UPDATE: We now support much deeper integration with Drip inside Training Tilt like tagging and conversions.
Marketing automation isn't something I knew existed until a few years ago when I started working on marketing for our community and coaching platform Training Tilt.
Since then I've taken some crash courses on the topic and because it's not something that most coaches have any experience in I'll be sharing my knowledge over my next few blog posts.
Adding some simple marketing automation for your coaching business will help you generate more revenue and free up your time.
A brief definition.
"Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier." - Hubspot.com
Hubspot is really designed for larger businesses with marketing teams dedicated to the sales and marketing operations.
Infusionsoft is one of the more popular marketing automation platforms in the coaching and endurance sport industry as it is targeted at smaller businesses. It's used by coaching businesses like Sansego, MaccaX and Purple Patch to automate processes like collecting email addresses and sending emails as part of a sales process.
Infusionsoft is a good product but it has two very big disadvantages for smaller businesses. The monthly fees are relatively expensive and it almost always requires hiring an Infusionsoft consultant to set up and maintain your automated sales processes and sales funnels.
Drip is a newer player in the marketing automation space and was created specifically to help smaller businesses. With Drip the pricing is much more affordable and the automation features are designed to be easy to use without needing to employ a consultant.
Why use marketing automation at all?
At this point you might be saying to yourself that you don't need any marketing automation. If you want to grow your business, generate more revenue and save more time to spend with your friends and family then automating your marketing processes is a great way to achieve that.
Some key uses of marketing automation for coaching businesses are;
- Getting a client from engagement to a sale is often a long process. Let it happen automatically so you don't have to manually follow up.
- You can create value for you prospective clients with educational emails and build trust and respect.
- You can use it to "onboard" new clients so when they signup to your services you can automatically send them a series of emails to help them get started without having to manually send them information.
- Track how engaged your prospects are by recording how often they read your emails, how often they visit your website and specific pages (like a signup page). Then send them personalized content or offers.
- Track when your prospects become clients through the payments integration then move them out of the sales funnel automatically.
Lightweight Marketing Automation That Doesn't Suck
Infusionsoft is not a good option for 99% of coaching business. It's relatively expensive and requires a lot of work to get setup. You'll probably have to pay a consultant to help you get started and then keep paying them when you need things changed.
That's where a product we've been using comes to the party to save us all time, money and frustration. Drip is lightweight marketing automation that starts at just $1 a month. That means you can take a bit of time to get setup without forking out a few hundred dollars a month for Infusionsoft subscriptions and thousands of dollars in consultants fees.
Watch the video about a Drip workflow to see what's possible.
I'm going to let you in on a few little secrets about how we get most of our own customers so you can also use them for your own business.
First up, offer something valuable and useful for free
To begin any marketing automation process you need first get your prospective clients into the process. The best way to do that is to offer something useful and valuable for free. All you require in return is an email address.
See that little bar and popup at the bottom left corner of the screen. I am using that to allow people to signup to our FREE 5 part course for your coaching business. That's a Drip feature. If you sign up it will trigger a series of timed emails with all the cool content that I created as part of the course. It's clever enough to remember if you've already signed up so won't popup and annoy you every time you read one of my blogs.
For a limited time the awesome team at Drip will set up your first course free of charge. All they need is a few of your blog posts or articles that they can turn into an email course.
Allowing you to offer free valuable content is just one feature. The real power of the tool is the advanced automation you can cycle your potential clients through after they've signed up to a course or just a normal newsletter or email list (yes it can replace mailchimp too!).
Next up you can start sending more information about your products and services
After you've gained some trust and shown the prospect that you know what you are talking about from your emails full of juicy useful tips you can start sending them some more information specific to the products and services you offer.
I won't go into too much detail around this today but you can setup automated workflows with a few rules about how many of your emails they've read, detect when they actually make a purchase from you and even just drop them out of the automation if they've triggered a goal (eg a sale of a training plan) or if they haven't been opening any of your emails at all (no point flogging a dead horse).
You can also send them manual emails and newsletters
You can also use Drip just to send manual emails to subscribers, notifying them when you've written a new blog, or if you have a special offer on.
A sample of what's possible when combined with Training Tilt
If you are a current Training Tilt customer there are some cool things you can do within Drip by creating an automated workflow with the goal of selling your Training Tilt products, services and membership plans.
First go and signup for Drip, don't forget it's only $1 a month to get started and they'll set up your first email campaign for free.
Setting up your important lead pages and scoring
You can tell Drip which of your pages are important for your sales cycle. If you are selling your coaching or membership plans through a signup page then you should add that in Drip so that you can use it in your automations. For example after you prospects visit your sales page 4 times and still haven't made a purchase you might want to send them a special offer to bring them over the line.
Go to the settings page and under the leads tab edit the pricing page option to your main sales page. In the case of your Training Tilt site this will probably be your signup page /signup or possibly one of your specific product pages or your general store page /store.
Lead scoring in Drip helps you determine which of your prospects are more engaged in your emails and also your website. You can read more about how to configure your lead scoring over on the Drip support site. Once set up you can use the lead scoring to trigger different emails or workflows in Drip. For example if a prospect reaches 100 points but hasn't signed up to your services yet you could send them a special offer or a voucher code or even offer a free 15 minute Skype call to see if they have any specific questions. Most likely if a prospect get's a high lead score they are interested in your products and services already and they just need one more reason to finalize their decision.
You'll want to connect up your Stripe account so you can track when your prospects purchase your products and services through your Training Tilt site. This is great because once a prospect becomes a customer you'll be able to move them in and out of your Drip automations. For example if they've signed up to your membership site you don't want to continue sending them messages trying to get them to signup.
Go to the settings page and under the integrations tab find the "Stripe" option and follow the guide to get connected.
As a coach, you are busy enough without having to manage manual marketing processes. At Training Tilt we use Drip every day to engage with our audience and automate our marketing processes. The guys at Drip are great and they helped us get started with our first campaign free of charge.
I'm going to leave it here for now and next time I'm going to take you through how to setup a more complex workflow to truly let the software do your marketing for you. In the mean time go and signup for a drip account and get started with the setup. And don't forget that Drip will setup your first email campaign for you, but only for a limited time so don't miss out.
Take our Free "Authentic" Marketing Course for Coaches
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