Whether you’re selling SaaS, training programs or consulting, it’s valuable to find areas of your marketing that can be automated.
Unless you absolutely love your marketing activities, you will find that they tend to fall through the cracks.
But if you create an automated marketing system you can focus your time and attention on more of the activities you enjoy and know that the marketing (or at least a large part of it) is being taken care of.
Below I explain 6 steps you can use to create marketing automation. I hope this helps to outline a great system that you can implement in your business.
1) Know your niche and what they want
You need to start with an urgent problem that you can solve for people you can find. You can have the best product or program in the world but if nobody wants it or if you can’t find people who do, you will always struggle to make sales.
One place I like to start with my research is Amazon.
If people are already buying books on a topic related to what you want to sell then it’s reasonable to think that there’s a market for your product or program. This applies whether you’re selling B2B OR B2C.
Now, Amazon can be a great starting place, but you still want to do a bit more research.
Here are some quick ideas to gauge the interest in your product or service:
- Ask people in related discussion groups on social media. If your focus is B2C then Facebook is the best platform. If you’re B2B then stick with LinkedIn.
- Send out a short survey. If you already have a social media following or email list then be sure to get their input. Create a short survey using Survey Monkey and ask what they want help with related to your main topic.
- Listen to your gut. Regardless of the research it’s okay to listen to your gut. Don’t ignore the research entirely, but feel free to experiment with your ideas.
2) Create a free offer they can download
One of the most important things to do if you want to automate your marketing is to begin building an email list of “suspects” who are interested in your topic.
Getting people to sign up for a free newsletter isn’t enough these days. You need to give them something very specific.
However, you don’t need to create an lengthy white paper either. Most people these days are interested in immediate gratification.
One of my most effective opt-in offers is a simple resources guide called “The Online Course Toolkit” which lists out the 5 tech tools that I use to create my online courses and training programs.
It’s short and to the point, but people love it.
What can you offer as a free opt-in gift?
Here are a couple of ideas:
- List of helpful resources
- Checklist to help take them through a process
- Info-graphic showing a visual of your process
The idea is to deliver something of value that they can use right away without overloading them with too much information. Keep these to 4-5 pages.
3) Record a webinar that addresses the problem they want solved
I’ve found webinars to be one of the most effective ways of selling my products and programs. If you haven’t started using them in your business, I highly recommend that you get started.
[ SIDE NOTE: I have a free resource that can help you get started here: 24-Point Webinar Success Formula]
You don’t need to be a polished speaker to get started with webinars. You just need to have something of value to share and a passion to share it.
Keep your first webinars short. Once again, people are NOT looking to spend more time learning.
You can have great success selling your products and program from webinars that are as short as 30 minutes!
Do NOT try to stuff too much content into your presentations or you will just overwhelm your audience.
If you create an automated webinar (per-recorded and always available) you should use your free opt-in offer to get folks to sign up for the webinar. This is where the automation really gets powerful.
4) Write an email sequence to help sell your paid product/program
Once people sign up for your free opt-in gift you should create an automated email sequence that continues to deliver value while also selling a product or program.
You can start with 3 or 4 emails and see how effective they are.
Send out some follow-up tips and let them know how to get additional support by ordering your main offering or talking to you on the phone.
Remember that this is a bit of a numbers game. Most people won’t respond to your call-to-action in these emails, but some will.
And for those who do NOT respond, you are letting them know about the other products and programs that you have to offer.
You’d be amazed how long some people will be on your email list reading each and every email you send out before they finally invest to work with you.
There’s no need to go for the throat with your marketing.
5) Always be Nurturing
While it’s intelligent to automate a good portion of your marketing, you should also create a steady stream of great content.
People tend to invest with people whom they know, like and trust.
This will happen faster for some than it will for others.
Many people will be willing to invest in your products and programs after going through your free opt-in gift and watching the first webinar.
Others, however, will need more time to get to know you. And many are in the earlier “research” stage and aren’t ready to invest regardless.
So it’s important that you’re always nurturing your list.
A weekly blog post is a great way to get started. If you, or someone on your team, is comfortable with video then shooting short, informative video content can be a great way to up the engagement level with your prospects.
This builds an incredible bond with these folks and makes it much easier to sell when they’re ready.
6) Fuel your automated marketing system – AKA: Get Traffic
Once you have your automated marketing system in place it’s time to fuel it with prospects.
Since there’s very little commitment on their part, I recommend that you direct people to your free opt-in offer.
Then you can use your opt-in offer to invite folks to your webinar if you have one recorded and automated.
There are many ways to begin getting traffic to your opt-in offer. Of course, there are a lot of folks out there telling you that their system is the ONLY one you need to get traffic.
The reality is that you will want to experiment with this.
But given that you now have a great list of resources or a helpful checklist, start with people you know to get things started.
Simply reach out to friends, colleagues and anyone following you on social media and ask if they would like to get your new gift.
Be sure to let them know that if they like it you would love it if they shared it.
Before you know it you’re building your list, but this is just the beginning.
Here are a few other ideas to consider for getting traffic:
- Guest blogging
- Guest podcasting
- Short YouTube videos (linking back to your opt-in offer in the description)
- Affiliate or JV partners
- Facebook Ads (ONLY if you’re solid with your conversion rates, etc)
- Announce on your Facebook Page and Boost your post
- Announce on LinkedIn
- Announce on Twitter
Here’s a recap of the 6 steps to automate your marketing:
- Know your niche and what they want
- Create a free offer they can download
- Record a webinar that addresses the problem they want solved
- Write an email sequence to help sell your paid product/program
- Always be Nurturing
- Fuel your automated marketing system – AKA: Get Traffic
Note: Steps 1-4 are intended to be done ONCE. You can always review and tweak them, but this is a big part of the automation.
Steps 5 & 6 should be on-going. Never stop building your list and never stop nurturing.
Looking for an objective perspective? Let’s talk.