I have come to talk to you about process automation in Online Marketing. And, before leaping into the subject, let’s take a look at what Process Automation is. Ready?
What is process automation?
On Wikipedia there is no definition for process automation for Online Marketing, but you can find the meaning of robotic process automation. It is as follows:
Definition of robotic process automation according to Wikipedia. Click here for the full description
The goal with automation is to make the tools that you have at your disposal, or you can attain, do a task that you are performing manually and thus:
- Save time
- Save money (if you do good automation)
- Getting results faster and probably with better outcomes
- And most importantly: Time to dedicate to other more important management tasks or those that require manual action.
Cons of process automation in online marketing
The main problem with process automation is not overcoming the fine line between automating certain actions and becoming a robot. Your company or personal profile can be affected and be perceived from the outside as an automatic machine instead of a human being.
You want to do many things in a short time and with the greatest possible effectiveness, for this you need to make use of these automated processes. The true success of a company will lie in the use of automation without appearing to be a robot.
Have you had the experience of talking to an operator for more than 10 minutes on the phone and you end up frustrated? This has happened to all of us and it is one of the things that your business, company or project should try to avoid if possible through process automation.
4 Processes that you can automate in your business or Online Marketing Strategy
There are different types of tools to automate processes in your business. From the more general, to others that are very specific for a specific task.
Let’s see step by step which tasks and processes you can automate with your business and the tools to carry it out.
Active Campaign email marketing tool
Automating your email marketing strategy will bring great benefits to your project. It is one of the automatic processes that you can get a lot of benefit from, if you do it right.
With Email Marketing, and I mean the entire strategy via email for each situation you encounter with your client, from the welcome to your website email, through to the “thank you for subscribing”, or even sending them a discount code because they have left the shopping cart. You can also automate product evaluation emails when you have received your order or promotional offers depending on your tastes or purchase history. You can automate these tasks if you have an email marketing provider that allows you to create automations. From my point of view, the best in this field are: Active Campaign, Mailchimp and Klaviyo.
To perform this task well, I recommend that you first consider what strategy you will choose to guide your contacts. This first part must be done outside of the automation tools.
- Think step by step how to move your user to subscriber, from subscriber to buyer and from buyer to recurring buyer.
- Define the content of the emails that you are going to send and when.
- Use persuasive writing techniques to convince through your emails.
Once you are clear about all the steps to follow, pass your strategy to the different automation tools and put them to work for you. You’ll see how email automation will make your life easier.
Billing / Accounting
If it happens to you like it does to me, as I very much dislike doing this topic, I invite you to automate billing as soon as possible. You will save yourself unnecessary headaches and gain greater financial control of your business.
Invoicing can be automated using different modes, depending on what your type of business is.
Online Store: If you have an online store, perhaps with an extra plugin, module or app you will be able to have all the invoices for the orders automatically. In case your platform does not allow you to insert these features, you can use tools to automate such as Quaderno, which will allow you to connect your payment.
Business / SME or self-employed: The connection tools between APIs are very good at automating this billing process and being able to automatically generate reports in Google Drive for each order made in your store. To do this you have tools like Zapier or IFTTT.
Every time “something” happens, another action that you have predefined must be planned. On some occasions I have made a spreadsheet in Excel and in Google Drive, complete with each order, with the information by columns as we want, etc.
I also have to say that these two tools (Zapier and IFTTT) are used to automate many other processes in your business, so don’t waste them and get the most out of them.
Customer service and support
The first stage of support or customer service is essential that it be automated, but without passing the barrier of becoming a bot.
UNIFY YOUR CUSTOMER SUPPORT CHANNELS
I see many online businesses with chats on their website that are never available, or that have automated messages such as “We are currently unavailable, send us an email to…and we will respond as soon as possible.” I think this is a mistake. If you cannot have an online chat, there is no problem, use tools like zotabox and put a plugin on your website with a “chat” but they send you private messages to Facebook. Therefore, you do not have to be online when they send you a message, the same mobile APP will notify you or the desktop notifications. In addition, you will be able to get the Fan Pages badge of “Reply in less than 1 hour”, “Reply immediately”, etc.
The same happens when you install a landline for your business. This is highly recommended, but if you are not going to spend many hours in the office for whatever reason, direct the calls to your mobile to be able to answer them at the time you have stipulated. Have an answering machine that asks you if you want to speak with the salesperson or if you need to contact technical support, so each employee gets the correct calls and no time is wasted passing the phone from one to another. Of course, do not ask twenty thousand questions and they have to spend 5-10 minutes responding to an automated system.
In Facebook messages you can also create “bots” that answer for you, but define the rules well and prove that they really help and do not bother the user.
Last but not least, you can automate your social networks or those of your business. Here we will distinguish the 2 processes:
With these 2 processes, I recommend Metricool. I have tried it personally and to manage clientes, it’s a must.
PUBLISH ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
It is fine to publish your old or new posts automatically, but do not forget that behind a profile on a social network there is a brand or a person and it is vital that this is taken into account. If you are not going to be able to control 5 social networks, do it with 2, but do it really well. There must be an interaction with the user; if you have everything automated, this is lost.
Imagine the time it would take to generate an Excel report for each social network of your business, pointing out reach, interactions, responses of each publication and in general (monthly, quarterly and / or annually). How long would it take? 1 hour, 2 hours, 1 day?
These types of processes are what you are “forced to automate. You will save time to dedicate it to other tasks, but the result is surely much better with Metricool reports than the excel that you or I can do. Here you have all the detailed information on how to make a social media report with Metricool.
In short, it is about having automated processes to save time and resources to dedicate to the tasks that are really necessary to complete.
Remember to never pass the barrier to becoming a robot and do not turn your personal brand or your business into a machine. The human being likes to interact with people and not with automation, this is not to be forgotten.
I’ll read your comments, I would like to know what processes you automate and how you do it.