Working with our customers, I often see the same mistakes that they make in the first steps of implementing marketing automation or salesfunnels. They are all typical, and so I decided to make a list of such mistakes and tell how to avoid them. To facilitate the perception of information, I will try to joke and use allegories.
No matter, even if you are James Bond, but if you come to the ball without pants, you won't be liked by secular ladies. The same situation is in the business.
You should have a good website where the consumer can understand the essence of your offer. It can be a multi-page website, a landing page, an Instagram account, an exhibition stand, etc.
In fact, this is your lead magnet and the place where you make an offer. You must look nice. It doesn't mean that you need to order an expensive design. But it's necessary to make the place of contact with the client looking fine.
Many times I've seen entrepreneurs who were inspired by a mystical salesfunnel that had brought millions. But if it works for others, it doesn't mean that it will work for you.
Marketing automation needs to be set up when you already have a more or less good-looking site. You have a presentation and some other promotional materials. Ideally, these are articles and videos. Therefore, in the beginning, make a good landing and only then think about automatic salesfunnels.
A good landing is a pretty wide concept. The designer has one vision of a cool landing, the marketer has a different one, and the consumer has a third. Beautiful landing is not equal to a good landing.
Naturally, it all depends on your niche and goals, but for 99% of businesses, the most important packaging criterion is the clarity of the offer. It sounds corny, but most sites are incomprehensible to the end-user. Imagine you are a website visitor. You ask some questions, and the website should answer them.
Here is a list of questions, answering which, your landing page will immediately become clearer, and the conversion will increase:
- What do they offer me to get/to buy on this site?
- What problem does this offer solve?
- How will they solve my problem?
- Why exactly this method or product should solve this problem?
- Why is this company and not another?
- What guarantees do I have that they will solve my problem?
- Have they already solved such a problem for someone else?
- Where can I find out more about how this product solves this problem?
- Can I try it for free?
- Can I start with something inexpensive?
- How can I contact this company?
You can place the answer to each question on one scroll of your landing page. Here are 11 questions. So, there should be 11 scrolls on the landing. You can create a mock-up in a special program and give a task to the designer. Just answer these questions and give pictures. Using it, a good designer will make a good website.
First, make a good landing, and only after that begin to automate the sales process.
It is the second most common mistake.
People have seen enough of webinars and attended trainings, where they were told about miracle technologies that would solve their problems. Then they create a website and want to automate everything immediately. But at this stage, it isn't clear what needs to be automated, because there were no sales.
Any automation is an improvement of existing technology. And how can one improve the thing that doesn't exist?
It looks like a virgin in the sex shop who has watched a lot of porn films. He has a desire to fulfill all his fantasies, but in fact, he is far from reality. And first, he needs to get the experience.
First, you need to learn to sell without automation in the usual manual ways. Called, sold, shipped, or provided a service. When you make 10 sales, you will have a certain number of objections and routine processes. Some functions or software will automate one of these processes. Some content will overcome the objections.
So, step by step, you will automate sales.
First, you need to learn to sell "somehow", make 5-10 sales, and only then make automation.
Traveling in eastern countries, you must have come across street vendors. They pester, impose goods, and live like that. In the tourism business on a stream of people, this scheme works. There is no need to build relationships with customers because new ones will come tomorrow.
But in many businesses, the situation is radically different, especially if you have a complex technological product that people haven't encountered before.
For example, fireplaces. How can a person know what kind of fireplace he needs? Moreover, the architects who design the cottages are also not well versed in fireplaces. Why don't fireplace makers do fireplace makers' schools?
Many companies start just selling their products, rather than educating consumers. Look at the big brands. They have been training their target audience for years to consume their products. They train to buy from themselves.
A vivid example is a toothpaste. As a child, I didn't understand why I should brush my teeth twice a day. Why two, why not three?
Large manufacturers of toothpaste taught dentists, and then consumers to brush their teeth twice a day. This idea is so deep in our minds. You think: "Somebody brushes his teeth once a day? What a nightmare…"
Large companies have resources for a massive "university." Today, technology allows you to open your own small university and educate your consumers. Create a blog and write articles, open a YouTube channel, and share your construction cases.
Teach people to buy your product, rather than impose it.
This mistake follows from the previous one. If you don't educate people, you don't have useful content. If you don't have content, you won't be able to profit from marketing automation.
When entrepreneurs think about implementing salesfunnels and CRM, it seems to them that the more they make touches, the better. To some of them, this is true. But if you don't have useful contact, soon you will become a source of irritation.
I'll tell a story about my college friend who tried to wear the girls down. Naturally, he did not succeed. He phoned them and invited them for a walk. They refused him. He didn't understand this and continued to phone. At some point, they stopped picking up. He wrote them SMS on Facebook Messenger.
In his picture of the world, he thought that the more he reminds himself, the better.
But he wasn't interested in women as a product. It sounds obvious, but in business, we do the same. We fill up the consumer with "stocks" and "new products".
Content is the semantic bullet that you want to convey to your consumer. An automaton is a way of communication. When you don't have content, you fire blanks, spending energy and time.
Marketing automation doesn't work without useful content.
Probably everyone makes this mistake. I've already written about the combination of email and messengers. All communication channels are good, and you need to use everything that is on the market today.
I repeatedly see how many people implement either email or messenger.
You can implement these two tools in parallel. The same goes for marketing. We created the content and we sent it by email, sent it in the messenger, sent SMS and only then we called.
Introducing new communication channels is the easiest. The most difficult process is creating content.
Use as many communication channels as possible.
Who gets annoyed with a pop-up? Everyone. But they work. The main thing is to give useful information. Discounts aren't the best option, but they also work.
We have a client who sells wallpapers. He has the easiest entrance to the salesfunnel. A pop-up appears on the website and offers a discount that you can get by going to the wallpaper store. It works flawlessly.
Thanks to this function, he recaptured the cost of creating a salesfunnel in 2 months. And the salesfunnel has been working for more than a year (you can find this case on our YouTube channel). If you ask people: "Do you like pop-ups?" - All of them will answer in the chorus "no". You always need to look at what people are doing, not what they say.
As practice shows, everyone willingly leaves contacts if you give something interesting in return.
In addition to the conversion on the page, you get additional registrations from popups.
I will give an example.
On one of our landing pages, the conversion is 17% from entering the registration form. In addition to this, there is a popup with a proposal to get a list of digital services. It has a conversion of 10%. It is not always shown, but it has made its 1300 appearances.
As a result, we got 139 leads.
It turns out 1125 + 139 = 1264 leads. Total conversion increased from 17 to 19%. That is, only 2% in general. But in large volumes, this greatly affects the result.
When you implement this technology, it is important to compare the results with similar niches. My practice shows that the results can be very different.
In information niches, the conversion can be 10-15%. In the sales of complex services, it is less than 1%. It is necessary to test and make different lead magnets. No one knows which one will work.
Looking at other people's niches, you can easily get sick with an inferiority complex. It is important to compare apples with apples.
The introduction of the pop-up won't make things worse.
This mistake is made by people from offline businesses or those who sell physical goods. For example, concrete, furniture, or brick. Usually, such guys go to training, where a charismatic coach talks about the food matrix and give everyone the task to work it out.
And sad makers of bricks sit and think that something is wrong with them. Everyone succeeds, but they don't.
If your niche doesn't allow you to make a tripwire for $ 1, you don't need to suffer. It is clear that if you sell fireplaces, no one will buy any product on the thank you page for $ 1. Don't try to pull the structure of the digital product business into a classic offline business. Think with your own head.
It doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a tripwire. It may be different and may cost differently.
The main task of the tripwire is to switch relations to monetary in such a way when the client is much more profitable than you.
Maybe shipping 20 tons of bricks for 20 thousand dollars in your niche is a very good deal for the client, and he will start working with you. I don't know. You need to be inventive and take into consideration a niche and a specific situation.
The same story goes with the sale on the thank you page. In the digital business, it works very well. In other niches, it is difficult. Don't torture yourself. Make a regular survey and an additional warm-up video on the thank you page, and it will be enough. Just saying: "Thank you, we will call you back soon" is a crime, but it's okay to make a survey and video.
If you attend any training and listen to any salesfunnel maker, you will hear that the system can sell without a manager. It can, but not in all niches. In the sale of digital goods, you can really make people buy without a manager.
If you sell services, then selling without a manager is almost impossible. The more expensive the product is, the more you need a manager. The more complex the product is, the more a manager is needed.
The mistake is that many people begin to project the experience of others on their company, without understanding the differences in the business model.
At the conference, the guy talks about the magic of salesfunnels. While he is lying on the beach, sales works without managers. But he sells courses. For him, the key business process is to be on the beach, because everyone wants to be there and think that he knows some kind of cheat code and will share it with his audience for money.
Without realizing this, the guy who sells industrial ventilation comes to the office, yells at everyone in the sales department, and starts making a miraculous salesfunnel. He does everything as mega-coach said, but this theory doesn't work.
I saw people putting a card payment button on a thank you page in the style of "Pay for ventilation equipment right now". Naturally, there were no sales.
Marketing automation is good. But in different niches, it works differently and the goals are also different. Somewhere the task is to sell without a manager, and somewhere just to warm up the client. If you were given a hammer in your hands, it doesn't mean that there are nails everywhere.
In some niches, you can sell without a manager, but in others it is impossible.
It is necessary to choose the software for growth since then it is difficult to switch between them.
Imagine you need to swim across the Pacific Ocean. You can choose a boat. You have to choose between more expensive and bigger or cheaper and smaller. If there is no storm, then the Pacific Ocean can be crossed on a small boat. But if you get into the storm, then saving money can cost you a life.
The same goes with software. It is better to take on growth to cope with the future "storm", which sooner or later comes in business. (if it doesn't come, why are you doing all this?)
Many times I saw people who tried to make a "Pacific liner" out of a "yacht". Naturally, they didn't succeed, and they spent a lot of money.
You need to use good software immediately. The concept of "I'll try this now and then change" is destructive.
By searching in Google "drip sales funnel, marketing automation funnel", you will see terrible things on the pictures. They are incomprehensible, mysterious, and it seems to you that the author of such a scheme knows something that you don't know.
Such schemes mean nothing, so don't pay attention to them. Don't estimate a person's expertise with the help of schemes.
It is important to understand a few things.
All these complex schemes are made in mindmap software like Xmind, moqups, etc. These are just pictures that have nothing to do with real automation in software.
Such maps often include unnecessary actions, which in fact are obvious. They are put here only for mass.
This is like to descript the business process of sending an email to a client: turn on the computer, launch the browser, open Gmail, click on the button, send a letter, type a subject, address, etc.
This can make you laugh because such a process for trained people can be described with the words "send a letter." But my grandmother would be delighted with such an instruction since these actions are new to her.
When someone tries to sell you marketing automation services, you are the "grandmother". In such schemes, they begin to write all the actions that are obvious for an experienced person. They aren't even included.
Large automation schemes aren't effective at all. The first symptom of an amateur in salesfunnels is when he has one big automation, in which all the processes are. Automation can be large. The main thing is that the marketer shouldn't try to put all the processes in one automation. I want to say right away that everyone falls into this trap. I was there too.
The main thing is to understand this quickly and change the tactics of developing a salesfunnel. When you start creating a salesfunnel, you will face up with the desire to make a large, intricate scheme. When you look at it, on your subconscious, you tell yourself: "Here I am, I am awesome, I made such a funnel".
In fact, a good salesfunnel is assembled from small processes, as in the picture. It is very boring and doesn't look impressive. But this exactly works. I didn't write this article in order to impress you but in order to make you understand how this actually works.
Don't rely on one complex scheme. There should be a lot of them, and they will be small and ugly.
For many entrepreneurs, a salesfunnel is associated with dialing, the magic word of a robot-manager, after which everyone hurries to buy your product.
Believe me, dialing is the last thing you need to think about in a salesfunnel.
Dialing works well only in educational projects and in the event business, where you need to notify a huge number of people about an event quickly. In all other niches, it is better to forget about the dialing. At least at the very beginning.
Don't overdo with the amount of communication. Remember the story of my friend who first called his ladies, then wrote SMS, and then contacts them in the messenger when they blocked him. Don't be like that. Better focus on creating good content.
Don't implement dialing and SMS immediately.
This mistake is very rare because for some reason that I don't understand, few people who use auto-webinars. But there are those who immediately want to automate everything and take on difficult tasks without mastering the basics.
Yesterday they didn't have a landing yet, and today they are already doing auto-webinars. It doesn't work, and you just waste your time.
First, you need to host at least 10 live webinars.
Then implement a special script for selling webinars. Understand that your product is being bought and only then make an auto-webinar.
Next, you can simulate a real webinar with comments, questions, and answers using an auto-webinar. You can learn more about this technology on our YouTube channel and blog.
I had many customers who built wonderful salesfunnels. Attending rate of an auto-webinar was more than 60% (an average is 15-25% in the market). But the problem was that the content of the auto-webinar didn't convert visitors.
Before you make an auto-webinar, you need to hold 10 live webinars and understand which of them convert visitors to buyers.
I heard the phrase "a donkey and a Boeing" from a very successful businessman with billions in turnover.
This concept struck me.
The bottom line is that business is a means of transportation.
Someone has a donkey, someone has a horse, someone has a Boeing, and someone goes on a spaceship. Each vehicle requires its own control devices. When you ride a donkey, it is important to know how much he can walk and when he wants to eat. That's all the metrics. When you have a Boeing, you need a lot of instruments on the panel.
I know an entire caste of entrepreneurs who like to count everything. As a rule, these are people with a logical way of thinking, and it is easy for them to fall into the trap of numbers. They have a "yard level" business, but they want to control everything and see the metrics.
Imagine that you are riding a donkey, but have surrounded yourself with Boeing instrument panels. In addition to slowing down, these devices won't give you anything. It's like introducing sophisticated analytics when you spend $1000 on advertising.
I have also seen people who want to make decisions based on data without investing in it. It doesn't happen like this. Getting data is expensive. And you need to be ready for this.
All this hysteria with numbers comes from business trainers. They sell what entrepreneurs and top managers want to hear. These are the words: stability, risk reduction, accurate calculation, and calculation of ROI, ROMI, LTV, and all that stuff.
No one is interested in hearing the answer "I was just lucky" or "Well, somehow it worked out." Everyone loves secrets, and business consultants talk about these secrets.
Business isn't a science. This is art. If everything could be calculated, then all mathematicians would be billionaires. If you don't believe me, read the book "Black Swan".
Numbers are a terrible thing. They can help a lot, but they can do a lot of harm.
It is important to understand that I don't want you to be chaotic and refuse to make an accounting. You need to count conversions, see where you are moving, and be prepared for the unexpected. You just don't need to try to calculate the payback of advertising to the nearest cent.
We always want a detailed map of the area. But the map gives an approximate picture of the terrain, not an exact copy. So it is in business. Metrics is a map thanks to which you can go in the right direction, but you still need to look under your feet.
It is especially important in small business when the number of actions is much more important than the numbers themselves.
Don't try to measure everything in a small business. Measure bit by bit.
In my opinion, video is the most important stage of marketing automation and the best way to give information.
Today, you can record video elementarily with a regular smartphone. Many companies, especially in small businesses, believe that video should be cool. This is an illusion, and video bloggers know this.
Now people want to see people who are just like them.
An ordinary Bob, who shows how he builds a cottage of red bricks and is happy.
Of course, a celebrity in the frame and good editing is great. But a bad video is better than not having a video. Moreover, if you have no experience in recording videos, don't try to do this with paid contractors. It is the first step that is troublesome.
First, practice on an iPhone just to talk about your company. Do it just on the background of the white wall of the house - and put it on the website.
Some time will pass, and you will take the next step. Go to the studio and prepare the text. So, step by step, you will begin to create good content.
First, make a bad video. Then make a good one, and only then make excellent.
When you begin to implement marketing automation, you will have to deal with many software and make an integration between them. It is best to do this through special software like Apiway.
Integration should be maneuverable and in both directions.
Usually, everyone does everything in one direction and becomes highly dependent on such a situation. Integrations are like roads between buildings. Imagine what will happen to the transport system of the city if there is one-way traffic everywhere.
You need to use software integrators to build a good digital ecosystem.
This mistake is the rarest, but the most expensive. Inspired by all the stories about CRM and automation, many fall into the illusion of uniqueness. They think they have very specific business with very specific business processes.
Once I came to a company that told me how they send specific offers, then they specifically call and ask, "how are you." Instead of setting up ready-made services for themselves, they begin to develop their own. It's the most expensive mistake you can make.
Creating your own CRM, email marketing services, marketing automation service is the invention of the wheel. You just need to learn how to use existing wheels. It is faster and cheaper.
If you aren't a product IT company, you shouldn't develop anything.
The idea of CRM systems is based on agile and kanban management methodology. It came from the IT world to optimize project management.
If you google these words, you will see the familiar deal stages. In fact, CRM is the kanban method, but for sales. It resembles a pipe (salesfunnel) along which the client moves. Many companies confuse the sales process and the project management process and try to do them in one system.
Naturally, each software has its own tasks, and it cannot cope with other tasks. A project management tool cannot be a CRM, and a CRM cannot be a project management tool. This is logical and seems to be understandable, but businesses don't understand where the line is between them.
In IT companies they know this and understand the differences for a long time, but ordinary businesses have a problem with this.
Because of this misunderstanding, using different IT systems, users have the idea that the developers of these systems are idiots and make tools inconvenient for work. In fact, idiots are not they, but users who don't understand which tool to use.
You need to understand that CRM is only for sales, not for project management.
For example, in the construction of houses there can be such stages: left the application, the application is processed, the proposal is submitted, got acquainted with the proposal, paid, measurements of the plot of land, design, construction of the frame, home decoration, completion of the project.
On the one hand, it's logical to do everything in one system, but as you can see in this example the stages from "left the application" to "measurements of the plot of land" are sales. And stages from the "measurements of the plot of land" to the end are the fulfillment of obligations. That is, it's project management.
These two salesfunnels need to be separated and work in different software. There is special software that integrates them. For example, when a customer's card proceeds to the "paid" stage in the CRM system, a project is created in the Trello service at the "measurements of the plot of land" stage.
What is the difference between these systems? In project management, cards are moved back and forth, put a million comments and tasks, change responsible person, etc.
It's difficult to explain if you haven't encountered this before. Just believe it. In IT companies, it has been divided for a long time. If it was possible to conduct sales and project management in one system, IT specialists would have done it long ago. But they, on the contrary, distinguish these processes and do the right thing.
CRM processes help to bring the client from the application to the money at the box office. Project management is all that is after "cash on hand" and fulfillment of obligations to the client.
It's apples and oranges. Don't try to implement project management tools in CRM.
Introducing new technologies is the right decision, but you need to know the pitfalls that you will inevitably encounter. If you are an innovator by nature, it doesn't mean that everyone is like you.
Previously, I didn't understand how to work in Excel or send emails manually. I looked at people and didn't understand why things like that were happening. The first thing you will face up is employees.
If you are an employee of the company and want to introduce modern technology, you will encounter a misunderstanding of the leadership. There will always be people who are against new technologies, and very often they don't do it on purpose. The protest is in their subconscious.
The main thing is to disagree with this. This is actually difficult because in certain areas your competence will be less than it is of another employee. And he will convincingly protest, referring to the fact that he has been doing this for 15 years and other ways are impossible.
New technologies need to be implemented in separate departments of your company. If you have one department in which several employees work, you need to find the most loyal and test on it.
Let's say there are 5 people in your sales department and two in the marketing department. In an informal setting, you can begin to inform the employees that you want to introduce a technology that will solve certain problems.
Then ask their opinion and ways of solving this problem.
Look at the enthusiasm.
Usually, in the company, there are always people who want to prove themselves in something new. Next, tell your implementation option and ask who wants to lead the adventure with new technologies. Then you support the enthusiast in every way and make everything for his success.
The main thing in this situation is to show an example to everyone else that this is the right decision and there is a concrete result.
This is necessary to make the skeptic doesn't have excuse options. After the new technology is implemented by one group of people, you suggest the others to switch to the new technology. For using the new technology, you can give some kind of bonus.
Once one-third of your company has mastered the new technology and you are sure that it works, the use of the new technology becomes mandatory and all skeptics reluctantly switch to the new system.
You should never introduce new technologies at once throughout the entire company.
It is necessary to implement it in a small area, to get a minimum result.
Show everyone that there's a result and it works, and only then do the expansion of implementation. Based on my personal experience, in the company, you will always find a skeptic who doesn't want changes. You need to accept this and act.
In the beginning, implement new systems only with loyal employees.
It's a common problem for all bad managers. They think that if they hire someone from outside, their problem will be solved by itself. If you came up with the idea to introduce new technologies, you should manage this process. If an employee comes to you with such an offer, you need to give him a full carte blanche and free his hands.
Have you ever seen a general who started a military campaign, and then said: "Well, go, take the fortress, you know everything. And I'll go to the ball"? It doesn't work like that. The soldiers are fighting for those who are with them in the trenches. You need to participate in the process or give up this idea.
If the idea of implementation is yours, you should manage this process. Don't shift the responsibility.
The leader must be an integrator of changes in the company.
There are many companies that have realized the value of content. But most of them don't promote this content and engage users in the consumption of this content. To write an article on a blog and think that users will search for it themselves is an illusion.
I'll tell a story about another friend who works as an architect. In the construction business, many contractors are fed by architects. An architect is a link between the customer and the contractors. Therefore, all those who sell building materials, furniture, and equipment try to make friends with designers and architects.
Many people call companies and offer partnerships, but if the furniture maker calls the architect and says: "We are the SuperFurniture company, we have been on the market for 20 years, we offer mutually beneficial cooperation to designers", after this phrase the top architects will have a gag reflex.
Smarter furniture companies build personal relationships and organize social events.
My friend designer always went to such social parties where furniture makers gave him cocktails and gifts. Thanks to social events and gifts, the contractors were in the info-field of my friend. As soon as he had an order, he immediately remembered those who had given him a drink.
It would seem that everything is fine, but after a while, my friend was tired of secular evenings of designers, where everyone is engaged in self-PR.
All events are the same and the ones who attend them are beginners. Mastodons-architects with serious orders have already retired, they are sitting with their wives at home, and they are difficult to contact.
My friend also stopped attending such events, and all the contractors fell out of his info-field. As a rule, the model of attracting and warming up leads for furniture makers and other similar guys is based on social events and personal calls. But they have no automation.
They can invest thousands of dollars in an event but forget to take contact information. The maximum that I saw was calling the base with a proposal to join the chat in the showroom.
Moreover, such companies, as a rule, already have presentation videos, booklets, and other printed materials that they give out at events when designers drink wine and draw in front of each other.
At those moments, designers never look at these booklets. This paradox is incomprehensible to me.
There are companies that try to automate everything without content, and there are companies that have been on the market for 20 years, they have good offline packaging, a lot of cases, but they have no automation they can send to designers and architects.
If you have something to show and have something to tell about in a personal meeting, then you can safely implement marketing automation.
If you have content and have no automation, you're weird.
For this mistake, you need to be beaten! Of course, this is figuratively, but precisely this mistake prevents companies from earning thousands of dollars.
And this is always in this way.
When people don't have traffic, they build a system that gives maximum conversions. But when companies have good traffic, they don't automate the processes and get profit with massive amounts.
I have advised many companies that have millions of traffic and do nothing with it.
This is a long-term business, where it is historically. For them, it is commonplace.
There are companies that can earn with the help of contextual advertising without marketing automation. In their picture of the world, automation is not much needed. In my picture of the world, if they already have such a result, then automation increases their profit immediately by 2 times.
A client with a dance store came to me once. He had an online store and 2 offline stores. Traffic was coming from contextual advertising and it worked well. He had a very poor site, but since the niche was wide, and the players in it were not technically competent, these guys managed to make good results even with clumsy marketing.
If they worked like that in the niche of household appliances, this business would go bankrupt in six months. I did an audit and realized that they didn't even do a newsletter. It means that they didn't return people to their salesfunnel.
There was a sign-up form on their website.
It turned out that they had 18 thousand email addresses that simply had registered a long time ago. And this company didn't send a newsletter to this database.
I almost cried when I saw this nightmare.
I see how our customers in competitive niches fight for every application and open letter, and here they were so neglectful about leads but their business works.
Looking at this, I understand that by implementing the simplest automation, you can make repeat sales and turn off the context, which absorbs thousands of dollars a month.
Unfortunately, they didn't use my services. I thought they had found someone else, but recently I went to their website, and nothing had changed there.
If you pay more than $ 2,000 a month for advertising or you have organic traffic of more than 50 people a day and you don't do marketing automation, you are a criminal!
These were the most basic mistakes in marketing automation and now you have every chance not to repeat them.
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