When you put a few simple systems in place, you can easily replace an expensive sales force with automated tools that allow you to keep your products and services in front of potential clients. By doing so, you will not only make more money, but you will do it completely hands free. All that’s required is a little forethought.
What is an automated sales force?
Overall, a sales force is the entire sales funnel from generating a lead to completing a sale. When we are referring to an automated sales force, they can include multiple facets and take over multiple steps. In this particular article, we are focusing on one primary tool to accomplish lead generation plus a potential sale with little effort. (Once the initial setup is complete, you get to sit back and watch the leads pour in!)
Opt-In Series with an Autoresponder
When it comes to lead generation, creating an opt-in email series with an autoresponder is a must-have tool. Simply put, an opt-in series is a sequence of emails that educates/captivates the lead while providing opportunities for them to engage with, and purchase products/programs. An autoresponder is a tool that sends the emails on a predetermined schedule once an individual signs up.
Creating the Sales Funnel Using an Autoresponder
Setting up the sales funnel is easy!
- First, create content that is specific to your industry.
- Provide opportunities for the readers to make a purchase.
- Once the content is created, build the automated email series. (We provide suggestions below).
- Now it is time to determine where/how individuals will find opportunity to opt-into the series. Typically, the opt-in opportunity is placed somewhere on your website (usually in a pop-up window and/or somewhere on the homepage) and in social media. If you go to networking events include a QR code on your business card so people can easily access the information.
Do Not Reinvent the Wheel
When generating content, think about what questions you’re most frequently asked, what conversations pop up again and again, and what your social connections and competitors are discussing. These nuggets are the building blocks of a compelling autoresponder series that your readers will not only look for, but actually read.
Examples include, “weekly tips to stay productive during the dog days of summer” or “daily motivation for busy mom entrepreneurs”. As mentioned above, make sure these topics are industry-specific. These two examples are great for our industry, as we coach entrepreneurs are we are constantly providing tips to help uplevel.
Opportunities to Purchase – Do Not Give the Farm Away for Free
The email series should address a broad-scope information that, in reality, someone could find while searching google. The goal is to position yourself as the expert and build trust and report without providing all of the tools. Do this by including specific calls to action. It’s not enough to just provide tips that increase productivity. You have to also give her the opportunity to buy your products or services.
For example, makeup companies do a great job with this. When visiting a website, they provide opportunities such as “sign up for our emails and learn tips to stay youthful”. The opt-in email series includes basic information such as, “increase your water intake, get 8 hours of sleep, and use *these* products”. Then the readers have an opportunity to easily purchase *these* products, thus converting the lead into a customer!
Obviously, some companies are service-based, but the same theory applies. When discussing a particular concept, be sure to discuss specific tools and provide links to your paid courses that elaborate on these tools. Or include a link for the readers to “schedule a time” on your calendar.
Pro tip: As they move through your series, you want to keep in mind that subsequent offers should be more and more valuable, with the occasional low-priced offer thrown in.
When done right, the automated email series can help keep the cash flowing, even when business is down.
The fastest way to get your autoresponder up and running is with a tried and true email provider such as AWeber. It is simple to set up and extremely affordable. Plus, you’ll find that many VAs are experienced with AWeber and can help if you get stuck!
In fact, if you’re using a more sophisticated system such as Infusionsoft or AWeber with the AW Pro Tools add-on, you can easily move people between autoresponders based on the actions they take. That means they’ll see exactly the offers they want and need, and nothing else. It can make selling via email super productive, and best of all, completely automated.
Creating an automated sales force has one primary role — increase your productivity while decreasing your workload. An automated email series tied to an opt-in has the ability to both generate leads and weed out the individuals who are not great candidates for you. The ones that are only interested in the freebie will not buy or inquire about the offers embedded in the email series, and you learn this before they EVER waste a minute of your time!