In the past two posts I’ve mentioned automations & systems and how they help you to stay on top of your email marketing when you have a million other things to do in your business.
But maybe you’re wondering what systems are (and how they can help your business)?
If so, you’re not alone.
A Twitter Story
Last week, on a whim, I sent out a very personal tweet about the time I hit a wall in my business and shut everything down for three months to focus on systems and email.
Tweet sent, I closed my laptop and went to workout.
Then something strange happened…
When I came back an hour later to check-in I had 15 new followers, 30+ likes, 5 retweets, several mentions, and two questions in my inbox.
Um, that struck a nerve...
One of the questions in my inbox was “what do you mean by systems and email?”
What are Systems?
The simplest definition of systems is “how you do things in your business.”
When someone says “create systems” what they’re really saying is: take stock of how you do things in your business, document the process (or create one), figure out how to automate or improve it, then standardize it.
So to systematize your business, you need to:
- Take a step back and examine all your current processes, for example how you publish your podcast
- Document the steps
- Look for parts you can automate or make more efficient, e.g. you can record the interview, then outsource the editing and uploading.
Automations are the building blocks for email systems.
But before we get too far down the rabbit hole, let’s talk about vocabulary. Here’s some terms you need to know:
- Automation - An if, then system designed to work without you. For example, your lead magnet delivery is a basic automation.
- Workflow - A group of automations/ rules designed to accomplish several tasks. (Some email services use the terms interchangeably.)
- Campaign - the umbrella term for sequential content delivered via your email service provider. Usually a series of content with a specific objective. There are different types of campaigns, i.e. lead gen campaign, nurture campaign, etc.
- Autoresponder - A type of campaign that delivers a series of content automatically at a specific interval, e.g. your email course or video series. Delivery is triggered by an automation rule. Also, called a sequence.
- Sales Funnel - a marketing system that automates your sales process and pitches your product or service.
Depending on your objectives, that system may be a welcome sequence, a sales funnel, or a six month autoresponder.
Which automation should you setup first?
If you’re just getting started with automations, I’d recommend starting with a welcome sequence.
Because, the right welcome sequence will help you learn about your audience’s biggest problems and what segments they fall under.
You need that info to create products or services that sell.
- Sidebar: “Create an avatar” is the worst advice ever. In reality, you likely have multiple segments in your audience & each one wants something different from you. Netflix is a good example of this.
How does this help your business?
In a lot of ways. For one, you can use the info you get via your welcome sequence to figure out what your audience is struggling with.
From there, I wouldn’t recommend rushing to pitch your course (or services). Instead, try to make a human connection:
- find out if they’re willing to hop on Skype for 20 mins to share more info, or
- send them a non-automated email with a couple follow-up questions.
This is good 'ol market research. (It's also relationship building.)
Do this several times until you begin to see problem patterns. Then create a solution and ask the people you spoke to if they’re interested in purchasing.
One more thing: once your solution starts to sell, take note of the questions you repeatedly get and turn that into autoresponder content.
I’ve laid a lot on you, so let’s stop here to avoid a total freak-out moment. :)
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