Do you ever find yourself looking for an old email to copy and paste the contents into a new one?
Have you ever gotten to the end of a week and you realized you never posted on social media?
Do you answer the same question more than one time?
If you said yes to any of these questions, then you need automations. Automations act on your behalf to free your time and mental energy, which in turn, saves you money. Let’s review some great business resources that will help you automate.
1. Automate your Responses in Gmail
You knew that Google would have an answer. Not only can you schedule your emails in Gmail, but you can also save templates for frequent responses. Prior to using templates, I would find myself looking back through old emails or copying content from our website to send to a client. Now, I use templates and save that content, which saves me a ton of time.
To set up this feature in your Gmail account, click on settings. Find the advanced settings, located at the top of the screen toward the right and enable templates.
That’s it! Your account is now set up to create a template. To make your first template, compose a new email. On the bottom right you will have three dots and they make options appear (see image above). Select templates and save as a template.
To use your template, compose a new email, select the three dots, select templates and your saved templates will appear.
Gmail gives the ability to then personalize or customize as needed prior to hitting send.
2. Automate a Drip Campaign
A drip campaign is the constant contact a company has with their clients. Sending a few emails a month can keep clients engaged with a company. At MJ Squad, our clients are business owners so we send out relative content to this target audience. They receive our monthly blog post, upcoming networking opportunities, and business advice for various areas ranging from how to update your own SEO to social media tips. Sound like information you would like? Subscribe at the bottom of this page!
There are a number of programs that can be used for this type of campaign. Our website is built through the Wix platform and so we use Ascend, a program built into the back office. It is one of the reasons that we chose Wix. We are able to automate emails, create newsletters, and automate chat responses as well.
Maybe you are not as lucky and need to sift through other programming for automated drip campaigns. We recommend Hubspot as a full service marketing platform to set this up. Hubspot has many opportunities to automate lots of areas of your business, not just marketing.
3. Automate Your Customer Experience
What is the flow of a customer through your company? What information do you need to collect from every client? How can you do this most efficiently?
Step One: Using old fashioned paper and pencil, write down what happens with a new customer from the moment of paying an invoice to the moment they complete whatever service/item they purchase. Sometimes, I meet a client and I don’t have all the data I need. In a world where a first name, last name, and email address is all that is needed to send an invoice, you may find you have gaps in usable client data. This is where we found ourselves a few months into business.
An online lead or email converted to a sale. Since a website is an online service, there were clients that we never needed a business or home address for. This realization dawned on us when we tried to send Christmas cards.
In our new system, instructions go out with every invoice to the client area of our website. Clients then log on, select their type of project, and fill out all of their forms. Only then, can a client meet with one of the designers to continue on their project journey. Our forms are integrated with our website platform, Wix. Other automation services, like Hubspot, allow for site integration through forms as well.
When customers know what to expect, they thrive and are more likely to use your company again.
4. Automate Booking
One study found that on average it takes 8 emails to schedule a meeting. Eight emails take up a lot of time and energy that can be spent elsewhere. Using a service like Calendly or Wix Booking Integration gives all that time back as a gift. Need help with the integration? Book a phone call with MJ Squad. Not only is the calendar integrated right into a personal calendar, email automations will be sent as reminders… which brings us to the 5th thing to automate….
5. Automate Reminders
If you need to send out a zoom link, reminder text, or reminder email, then there is a glaring automation that needs to be implemented. All of these things can be sent out through an automation. Is your website on Wordpress? Purchasing the Amelia Plugin will allow for emailed and texted reminders. On Wix? Head over to automations and choose your automation trigger. Not sure what to do? Contact us to help! External programs like Zapier can help different programs talk to each other.