It doesn’t matter who your market is or how bad they need what you’re selling; Without a good, automated marketing system in place you’re wasting your time and losing money.
An automated marketing system is what makes the difference between selling a few widgets, or getting a client or two a month, and making real money.
Simply put, an automated marketing system is that process you use which, once put in place, makes your market aware of your brand, products and services, and brings you leads or prospects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week , automatically and with little to no effort from you.
An automated marketing system is the most important system you can put in place in your business because you can’t get customers or clients without first getting leads or prospects.
Automated Marketing Components
An automated marketing system can be very simple or it can be very complex.
If you are a solopreneur running a very small business with no employees and you’re currently wearing all the hats, you might only need one or two components for your marketing system.
But, if you’re a small business with 30 employees doing a fair amount of volume each month with goals of increasing that volume, you might need five or more marketing components.
What are these components?
Most of them are things you already know about. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
Advertorials and Articles
Putting on Events
Flyers and Doorhangers
Social Media Posting and Advertising
Online Trade Shows and Networking Events
Your Testimonials For Others
As you can see, there’s quite a lot you can do to get the word out about your business. But, how do you go about putting together an automated marketing system? How do you choose what should go into it?
How To Decide Which Components Should Go Into Your Automated Marketing System
The components you decide to integrate into your marketing system will depend on your budget and your market.
If you’re a small start-up with a non-existent budget you won’t be able to afford much in the way of offline marketing and you’ll probably be looking for free and very inexpensive ways to market online.
A business with a larger budget will be able to do much more both online and off.
Nearly every business will have a website or, at the very least, a blog. But even a large website with many pages isn’t a marketing system in and of itself.
A website is just the beginning. You’re going to need more than that to create an online presence.
Ideally, you want to use as many components as you can, that make sense for your business, without being overwhelmed.
A good place to start for any business is the opt-in box. An opt-in box collects names and email addresses, and sometimes physical addresses, of a website’s visitors in exchange for something such as an ebook or a newsletter.
The opt-in box makes sense for every business because it’s very inexpensive and it can be put right in front of your website visitors while they’re at your site.
You’ll need to use a service like *Aweber with your opt-in box. Aweber will store the names and email addresses you collect and allow you to send emails to those addresses so that you can continue to market to these new prospects. Aweber makes email marketing easy.
Social media is another component most businesses will want to consider, although it may not work well for your automated marketing system.
Social media is a great place for creating brand awareness or an awareness of the existence of your business and what you offer. But, for many businesses it’s difficult to get leads and sales directly from social media posts. It’s not impossible though, and some businesses are good at it.
But, you can’t take likes to the bank!
What you want to do with your automated marketing system is take someone from point A, where they first discover you, to point B where they are willing to learn more about your business and what you offer – and you want to do it quickly and automatically.
It can take a long time to do this with social media if it happens at all. But, as stated above, it works well for some businesses and if that’s you then you’ll want to include social media as a component of your automated marketing system.
It’s a good idea to use both online and offline components together in your marketing system. This will expand the number of people you can reach.
Probably the best form of offline marketing for businesses with a very small marketing budget is word of mouth or referrals.
You may not think you have any control over this form of marketing, but you do. The best way to get referrals is to ask for them.
Many businesses offer their current customers rewards for giving them referrals. This is a great idea if you are able to do it. But, the best way to ensure you get referrals is to give your customers or clients extraordinary service – service that is so good they can’t help but rave about it.
Of course, you not only need to consider your marketing budget, but also your market itself. If your market isn’t on Facebook, for example, then you won’t want to use Facebook as part of your automated marketing system.
You need to consider where your market is found in order to reach them.
Putting Together The Components Of Your Automated Marketing System
Once you’ve figured out which components you’re going to use you need to put them together in a sequence that makes sense and will continue to bring you new prospects.
Some components will require your personal input while others can run on their own once they are set up – so you’ll want to be aware of this going forward.
For example: Once an opt-in box is set up it you don’t need to do anything further with it. But, someone will need to write the emails for your newsletters that you send to your prospects. That someone could be you, or it could be someone you hire.
Here are some ideas for how you can put together your own automated marketing system that will bring you a constant, steady flow of leads:
1) SEO website + Opt-in boxes on every page + automated weekly emails.
This is a pretty simple online set up. The website is optimized for the search engines. The opt-in boxes on every page means that no matter what page a visitor lands on they can opt-in for more information. And the automated, weekly emails can be set up ahead of time so once this system is in place it is completely hands off.
2) Space ad in a niche magazine + 1-800 number + information kit with order form or phone number.
This is a simple, hands off, marketing system. Someone sees the space ad in a niche magazine and decides to call the 1-800 number. They get a recording telling them to leave their name and address, and they’ll receive an information kit in the mail.
The information kit contains a sales letter, possibly a brochure or booklet, a sheet of testimonials, and an order form they can mail in. There is also an order number on the form they can call.
3) Google ads + Landing page to collect email addresses + automated email sequence.
Here someone finds your website, not through SEO, but through paid Google ads. The ads take them to a simple landing page where they enter an email address, where upon they receive an automated email sequence which will continue to market to them. Once this system is set up it is completely hands off!
4) Three step sales letter sequence + phone number or 1-800 number.
This is an automated marketing system best used for higher end products and services.
The prospect receives an informative sales letter. If they don’t call the number they receive a second letter. If they still don’t call the number they receive a third, final letter letter.
If they do call the number they either get a recording asking them to leave their name and number so someone can return their call, or they get a live person to take their information and, possibly answer their questions as well as set an appointment for them to come in.
With high ticket items it’s best to have a knowledgeable person answer the phone rather than using a recording.
5) Postcard + coupon.
This marketing system consists of a postcard with an attached coupon, or the postcard IS the coupon. It works best for brick and mortar stores.
6) Facebook ads + Landing Page with Opt-in + automated email sequence.
The nice thing about Facebook ads is that you can pinpoint who sees them. Facebook gives you the opportunity to narrowly define your market, so the the people who see the ad are those most likely to be interested.
When people click on the ad they’re taken to a landing page with more information and an opt-in box. After they opt-in they receive your automated email sequence.
7) Advertorial + mail in form + sales kit or free offer.
The advertorial looks like an article in a magazine, except it’s really an advertisement. At the end of the advertorial is a small, clip out mail in form to receive a free offer or “information” kit.
The free offer comes with information on how purchase something related to the free offer. The information kit is a sales letter designed to get the prospect to make a purchase.
Once the writing is done, this marketing system will be automated and can be used again and again.
There are many different combinations of components you can put together to create an automated marketing system to continually pull in a steady stream of leads.
But, what if you put together a marketing system and it doesn’t work?
Testing Your Automated Marketing System
Once you’ve got your marketing system in place you’ll need to test it. This means you need to give it a fair chance to work, and after a time if it’s not pulling in as many new prospects as you had hoped you’ll need to change it.
Not every marketing system works the first time around, and there are many reasons for this.
It could be the copy on your landing page or other sales components isn’t compelling enough. Or, it could be your call to action isn’t clear.
It could be that you don’t have the right market, or that they’re not interested in your free offer.
Testing is the only way to know for sure what’s not working. It’s also a great way to see if you can improve upon a marketing system that IS working.
You can test everything from the headline on your landing page to the number of emails in your follow-up sequence to Facebook ads vs Google ads to whether or not to use a live person on the other end of the phone when people call.
When you test, you only want to change one thing so that you know whether that change is better, worse or there’s no difference. If you change more than one thing at a time, you won’t know which change affected the outcome of the test, or whether they both did.
Your automated marketing system should make sense for your particular business and your particular market. It should bring you a constant flow of prospects daily that will lead to a constant flow of sales.
Dedicated to your success,
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