Let’s take our previous post on automating a small business a little deeper by focusing on how to automate your website.
Following up on leads and turning browsers into customers is a critical task, however, many small businesses don’t have the staffing to devote solely to this job. Conversion rates are small so caring for existing customers usually takes precedence.
Here is where the importance of setting up a good automated website strategy becomes clear, as you and your employees reap the benefits.
- Auto-responders: According to The Entrepreneur it takes nine or more impressions for your business to be remembered by a potential customer. Follow-up is essential. In a small business, who has time to do that for each potential lead without hurting your service to your existing customers? (First off, you should look into a good CRM system, but more on that later.) Build your email list by using enticing offers upon signing up or giving contact information. Not many people want to sign up by a generic sidebar listing to be on your mailing list anymore. Use something catchy by offering high-quality content in return: “Sign up to find out how to boost your online traffic by 200% guaranteed!” Have an auto-responder ready to send that special content to your new contact. At specified times following initial sign-up, send out other pertinent content or offers that are valuable to your readers, something that will draw them back to your website. Track your website traffic and response to your emails through Google Analytics (again, more on that soon) to analyze the data and see what is working and what isn’t. This way you can target your marketing specifically to what people are interested in.
- Accept online payments: Having an online shopping cart and accepting different forms of payment (Apple Pay, perhaps?) will free your sales team from having to process customer payments over the phone. There is also better security with sensitive payment information when there are less hands involved. Some good platforms to use to integrate your shopping cart to your website are EasyWebAutomation.com, AWeber.com, and Infusion.com
- Outsource a new look: If you need a new logo or look for your website, instead of taking up the time of your marketing department, create a contest on 99Designs.com and have graphic designers submit their best ideas for you to choose from. For a nominal reward (compared to the time and money you would have had to spend doing it in-house) you’ll get a professional new look in a very short time.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM is a key area to automate. There are many systems out there to help, too. For small businesses, this will mostly consist of a contact management center which will integrate emails, documents, jobs, faxes, and scheduling for individual accounts. You can integrate your online presence with your face-to-face customer contacts. For an example of how CRM automation can work, meet Jane Smith. She enters her contact information on your website when she sees a product she’s interested in. This triggers a workflow where Jane is assigned to a sales rep and an automated email is sent to her introducing Jane to her new rep. The sales rep can now follow up with Jane directly on the specific product she’s interested in. Two top CRM platforms are Infusionsoft and Salesforce.
- Google: Google is a powerful tool for your website. First, make sure that your business is listed in the Google Maps directory so your location will come up in a search. Also, take advantage of Google AdWords. Finally, a must-have tool for your website is Google Analytics. Simply by adding a code to your website, Google Analytics will track all the data relevant to your website traffic so you can better know which direction to take with your marketing. Learn your bounce rate, time spent on site, page views, and traffic sources to target your marketing with greater precision.
By automating those mundane, day-to-day tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on the core of your business. This is the definition of the most powerful three-word business plan in the world: “Do less, better.”