What is automation, and how do I get started?

Automation can sound like science fiction to the average small business owner – but it’s not! Automation is all around us, and it’s become a critically valuable tool in modern marketing practice. 

If you’re wondering what it actually is, you’re in luck – that’s the focus of this week’s blog!

What is automation?

At Roobix, we believe automation is designed to bridge the gap between marketing and sales by taking manual handling out the picture. Automation helps you share information with your customers (or potential customers) at key points in their journey with ease. 

Now, automation in the broader world usually means removing an element of human activity involved in a task – but that’s not marketing automation. In marketing automation, customer service is still involved. You and your team will still be writing emails to customers, making phone calls and checking in.

But what automation does is help you to time those interactions better.

Automation vs. Old school

Say, for example, you run a service-based business like a plumbing company. In a traditional or ‘old school’ system, your potential customer might phone your business. If you miss the call, they may not call back. If they do, they ask for a quote. Then, you might take down their details on an Excel spreadsheet and phone them back with the quote later in the day. If they accept, you set up a date and time, perform the job, send the invoice, get paid and call it a day. Simple and effective – but it’s not the best in the long run. 

If you used automation, the process might look a bit more like this: 

Say your potential lead requests a quote online, submitting their email address and phone number. Your automation software stores this information on a database under their name. After the quote request is sent, your automation software sends an automated email back to the customer: ‘We’ll phone you back with a quote!’ 

You get an alert on your phone or email that you need to phone the potential customer. If they accept, you tell that to the automation software, input the details and it will send off an email with the date and time that your plumber is coming. They also get a second SMS reminder on the morning of the job. After the job is done, they get a third email thanking them for their service and leaving details to phone if anything goes wrong. At the bottom, it also contains a Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT) asking them to rate your work. If they rate below an 8/10, you can phone them and find out what went wrong. If they rate above an 8/10, you can request a testimonial, case study or a Google review from them. These will help attract new customers to your business in future. You also now have quantified performance data – and you can truthfully say your customers are satisfied with your work. 

So there’s a lot you can do with a bit of information! We call all of that an automation workflow, and we map them out like this:

automation workflow

All of that was made possible by an email address and automation technology – and the best part is, you barely had to lift a finger! All of those pre-written emails are sent out automatically, saving you valuable time and money. 

This is just a super simple example of what automation can do – there are many, many more possibilities. In this instance we didn’t even explore the alternatives – for example, if the lead had rejected the initial quote you could send a follow-up email asking why. Another example using a longer time frame – in three months, you could send an email prompting them to have their pipes checked. In a year, you could send an email in winter about hot water unit servicing. Mapping these options and key events is a critical part of the automation process, and that’s something we specialise in at Roobix. 

How do I get started with automation?

The best-in-class automation technology can be a bit complex for the average user, and especially for a time-poor business owner. But working through a marketing consultancy like Roobix can help you harness the best benefits of automation without having to learn high-level software operation yourself. 

At Roobix, we use our in-house automation program Roobot. Roobot has all the smarts you need without the hefty price tag. It coordinates data, insights and intelligent workflows to convert web visitors to hot sales leads – and that makes it one of the most powerful tools in the B2B marketing toolbox! 

That’s especially true if paired with Roobix’s Managed Marketing Service. For less than the cost of an in-house marketing manager, our MMS gives you access to a whole team of 40+ marketing specialists with unique skills in design, copywriting, social media, Google Ads, search engine optimisation, branding, strategy and of course – automation!

If you’d like to have a chat about how automation could benefit your business, reach out for a chat. We’re always happy to help – obligation-free!

 Reach out today on 13 30 40 or drop us a line at info@roobix.com.au.

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