Your business has more opportunities than ever to use automation. With automation, you can schedule emails to be sent at the best time, follow up with leads who have abandoned their cart, sync data between apps, and let team members know about new tasks.
But all of these choices can be confusing, especially if your business isn’t a big one with a lot of money and resources to spend on automation.
You might be wondering:
What kinds of automation will be most helpful for my business?
What should I stay away from?
How can I use these things easily and keep things simple?
Let’s talk about the best kinds of business automation so that you can start putting together a plan for your own company.
How to make your small business run by itself
- Set up automated email campaigns.
When you think of automation, you might first think of automating email marketing. Not only is it one of the most common types of automation, but it’s also one of the easiest to use.
Types of automated email:
Sending emails based on actions, such as confirmations of webinar sign-ups or “basket left behind” alerts
Drip workflows for email that send content at set times
After a form is filled out, sending the content or information requested
Content can be tested with A/B testing, and the best version of the content can be sent out automatically.
Making each email you send unique
Putting people into different groups based on data and sending the right email to each group automatically
Look at the automation features your email marketing platform already has and think about how you can use them to carry out your strategy. This is a good way to get started with email marketing automation.
All of the most popular email marketing tools have automation built in. But if you haven’t chosen an emailing tool yet, choose one that has enough automation features to meet your business’s needs.
- Make operating procedures standard (SOPs).
How many of your business’s processes are written down? Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are important for a healthy business, whether you run it by yourself or with a small team.
SOPs are written instructions that explain in detail how to do things in your business. As your business grows, having standard operating procedures (SOPs) on hand makes it much easier to bring on new team members and give tasks to other people. The bigger impact your team members can have on your business, the faster they can get up and running.
- Put contact information into a CRM to create a central database.
Are your customer records spread out over a bunch of messy spreadsheets? Is it hard for your team to figure out the status of a contact or when they last talked to them? If so, automating your customer database could be good for your business.
You can automate your customer information by using a CRM as a central database and syncing contact information between apps. This way, whenever anything changes on a customer account, the CRM will update itself automatically. This cuts down on the amount of manual work your team has to do and helps them get along better with their contacts and customers.
- Set up a system for scoring leads.
Does your team have a process for determining which leads are more viable? If you don’t, you might want to think about lead scoring.
With lead scoring, the most important things about a lead will be turned into numbers. This makes it easier for you and your team to focus on leads who are most likely to buy from your business. This saves you and your team a lot of time and lets you talk to potential customers who are more likely to buy.
- Use a tool for setting up posts on social media.
Any social media manager or content creator will tell you that social media can take a lot of time, especially when you have to post something quickly. That’s why it’s a game changer for busy marketing teams to use a tool for scheduling posts on social media.
With the right social media scheduling tool, your team can make meaningful content ahead of time and schedule it to be posted on your main platforms automatically.
- Answer customer service requests right away.
How well your company handles customer service questions can make or break whether customers are happy and keep coming back. Customer satisfaction is largely based on how quickly problems are fixed and how often they are fixed on the first try. It can be hard for customer service teams to keep up with demand if they have to do all of their work by hand.
Automation doesn’t mean taking people out of one-on-one interactions. In fact, it’s about giving yourself more time to do these things and giving your customers a better experience.
You can set up automated alerts that tell you when it’s the right time to reach out to a customer. This way, you can do targeted outreach to get better results. Automated customer satisfaction surveys can also let you know when a customer needs quick help to keep them from leaving.
Your team can also use chatbots or knowledge bases with built-in AI to quickly answer simple questions or send a customer to the best support rep for their question if that doesn’t work.
Automation makes it easier for your customer service staff to handle more customers without getting tired or lowering the quality of their one-on-one interactions.
- Automate SMS marketing messages.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time in front of screens. This has led to a rise in SMS marketing.
Your company’s marketing team could use automated SMS marketing to get back in touch with leads and turn them into customers. Some possible ways to automate SMS marketing are:
Reminders for meetings and events
Notifications when products the contact has shown interest in are back in stock
Messages about carts that were left empty
Messages advertising special deals and discounts
- Look at your sales process and automate it.
Sales automation is a way to manage your sales process better, reduce problems, and increase the number of sales you make.
Why sales automation is good:
Keep an eye on a busy line.
Better calendar management
Find the most sales-ready leads and focus on them.
Get data insights and use them.
Sync all apps with the latest information
Build a strong link to marketing.
Send new clients to onboarding.
Don’t waste your time on bad leads.
To get started with sales automation, first check to see if your CRM already has automation features built in. You can then look into getting and integrating other apps to automate more powerful workflows.
These were some ways to bring automation to your business, hope you enjoyed!