Automation systems can do the repetitive tasks of both sending the emails and text messages and even replacing generic “Hey, [First name]!” lines with personalized information like “Hey, Susie,” making your job much easier.
Let’s dig a little deeper into about what online automation is and the advantages of leveraging it for your network marketing business.
What are examples of automation?
Automation can be either simple or extremely complicated. It can range from one-time email and text message blasts to automated sending of a sequence of emails and texts along with reminder tasks for you at the appropriate times. Consider some of the following uses for automation:
- Following up with new prospects right after you meet them
- Sending reminder notices for team meetings (including zoom calls)
- Nurturing team to keep them engaged
- Sending customer engagement/nurture emails and/or text messages
- Sending product update notices for team and customers
- Sending surveys to find out what your team and customers want
- Creating reminders to yourself to send samples or make phone calls
- Creating reminders to yourself to set up events and other meetings
Here are a few automation basic system functions.
Automation can be used to send a group email and/or text message letting people who are interested in a special promotion (e.g. BOGO) that “today is the day” along with the details of the special.
It is important to only send these messages to people who have told you they want them. If you blast it to everyone, many will “unsubscribe” from your emails, closing the door for you to connect with them in the future via automation.
Also, if you send emails only to those belonging to groups (topics) they are interested in, you reduce unsubscribes.
Message Sequences (Campaigns)
Campaigns are are the automated sending of emails and text messages to prospects and team members. You can choose when the messages go out either by date (for events) or a sequence of messages that follow each other by minutes or days.
Campaigns might also include reminder tasks popping up letting you know when to send a sample, schedule a follow-up call, or set up a zoom call.
Most importantly, they run 24/7 collecting and sending information, even when you sleep. Just remember that you do not want to inundate people with texts and emails. So, make sure to spread them out or only have one campaign running at a time.
Most decent automation platforms have a way to:
- import contacts from other platforms
- export contacts for local backup
- store, sort, and search contact information that has been added
- create groups of contacts with similar interests. (e.g. Love BOGOs, hot lead, product interest, etc.) for email/text blasts
- keep contact notes, a list of emails sent, and tasks assigned/completed
- start them up on a different campaign
- assign reminder tasks for you
Some platforms also have an inbox that are connected to the contact manager. When an email arrives from one of your contacts, it will pop up the contact information including notes you have written, tasks that you have accomplished, emails and text messages sent, etc. All of this is useful when you next connect with a contact.
Mobile Phone Automation
Make sure you choose a platform that works exceedingly well on a mobile phone. If it does not, you won’t use it. Desktop-only platforms will not be as effective since you will still have to write those little notes on napkins and scraps of paper and remember to enter them into your system when you get home. You will also lose the advantage of their immediate checking of their email as soon as you enter their data when you are out and about. (This helps them find emails that end up in spam folders.)
Your cell phone is usually with you 24/7. Heck, I will not say who, but they even end up in the bathroom sometimes, just sayin’. You would never find a desktop computer there. LOL
These are some of the most useful benefits for network marketers. There are other more sophisticated features of some of the systems, but they are not needed by 99% of network marketers.
Advantages and costs of automation
Automation Can Free Up Your Time
It is probably obvious to you, but automation can save you a lot of time. But it can also cost you a lot of time… and money. I have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars to both learn and pay for automation. I continue to spend money on it. I have already spent thousands of dollars, this year, both learning and paying for automation tools.
One of the reasons I keep doing this is because I want to help you get the most optimal experience at the lowest cost. I also enjoy the challenges, puzzle-solving aspects, and benefits of automation — you know… the nerd factor. You are experiencing some it right now, aren’t you?
Some high-end automation platforms can cost hundreds of dollars a month and give you amazing amounts of headaches trying to implement all the various things they can do. In the end, you will end up paying automation experts to build the campaigns for you — for many thousands of dollars. Ask me how I know. 🙂
Other platforms can help keep both your costs and complexity down. In the next article, we will dig deeper into automation systems.
The 500 Pound Phone
One of the most amazing benefits of automation is not having to fear picking up the 500-pound phone to follow up with prospects you just met… at least not as often. Remember that this is a relationship business. So, you will eventually have to pick up the phone and make that call. But, with automation, most of the awkward follow-up calls will be a thing of the past. The calls you get to make will be much more enjoyable and you will be prepared with all the notes and list of emails that went out.
To Do Lists
Another benefit of some platforms are automated todo lists. Tasks that quite often get lost in scribbles of notes will be front and center on your cell phone until they get checked off.
No More Lost Leads
I cannot tell you how many Ziplock bags I have of contacts I never called back after meeting them. Even my downline has told me they’d call them back if I just gave them the bags. ?
With a good automation tool, once they are in the system, the messages are on autopilot. They will get the follow-up email… even if I forget to call them. Sweeeeet!
The white elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about in email marketing is deliverability. If you are lucky, your prospects will search for the promised email with the gift inside. They might even search the junk mail or even SPAM folders. Once they move the email to their inbox, the problem usually solved, unless you are bad at writing emails and include things like, “enlarged, or FREE!!!, etc.” in your subject lines. ?
Unfortunately, some of your prospects may never see your email and gift. WHY? Because email delivery services want to please their customers and they do it by filtering out anything that “smells” like marketing email.
If you send out an email automatically as soon as you or they add their name to your system, make sure to tell them to check for your message right away. Do not delay on this or the message could simply disappear from their focus and eventually their inbox.
If the platform can send text messages, you will have a higher chance of your message getting through. Just make sure your text message is REALLY SHORT. Include a short link (bit.ly, goo.gl, etc.) that expands and sends them to the intended webpage for information or a form. More on this in the buyer journey article coming up soon.
What does automation look like?
So, what might a simple automation sequence look like? Here is an example:
New Prospect Webpage Opt-in
- Prospect visits your “lead capture” webpage that offers a gift they want in exchange for their info
- Prospect enters name and email… maybe phone, not more.
- System takes them to a “thank you” page or another website.
- System sends them an email with a link to their gift.
- System optionally sends them a text telling them to check their email for the gift
- System sends you an email telling you a new prospect has requested gift
- System sends them a follow-up email/text that offers some more info about the gift and sends them a link to another webpage with a simple survey for them to answer a few questions
- System sends you an email telling you they filled out the survey.
- YOU check your phone app to read the answers to their survey questions (They’re in the notes area for the prospect)
- System adds a reminder task for you to make a follow-up call in a couple of days or to text message them to discuss their survey answers and how you can help them.
- And so on…
Notice that the only time you had to do anything was at steps 9 and 10? Isn’t that a lot easier than playing phone tag with them after you find the scrap of paper? There are plenty of other examples I can give, but I think you get the idea of how automation can really save you time.
In a later article, I’ll get into the buyer’s journey so you can see how to properly nurture your prospects and team members to build a solid relationship around know, like, and trust: Key requirements if you want someone to buy something from you or become a team member.
Duplication, duplication, duplication
Duplication is the key to network marketing and online marketing success. The more you duplicate the experts, the less work for you. Using automated campaigns created by experts will help you a lot because you do not have to figure it all out yourself. Remember, they want to help you succeed, and so do I.
Soon, you will be modifying and even creating your own emails, campaigns, and websites and passing them to your team members. You will become an expert too. Everyone started out with no distributors in their downline… even today’s experts. Same thing goes with online marketing. We all waited, with bated breath, for our first prospect and sale. It is fun and exciting!
Regarding duplication, I strive to only do things one time and either record it for future playback to downline or write it down to save time explaining it to them. This article is an example of duplication. If someone wants to know a little about online network marketing automation, I can just send them a link to the post. Then, if they have questions, I can answer them and maybe even add it to the article if it would make it easier for future readers to understand.
A gift for A gift for you
Free Download – Mind Map of this article
I have created a visual diagram that provides a high-level overview of this component of how to add online prospecting to your traditional network marketing business.
The next article will get into the importance of picking out the right automation platform so you don’t waste time and money building your MLM business online.