed triggers the automated sequence.
The difference being that when you collect a lead offline you just go to your hidden page – enter the details yourself and the system does the rest. The great thing about this is that, for offline leads you can tailor the first message.
Indoctrination automation complete!
Once a new lead has been indoctrinated either one of two things will have happen….
They purchase or request a meeting with you requested an appointment. BOOM, job well done!
….Or they’re still not quite ready to buy.
And that’s totally cool, because we next need to push them into the next step of the system.
Now when it comes to incubation the goal is to build a predictable hands-free system turns the non-buyers of today into the buyers of tomorrow… without becoming an annoying pest!
A System That Acts Like A Dripping Tap NOT A Fire Hose…
1. Pick a day of the week.
This can be any day – don’t believe the hype that certain days are better than others.
2. Send it on the same day EVERY week.
This is the vital part of the process, it creates continuity and anticipation.
3. Brand it.
e.g. “Sunday Success Stimulus”.
Yep that’s ours!
4. Deliver engagement content with ZERO selling (yes really).
Let’s be clear, this is not a newsletter. It’s focused on THEM not you.
It’s a peak behind the curtain of you and your business. Think an editorial piece, like you read in a magazine.
Here are some things I like to include in ours:
It’s like a weekly local newspaper that gets dropped through the door, like clockwork, each and every week. Keeping you top of mind and your prospects nurtured.
Here’s the Sunday Success Stimulus:
You just need to load up the back end of the sequence with a few emails each month.
I have built this up over time, and now have a lot of content – nearly two years worth ready and set to go for new prospects. Now, you don’t need to create the much to get cracking.
Take a couple of hours, and create four pieces of content and that’s month 1 done. Do this for the next 6 weeks for two hours a week and you have got 6 months’ worth of content. Go you!!
5. Automate it.
This bit is super easy as you will use the same automation tool that you have for Indoctrination.
It’s the simplest campaign you will ever build – here’s a screenshot of mine:
6. Ensure all leads start at the beginning.
All leads, no matter when they come in contact with you, MUST start at the beginning of the sequence and work their way through.
This is not a weekly email blast were everyone gets the same content. This stops any leads slipping through the cracks.
Plus, it means you control what people know about you, and in what order they get that info.
Here is how it works:
And that’s your automated incubation marketing done!
HINT: It’s during this Incubation phase that you’ll also want to push people through other seasonal, or promotional campaigns that you want to run to nudge them towards taking action.
The third and final piece of you automated machine is….
Immortalization is the process of making sure that your prospect realizes you are the ONLY people they want to work with.
And the good news about that is, its puts you in a position of where they MUST do business with you regardless of your costs.
Now, the trouble is most people think that email is good enough.
And if you were look at the numbers you’d see that in most cases, in terms of conversion email is still top of the pops.
That said, that the average person gets 121 emails a day, meaning you have to find a way to break through the noise.
And the best way to break through the noise?
Show up like no one else.
And here’s the best way to do that is with Media Stacking.
The use of more than one media – or in other words, using direct mail as well as email in your automated marketing.
This is a great example of media stacking from Nationwide:
It’s a box of stuff sent out to new mortgage customers.
It includes things like vouchers for house stuff, new home magazine and a whole host of things that are very useful for all new homeowners that are surrounded by boxes and about to spend their first night in a new home. Talk about showing up like no one else!
How many other mortgage companies do you think show up like this?
Do you think showing up like this helps Nationwide eliminate price comparison when it comes to deal renewal?
Now when it comes to immortalization you don’t have to send a box, jam packed with expensive stuff.
1. Set up automated handwritten thank you notes.
Yes AUTOMATED hand written notes!
How much would you stand out if you send a hand written note before a meeting?!
A great company call Pensaki can produce and send these out for you for about £4, you literally do nothing – they do EVERYTHING!
Here is a sample:
2. Set up automated personalised postcards
These work great to new customers.
The good thing about this is that this direct mail is now dirt cheap. And you can can automate it for cheap too. The automated postcard with delivery are done with Docmail, and costs on average £0.42 per postcard!
All you do is upload a word document and a list of names.
They do the rest:
Plus….there’s no minimum order.
Its showing up like no one else on a shoestring – here is a sample of mine:
3. Think of other places you could use Media Stacking.
Where ever possible I like to use media stacking, for the following circumstance to supplement email:
• Reminders about meetings
• Welcoming & new customers
• Thank you’s for purchase
• Following up on quotes
• Birthdays (when you know them)
4. Link this into you automated incubation system.
Media stacking can really add sound serious weight to your incubation automation too!
Here’s an example of how I used a postcard to deliver a very cost effective monthly newsletter to primed prospects.
And there you have it folks, my step-by-step guide to building your own automated marketing machine, and EXACTLY what I use in my business.
The 3-Step Automation Machine And 21 Point Plan For Handsfree Sales is, maybe the best way for small business to compete with the big boys.
It is THE reason we have consistent sales.
You can download your checklist here, but here’s a “big picture” look at what’s inside:
The checklist it’s self leaves no stone unturned and go through each of the 21 points that you can implement in just a few hours.
First, go here and request a copy.
Just enter your name tell me where to send the checklist.
Like I said, there’s no cost.
Just download it and away you go.
So if you’d like the ULTIMATE shortcut to automatically turn leads into paying customers, click here to download the checklist.
Thanks for reading
Take action TODAY and start building your own automated machine!
What questions or comments do you have? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
Charlie Hutton is a two time bestselling author, consultant and entrepreneur. He consults business leaders, teaching them how to dramatically increase leads, prospects and sales while minimizing their market expenses. He has been referred to as a “Direct Response Afficionado on Steroids.”
Charlie Hutton’s clients range from large international corporations, such as Microsoft, Center Parcs and Tefal, to TV and radio celebrities, and many small but entrepreneurial businesses. On the international stage his talks have been absorbed by engaged entrepreneurs all over the world, and even featured on the BBC
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