Need a vacation? Automate your markeiting.

Need a vacation? Automate your marketing.

By Sharon A.M. MacLean who invites your comments following this blog.  You can also find more modern marketing strategies for business here. http://bit.ly/1cKPcjn

As a business owner, you don’t want to abandon your business relationships while out exploring Banff for a week or travelling to Europe for a month. Neither do I.

It’s the reason I appreciate lead nurturing. This digital marketing technique is used to understand when and how clients prefer to make a purchasing decision. Automated lead nurturing helps make those vacations possible.  

Here’s how.

1. People like to work with those they trust. The first time someone visits your website, they probably don’t know you so well. Lead nurturing embedded with useful content is an opportunity to show that you are an expert in your field.

2. Learn more about your prospects. What challenges are they facing? What features or products are they interested in? A free Needs Assessment downloaded from your website, blog or social media saves time for you—as well as for your prospects—by providing you with the insights to start a more insightful discovevery.

Automated marketing helps make vacations possible

3. People don’t always answer their phone for a chat.  We hear this complaint all the time these days, especially from mature business people. A series of emails built around helpful hints or industry updates shows your comprehension of the world that appeals to your contacts.

4. Once you set up an automatic email system, the emails do the work for you by helping to move leads down the sales funnel faster. This means your contacts might move from total disinterest to curiosity to eventually closing a deal with you. There are many automated systems from which to choose and I happen to use Instant Customer created by Mike Koenigs. info@instantcustomer.com

How do you start automatic marketing?

  1. Try sending general educational emails that feature the value your company has to offer. These emails should not be sales-driven. For example, the messages could offer people links to more whitepapers, blog articles, and videos that you genuinely believe will be helpful to the recipients’ needs and goals.
  1. Next, send emails with more specific information. If you’re a sporting goods manufacturer, for instance, don’t just send emails that sell your equipment. Instead, try to teach people new techniques related to working out.
  1. Did a lead click on product information in an email or on your website? Then, perhaps, that person would be interested in checking out a demo or receiving a free trial offer to know your company better. Send them an email invitation to a demo. You might even ask if it’s an opportune time to schedule a phone call or an in-person meeting.

This is a good time to remind you that social networks such as LinkedIn for business are exactly that—a place for networking says Melonie Dodaro. She’s Top Dog at: melonie@topdogsocialmedia.com

Test the frequency level your prospects will tolerate. Weekly is good, yet, a specific campaign might need daily updates–evenly hourly–leading up to a special  event. The take-a-way here is that lead nurturing needs patience. It’s important to remember not to rush into the sale. Instead, let it take its natural course. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different times.

Time to personalize your email 

If a prospect has gone down the sales funnel, it may be a good idea to schedule a more personal and targeted email, perhaps from a sales team member.

That way, the lead gets a more personal touch, has a chance to ask specific questions, and gets to talk to a real person rather than being a part of an email group. It gives you a chance to offer extra attention to a potential customer who becomes an actual customer.

  • If possible, include a photo of a real person rather than a generic mailing list. Also, make sure your “reply-to” address is a real person. This lets people know that you care about hearing from them by allowing them to reply to a real person.
  • Keep a list of additional resources, influential bloggers, and white papers handy to send to your prospects. They might appreciate the content and check out the suggested resources you have curated for them.

Social media supports your brand

You may or may not sell a great deal using social media but relevant platforms will support your direct messages using email. The two channels complement each other and help you stay top-of-mind within your market.

Social media is a great way to stay in touch with leads over time and keep them updated on your business.

Go ahead. Take your vacation.

****

Need help with modern marketing? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email:sharon@worldgatemedia.com.

Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.

37 thoughts on “Need a vacation? Automate your marketing.

  1. It’s interesting how many people go on vacation and are still “tied” to their devices for fear of missing an important call or email. Love how easy you made the automation process sound in your post, Sharon. It seems social media platforms are wanting us to engage faster than ever, so having some strategies that keep you present when you are absent, makes a lot of sense to me. I believe that vacations are an important part of staying energized and vital! Thanks for another great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, Beverley. As entrepreneurs, we want to keep our names in front of clients and prospects with regularity. The time that takes is epic, though. So finding a strategic way to outsource is a big relief.

      Like

  2. As Director of Strategic Relationships for a mortgage company, I would love to start automating certain things. We have co-marketing programs with introductory information that could easily be sent off from an initial lead but first need to get the website up to date…it never ends does it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your suggestion of keeping a list of resources or white papers handy that could be sent to clients at a strategic point in an email conversation. I have written blog posts to serve as resources, but I love the notion of taking it a step further with your suggestion. Thanks for the ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You seem very knowledgeable in this area. The most I’ve done to set up to take vacation is to schedule out FB & twitter posts & add some apps to my iphone so I can respond when I have down time. I’m so pleased I did this as past 3 weeks, I had several trips away with family visits and my few platforms maintained same engagement. Next I need to automate Pinterest.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a network engineer I am beleaguered with various offers of information, too many to actually even read. One major networking company always kept my attention. They provided free books and conducted free events. The books helped me dig into technical details of networking technology. The events were great to network with other engineers, discuss technologies and share how we dealt with networking problems. Locally based account representatives were available for on site visits.
    How does this translate to smaller companies that do not have the available resources to deploy this level of service and marketing. There is no substitute for face to face visits. So how do we get there starting with emails?
    I like the ideas you provided, especially a way to automate initial emails and then scale to phone calls and a face to face event. I enjoyed monthly informational emails. Once an email was about something we were interested in or researching, then we would reach out for more information. We always made clear that we were gathering information and were not looking for an immediate sale. Occassionaly this long haul strategy would end up in a sale when a need arose, we often went with the company that had come out to visit us without constantly bugging us for a sale. That is the fine line to keep, keep in touch enough so the customer remembers you exist without being a pest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had similar discussion this week with a CEO who insists on his salesforce getting face-to-face calls. He’s right, of course –yet, we’re probably needing to find that sweet spot that combines both methods. As a consultant, the only way I can reach a lot of people on a regular basis is through my email program. Open rates range between 15% and 20% and–2 years later–I’m starting to get regular business.

      Like

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