There is more opportunity for automation in your business than ever before. With automation, you can schedule emails to be sent at the perfect time, follow up with leads who have left their shopping cart, sync data between apps, and notify team members of new tasks.
However, all of these options can be overwhelming, especially if your business is not a large company with a large budget and resources to throw itself into automation.
You may be wondering:
- What types of automation will benefit my business the most?
- What should I stay away from?
- How can I easily implement these and at the same time keep life simple?
Let’s explore the best forms of enterprise automation so you can start implementing a strategy in your own organization.
7 ways to automate your business
1. Email Marketing Automation
When you think of automation, email market automation may come to mind first. Not only is it one of the most popular forms of automation, it is also one of the most accessible.
Types of Email Automation:
- Triggers emails based on actions, e.g. Webinar sign-up confirmations or abandoned basket messages
- Email drip workflows that send content at specific intervals
- Delivery of content or requested information after completing a form
- A / B tests content and automatically sends the most effective version of the content
- Personalize every email you send
- Segmentation of groups based on data and automatic sending of the correct e-mail to each group
A great way to get started with email marketing automation is to look at the automation options that your email marketing platform already has and think about how you can use them to execute your strategy.
All popular email marketing tools have built-in automation functionality. However, if you have not yet chosen an email tool, be sure to choose an option with sufficient automation features to meet your business needs.
2. Marketing Automation
What about the other forms of marketing automation besides email marketing? We can divide these into external, customer-facing automation and internal automation that help streamline the workflows of your team.
Examples of external marketing automation:
- Automated SMS messaging
- Scheduling or republishing social media messages
- Locking of new course content at fixed intervals after registration
Examples of Internal Marketing Automation:
- Lead scoring and qualification
- Routing of qualified leads between apps, e.g. From your CRM to your email marketing platform
- Notifies team members if a contact meets conditions or performs certain actions
- To create a strong bridge between marketing and sales
- Streamlining processes in several steps, e.g. Publishing content or creating a new marketing campaign
3. Sales automation
Sales automation is about managing your pipelines more efficiently, reducing friction and increasing conversion rates.
Benefits of sales automation
- Stay on top of a busy pipeline
- Better calendar management
- Identify and focus on the most ready-to-sell leads
- Collect and trade on the basis of data insight
- Sync the latest data across all apps
- Create a strong bridge with marketing
- Transfer new customers to onboarding
- Avoid spending time on ill-fitting leads
To get started with sales automation, you must first look at any built-in automation functionality that your CRM offers. You can then explore whether you need to use and integrate other apps to automate more efficient workflows.
4. Data automation
While automation is great for streamlining repetitive tasks and freeing up time for important work, it is also effective for managing behind-the-scenes data.
Although our brains are good at looking at data insights to draw conclusions and plan the next step, we are not that good at handling this data manually. We do not have the time, attention to detail or accuracy to control large data sets – and we do not need that.
With automated data management, you can leave the heavy lifting to the machines and free up time to trade on the insights instead.
Ways to automate data:
- Trigger / action workflows that push data between your apps
- Synchronizes contact data in two ways between apps and automatically makes updates as soon as something changes
- Sends all contact data to your CRM for a centralized database
- Combination of data from all apps for integrated reporting on one dashboard
- Automatic merging or correction of duplicate contacts in your database
To get started, you must first optimize the data in your individual apps. You can then use software integration tools to enable them to communicate data with each other.
5. Customer Care Automation
What about your support and customer care teams?
Ways to automate customer service:
- Optimize the customer experience
- Customize interactions
- Make sure your customer service team automatically has access to all available customer data
Automation is not about removing the human element from 1-1 interactions. In fact, it’s about getting more time for these and providing a better experience for your customers.
You can automate notifications to tell you when it’s the right time to contact a customer, which means you can spend less time figuring out what you’re up to. ought to do every day.
You can automate customer satisfaction surveys that alert you when a customer needs quick attention to reduce the risk of churn.
You can introduce chatbots or knowledge bases with built-in AI that quickly answer simple questions, or direct a customer to the best support representative for their query if it does not resolve it.
In short, automation enables your customer service staff to manage a larger amount of customers more efficiently without burning out or degrading the quality of 1-1 interactions.
6. Automation of e-commerce
It used to be that in order to sell products, you had to do it yourself. You had to oversee the production of your warehouse. You had to open your store in the morning, answer customer questions and process their payments for your products.
But that has all changed. As an e-commerce store owner, you do not even have to be there. You can keep your store open 365 days a year, even if you are sleeping or traveling.
Types of e-commerce automation:
- Buy through an online shopfront like Shopify or WooCommerce
- Online payments through providers like Stripe and PayPal
- Discount codes for potential customers, first-time customers or committed buyers
- Abandoned cart messages to customers
- Product suggestions based on previous purchases
- Inventory management
- Requests after-sales reviews
With dropshipping, you can even automate all fulfillment work for an order. When someone else creates the products, stores them in a warehouse and sends them to the customer, all you have to do is create an online storefront and spot it.
7. Management Automation
As with customer care automation, management automation is not about eliminating human interactions. Instead, it can free up a manager’s time to care for their team and support their growth.
Types of Management Automation:
- Team reminders to prepare meetings
- Chasing delayed work
- Follow-up on tasks at set intervals
- Sharing materials on board with new employees
- Collecting daily feedback on wins and blocks
- Self-reviews and efficiency tracking
- Reporting panels
- Synchronization of data with meeting slides
For simple ways to start automation of management processes, Trello, Slack and Asana are tools you may already be using and which also offer great automation functionality.
Automation is a long-term strategy: it’s not about trying to change everything at once or creating processes that are too complex for the phase your business is in.
Take a look at where your business is now. Where are the blockages, manual tasks and inefficiencies?
Ask yourself how you can start automating these areas to unleash your focus on the areas where you have the most influence.