Whether you’re just starting up an online business or you’ve been in the trade for a while, automating processes can help you free up your most valuable resource – time. To help you do just that, we’ve created a list of five processes you can easily automate to make sure you’re getting the most out of your business.
1. Social media
Actively using social media is a must for any online business, but staying on top of daily posts and monthly campaigns can be a little daunting. While powerful, scheduling posts and creating content isn’t always the best use of your time – and not everyone has the marketing expertise to make the most of their social media account.
However, you can easily slash the time taken in half by using an online tool such as Hootsuite. By far the best tool out there, Hootsuite is free to use for up to two social media accounts, but we’d recommend its paid options if you actively post on more.
Scheduling and sending emails is a great way to interact with customers when it’s likely to make a difference. Simple follow up emails can give off that all-important, professional vibe that’s likely to bring customers back time and time again.
At TMO we know the value of leads, not just generating but nurturing. It could be that a lead isn’t converted instantly, in which case how can you keep your brand name in the potential customers mind? By making use of email automation you can manage these leads by gently provided targeted and scheduled content, hopefully leading to a conversion. We work with you to create a strategy to help warm and re-engage with leads that could otherwise be lost.
3. Scheduling meetings
So a potential client gets in touch via your contact form. You read what they’ve had to say and they’ve seen your response. You then determine you’re a good fit for one another, but you can’t decide on a suitable date to meet. You go back and forth at least three times before a date arises – but not before you’ve wasted a good deal of time trying.
Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem. Various tools online will sync with your Google calendar and make sifting through your schedule much easier. <a href=”https://calendly.com/”>Calendly</a> is our favourite; embed it on your website or send out a link via email, your clients can easily see when you’re available without the annoying back and forth emails.
4. Capturing leads
The most fundamental aspect of any online business is its ability to monitor and capture leads.
Automation can help you identify leads by tracking and monitoring people who visit your site and creating a one-to-one relationship where the customer is more likely to pay for your service.
There are two ways to do this; the direct and indirect approach. The direct approach entails setting up an opt-in or squeeze page that directly asks a customer for their email address, often for something in return such as a free resource or product discount. The indirect approach is better called remarketing – the process of targeting ads towards people who have visited your website or a particular page. This allows you to form an ongoing dialogue with potential customers.
5. Customer support
Customer service, when everything is equal, can prove the difference between you and the competition. Automating large parts of your customer service is key in setting yourself apart from the competition, which is why it’s important to differentiate as much as possible.
Creating communities to foster user-generated content or building FAQs will help to reduce the number of support queries you’re handling every month – this means more time can be spent on making sales. Software such as Zendesk and <a href=”https://www.groovehq.com/”>Groove HQ</a> can streamline and automate your processes to create a more efficient workforce.
A final note
The online world has become saturated with businesses trying to make a name for themselves. And CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is becoming more and more important when it comes to differentiating yourself from the competition. Birthday emails, reminders, customer support and data collection are processes that are becoming more and more automated as we approach the second half of 2017, which is why it’s crucial to streamline your processes for an efficient and effective online business.