5 Free Zapier automation's to help your business with marketing
5 Free Zapier automation's to help your business with marketing
In today’s digital world, more and more businesses are looking to automation to create efficiencies with their marketing. However, there are a plethora of software choices available to facilitate this need. We know that it can be quite the daunting task to research, implement, and test all these automated software services. Therefore, in this article we are going to cover the very basics of Zapier automation and help you choose the right solution for next marketing funnel.
What is automation?
The name may seem self explanatory, by definition automation is “the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.”
So how does this transpire into business and marketing?
If you are in the startup stages of your business, chances are you are wearing all the hats. Design, marketing, sales, operations, communications, accounting, etc. Therefore, this means that you are the single point of failure! There is a solution and that is to automate repetitive tasks using free software that many companies have already provided a solution for! This will free up your time and allow you to focus on your core strength within your business.
Perhaps your company is well established, with multiple staff, working big projects and have cost outlays. Identifying the bottlenecks within your business and introducing some sort of automation will allow your business to run without your manual input. The result is that your team gets to focus on their strengths and you on yours which should ultimately help your business remain profitable.
What areas can be automated?
When we speak about process based automation, and more specifically software (excluding electronic and mechanical automation), generally speaking we are referring to a Customer Relationship Management tool (aka CRM). If you are yet to transition your business to the digital format (a paper and pen style business), this means an ‘all-in-one’ software solution.
A CRM can manage the lifecycle of your business including:
- Inbound lead acquisition
- Sales funnels
- Quote and Invoices
- Client communication
- Staff communication
- Tasks and projects
- Payroll and accounting
- After sales support
- Social Media
The confusion usually lies within trying to select which CRM will suit your business. According to Forbes, in 2018 Worldwide spending on CRM software grew 15.6% to reach $48.2B. This results in an overwhelming list of options when trying to determine which suits your business needs. You must also consider that each CRM will have a varying learning curve and a varying expense. Both of which most businesses cannot afford to continually test, month after month, year after year.
So what CRM is best for you? This really depends on your industry niche. For tradespersons and service based business - ServiceM8 is popular. For online businesses - Hubspot or Keap are gaining popularity.
CRM Software Comparisons
You can review and compare any CRM software by going to https://www.capterra.com.au/
A list of suggested CRM systems for Service Based Business include:
A list of suggested CRM systems for other business niches include:
How to create your own CRM
While this may sound highly technical and very difficult, this can be achieved quite easily and without any knowledge of coding. There are advantages and disadvantages for creating your own CRM. The advantage is this becomes a cost effective way to establish what exactly your business needs and then you can make a data driven choice when you go ‘all-in’ and choose the CRM that will work for you. The disadvantage of course, is the time you may invest when your rudimentary CRM gets superseded when you do upgrade.
So now we will get into the juicy stuff and start creating our very own Zapier automation. Some of which you can do with little to no cost at all!
Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Trello, Mailchimp, and more. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration.
Zapier gives you up to 5 free ‘Zaps’ which have no date expiration. This means we can create 5 free Zapier automation that will help create your own database, manage communications, and integrate with some marketing. Pictured below is some examples of how you can create 5 Free Zapier automation.
Zap #1 - Build your database automatically
Connect your website contact form to Google Drive & Google Sheets. Your website should have a contact form. If your website is built on Wordpress, Squarespace or Webflow we can easily do this (unfortunately Wix does not have an integration).
This is the very beginning of building your database and creating your rudimentary CRM. This spreadsheet will become the tool which triggers the rest of your automations. Watch this video to see how this is done.
Zap #2 - Automated Customer Communication
Your website contact form probably goes to an email that you have designated for incoming leads. However, we all know how emails can get away from us. Some business owners do not reply to emails for hours and sometime after days or weeks. This is not good customer communication.
This second automation triggers as soon as someone, a new lead, contacts you. You may already have an ‘auto-reply’ set up on your website. This automation take the process a little further by customizing the email using ‘fields’ from the database created in Zap #1. Watch this video to see how this is done.
Zap #3 - Email Marketing Automation
Once you have gained a new lead. It is good practice to add this to your email marketing system. In this example we are going to use Mailchimp since we can do this using Mailchimp's free account.
Automating your email marketing will help your business grow through regular customer touchpoints. This doesn’t have to be sales or promotions. This can also be newsletters, blogs or branding. Whatever will help expose your customer to more content from your business.
We will set this up to happen automatically as soon as someone is added to your database from Zap #1. Note: Some websites already have a ‘Mailchimp’ integration meaning we can skip this Zap and use it elsewhere. Also be mindful of opt-in options and GDPR if you are selling overseas (especially Europe). Watch this video to see how this is done.
Zap #4 - Creating a Lead Follow Up Automation
All businesses have a to-do list. How they manage that to-do list may vary. There are many software options available and most CRM systems will have their own in built to do list (some of which integrate with Zapier). In this example we are going to use Trello since Trello is a free tool that uses the ‘kanban’ method of creating to-do lists.
You need to determine how you want to action the ‘to-do’s specific to your business needs. For this example I will create a ‘Leads to Call’ list in Trello. This will keep a simple list of new enquiries that come through the contact form on the website. If you upgrade to the paid version of Zapier, you can also create additional Zaps that trigger another automation once a ‘to-do’ has been done.
Zap #5 - Sharing Feedback on Social Media
Businesses will aspire to gain trust and authority through testimonials and reviews. Sometimes this can be an awkward question. And sometimes these referrals and reviews are not publicly seen. There are a few ways we can automate this. For trade and service based businesses we can create automatic incentives and reminders within the CRM ServiceM8 to acquire these reviews. Which can later be automatically posted to social media platforms.
In this Zap we will assume the review has taken place on Google (GBM). Within the Google Business Manager your business should have a unique ‘review’ link that will allow your customers to leave you a review. Which is great for Google searches. But why not share these reviews to Facebook or Instagram as they happen. With this integration whenever someone leaves a review on your Google Business listing, the review will automatically get posted to your social media accounts. Thus, increasing the visibility of your referrals across more platforms and also at the same time increasing your post frequency on your social media accounts. Watch this video to see how this is done.