I really like marketing automation. I like it a lot. I joke with people that I am lazy, but should probably re-phrase that as it might come off wrong.
I prefer to work smarter, not harder.
It is 2014 and there is absolutely no reason not to use the software available to all of us. There are so many tools on the market to help make your (and mine) life easier. It pains me to speak with business owners who are unaware or just don’t use marketing automation.
Cost cannot be an excuse.
Not anymore, at least.
In this blog post I want to share with you the 4 tools I use to automate 95% of my lead generation. Once you set up the system, it generates leads for you 24/7/365. It never takes a day off or calls in sick. It’s the “perfect employee”. You will learn how these tools work together and how you can automate your lead generation.
Email Marketing Software
First off, any online business, or brick and mortar business for that matter, needs an email marketing software. This is so important and it took me close to two years to realize the importance of having one. In the Internet Marketing world, they call is building a list.
Another common phrase in that industry is — the money is in the list.
I was ignorant when I first got started and thought I could get by without one.
That was stupid. Business didn’t start picking up until I started collecting email addresses.
How Does this Work?
You’re seen companies ask for you email address on their website. When you submit your name/email address, you are then automatically added to their database.
When setting this up, you can create a series of emails that will be automatically sent out. You can write as many emails as you would like to send out.
You want to send out 10 emails, every 2 days over the course of 20 days? You can do that.
You want to send out a 365 emails, one everyday, for a year? You can do that.
Again, once these emails are written once, this is all automated. This is a great way to nurture the people (leads) in your database. You can create as many lists and segment them as you want. The sky truly is the limit.
What Email Marketing Provider Do You Recommend?
There are hundreds on the market. I have used a few over the years. Aweber is one I have used for a couple years now, and still use it. It is the one recommended by Internet Marketers. It is a good email provider and thought I was working with one of the best.
I recently started using Get Repsonse, and I have to say, I like Get Response a lot better.
Aweber vs. Get Response
It is so much easier than Aweber, they offer a landing page creator and offer excellent customer support. Get Response live chat is available 24 hours, where Aweber is only available during business hours. So when you are having issues with your email at midnight on a Tuesday, you can reach out to GR live chat and have someone walk you through it.
Get Response offers a free trial, where Aweber offers a $1 trial — not a huge difference. Get Response is a bit cheaper at $15/mo compared to Aweber’s $19/mo.
Customer Relationship Manager
This was another tool that I did not start usng when I went into business back in 2010. I heard “you need a CRM”, and I always thought — Not me, I can do without one.
Again, I was being ignorant. I did not invest in a CRM until the beginning of this year. I have no idea how I did business without one. Do not make the same mistake I did. It’ll pay for itself many times over in the first month or so.
What is a CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage, record and evaluate customer interactions in order to drive sales growth by deepening and enriching relationships with their customer bases.
How I Use My CRM
I basically use my CRM as my virtual to do list. I login every morning to see who I need to follow up with and why. This can be from leads from this week, or leads from months back. It is an excellent tool for lead management. Using a CRM on a daily basis and keeping track of all interactions with colleagues, leads, prospects, clients, customers, etc is important in growing your business.
I use a software called Contactually (get your free 30-day trial here).
I tried 4 or 5 other CRMs, but never really gave them a chance. I would sign up for an account, play around with it for 30 minutes and never go back to it.
With Contactually, the CEO was on a podcast and the company seemed like a really cool company and were doing great things. He talked about what their software offered and I was sold. I came home from the gym that day and signed up for an account.
I then dedicated a weekend to learn it. It wasn’t difficult, I just needed to get a feel for it. It’s now something I use everyday and couldn’t run my business without it.
Monthly Investment: $29
Lead Capture Software
Ok, now that you have a place to store your leads (Get Response) and a place to manage your leads (Contactually). You now need
a place to capture your leads. You will need a lead capture system or better known as a landing page.
A landing page is a single web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. The landing page has ONE goal — to capture their contact information (typically, this is the case).
Once you capture their contact information, they are then automatically added to your database (email provider). You will have already set up the email sequence that is automatically sent out to your leads at the days you specified.
There are many tools on the market to assist you with designing landing pages. I have used them all. I use Optimize Press for a lot of mys sites. I have used Lead Pages, but was sick of the monthly fee. Also, everyone has Lead Page, so I wanted something new. Something that didn’t cost money each and every month.
I tried Click Funnels for a bit and wasn’t blown away by it. I also am not a big fan of paying $100/mo for something I didn’t truly love. I found it to be tricky to use as well. It wasn’t as easy to edit as some made it seem. I also went in with very high expectations, which that didn’t help.
I invested in instabuilder 2.0 a couple of months ago and am blown away. If you invest in the funnel upgrade, it is very simlar to Click Funnels, I actually like it better. Click Funnels does have a shopping cart feature which is nice.
Checkout out Instabuilder 2.0. It is a fantastic tool. I build 90% of all my landing pages, webinar registration pages and thank you pages with it.
One-Time Investment: $77
According to their website, Zapier lets you easily connect the web apps you use, making it easy to automate tedious tasks. You can wait for third-party app developers to offer the SaaS integrations you need. You can hire expensive freelance programmers to build custom software for you.
It basically allows the above software to “talk” to each other. You will only need to create a “zap” from your email provider to your CRM. Lead Pages integrates with all major email providers, so Zapier is not needed.
How I Use Zapier
When a lead is added to my database, it is automatically sent (or zapped) to Contactually for me. I have my CRM set up that each lead is sent to a specific “bucket” (how you organize your leads in Contactually).
Each email list is connected to a specific bucket inside my CRM for proper lead management.
Monthly Investment: $0 (they offer free and paid plans)
It took me 4 years to learn and implement all of this, but this is how you can automate your lead generation. Learn from my mistakes and get started today. There will be somewhat of a learning curve, but will be well worth the effort you put in now. Your future self will thank you for it. Trust me on this.
There is nothing like waking up to an inbox full of leads.
A total monthly invest of less than $50.
If you want to generate leads while you’re sleeping, on vacation, holidays or weekends — $50 is well worth it!