A new year means a fresh start, and for your business it might mean a lot of new goals. At this point, you’ve had time to analyze your results and statistics from the past year and decide where you’d like those numbers to be at the end of 2017.
If you spent January planning out your marketing goals—what you hope to achieve, which numbers you might realistically hit if you stretch—now you have a different task in front of you. Maybe one you’ve been putting off.
Now it’s time to start breaking down how you’re going to achieve those goals.
You stare at the spreadsheet listing all your marketing goals.
You look around the office at the staff who are supposed to be accomplishing those goals (or at your Slack channel if you work remote).
You look back at the spreadsheet.
You sneak a peek at your annual marketing budget.
How is it all going to get done with the resources you’ve got?
The answer to that question is often another question: what can you automate?
Here are five of the most common goals I’ve heard marketers express this year—and five automated ways to work toward them.
A quick vocab note if you’re new here: in this post, I’ll be talking a lot about workflows. If you use Drip, you can use our visual workflow builder to create comprehensive automated campaigns that can email, segment, and tag your prospects at exactly the right time. A workflow is like a roadmap that also drives the car for you.
That said, you don’t need to use Drip’s workflows to create these automated campaigns. It’ll be easier if you do, but go ahead and use whatever email automation software you prefer.
1. If Your Goal Is: Doubling Your Email List
How to meet it: Offer an automated email course (everywhere) on your website.
You’re probably always working to grow your email list. But if you’re looking to double or triple signups this year, you can do so easily and effectively with a great email course.
To build your own email course, start off by defining one big problem facing your ideal customer, which you have the knowledge (and ideally, existing content) to help with. Then, compile your blog posts or ideas on that topic and boil them down into a 5-part outline. Each section should be easily digestible and actionable.
Now, set up a campaign that will automatically send each part in an email, with a day in between. If you’re already using Drip, you can just find the email course campaign blueprint in your account and fill it in with your own information.
Add an opt-in form to your site, using the Drip widget or your favorite landing page or forms software.
Then, just send your campaign when new users sign up for the course, and you’ve got an easy-to-create but super valuable opt-in incentive.
The best part? Once you set it up, your email course will get you subscribers automatically, and you don’t have to touch it again.
For instance, AMZTracker, an analytics platform for Amazon merchants, uses a Drip widget to offer its Amazon SEO Crash Course:
And here’s how StickyFolios gets photographers on its list with a 5-part email series on getting more referrals:
Resources like these stay relevant to site visitors and keep pulling in new leads month after month.
2. If Your Goal Is: Earning More Revenue (in a Limited Market)
How to meet it: Create an upsell workflow that boosts your average customer value.
If you’re looking to increase revenue, one of the best places to turn is your average customer value. Existing customers already showed enough trust in your brand to purchase one product, so they’re already more likely to make another purchase.
An easy workflow that can help you to boost your average customer value is to build an upsell campaign into the post-purchase workflow for new purchases.
This workflow both delivers my ebook to new customers and also upsells my course to users who haven’t yet purchased that item:.
If you’re leery of annoying customers who’ve just put their credit cards away, don’t worry: your upsell campaign doesn’t have to be a hard sell.
For my upsell campaign for ebook buyers, I could use a series of three emails to guide customers toward my course:
Here’s how I’d break it down:
1. The accountability email: Customers who haven’t cracked open the first product they bought from me probably aren’t in the right place for an upsell. So first, I want them to engage with their original purchase. In this ebook example, I can check in to ask how much they’ve read and share the most useful quotes to inspire them to read more.
2. The implementation email: This email encourages buyers to take what they’ve read and apply it to get results. One of the “4 steps” can be buying my course, where they’ll be able to deepen their experience with the ebook topic. (If your product doesn’t necessarily have a strong action component, you can use this email to share other ways to explore your brand or catalog.)
3. The pitch email: Finally, I send an email that’s all about my upsell offer. A 10% discount makes existing customers feel like they’re getting something special, which—combined with the relationship I’ve built through my ebook and email sequence—should inspire many of them to sign up right away.
You can set up something similar to automatically nudge new customers to purchase your higher-value products, helping to increase your average customer value on autopilot.
3. If Your Goal Is: Launching a New Product
How to meet it: Build excitement beforehand with a prelaunch workflow.
A product launch can take over your life if you let it.
But that’s not how serial entrepreneur Zack Wenthe wanted to do things this time around.
“One of my biggest goals was to have everything as automated as possible so that we can scale and still have a family life,” he told me in the Drip user Facebook community recently.
And while you might not think you could automate necessary launch ingredients like building an audience and generating excitement … well, it turns out you can.
A pre-launch workflow allows you to educate your audience and get them excited about what you’re launching. In Zack’s case, he kicked off his ecommerce launch by offering a free gift certificate for anyone who joined the launch list.
Here’s one super-simple workflow you could use to try something similar:
Create triggers that will only send the most interested individuals to this list. In this example, I would create a form on my site specific to new product updates. (for example: “Sign up to be the first to know about the beta program for our new product and get a gift certificate for $20”)
I would also send an email to my list with a trigger link and tell them to click the link to get information about the forthcoming beta program for my newest product.
Since everyone opted in specifically for information about the new product, you can be sure that they’ll be your most invested leads and the most receptive audience for your launch.
Then comes the actual pre-launch campaign. I would recommend beginning with a couple of emails that educate your audience about the problem your brand new product will solve.
For instance, if I’m selling an ebook about how to write your first book, my prelaunch campaign could outline the struggle of book writing, how it differs from other styles of writing, and how challenging it is to commit to writing a whole book.
Then, when I send an email about the solution I’ve created, my audience will be chomping at the bit to get it.
I also added a goal to this workflow, which will pull readers out if they sign up for the beta program.
4. If Your Goal Is: Retaining More Customers
How to meet it: Follow up before the end of the renewal period.
If you’re looking to build stronger relationships with your customers, surprising and delighting them with appreciation emails is one great way to do that. By sending a check-in email before a renewal notice, you can turn a mundane day into an opportunity for surprise and delight. Plus, you can use this opportunity to get feedback, testimonials, and potentially even new affiliates.
In this workflow, I just set up a 274 day delay (about ¾ of the annual renewal period) before sending the check-in email.
Use this opportunity to ask how your customer is liking your product. Ask them to reply to the email, and work with your team to be sure you’re replying back. For happy customers, this is a great chance to get testimonials and recruit affiliates. It could also be a chance to address concerns and reduce churn for unhappy customers before their annual renewal comes up.
Bonus: if they reply, you can not only jump into a discussion with them, but, if they use gmail, you’ll also be moved out of their promotions tab in the future.
5. If Your Goal Is to: Increase Affiliate Sales
How to meet it: Automatically get interested customers into your affiliate program.
Affiliates are great for boosting your sales and generating buzz around your product. If you’re looking to increase affiliate sales this year, you can accomplish your goal in two ways: by both increasing affiliate sign-ups and increasing individual affiliates’ sales.
An easy way to get more affiliate sign-ups is to set up a workflow that will send customers who show interest in your affiliate program (by visiting your affiliate partnerships page) an email encouraging them to sign up.
To set this up, create a workflow triggered by a visit to the page with information about your affiliate program. Then, add a decision point to check whether or not the visitor is a customer.
If they are, a second decision will check if they’re already an affiliate. If not, send them a nudge by sending an email with additional information about your affiliate program.
What happens when they become affiliates? Just add to your workflow to help new affiliates get their first sale:
First, add a goal that’ll pull anyone who’s been tagged as an affiliate (thanks to your persuasive email earlier in the workflow) into this part of the campaign.
Once the affiliate tag is applied, an email automatically goes out to let them in on the top tips for affiliates, share helpful blog posts, and send them fill-in-the-blank swipe copy.
If you have tips that work better for customers of certain products, add a bonus email with the best tip for customers. In the workflow above, I also send an email to affiliates who have purchased my ebook to tell them that reviews work really well for ebook sales.
Affiliates who get their first sale quickly are likely to double down on their efforts and sell more for you. With this workflow, you can help them achieve that first win ASAP.
What Are Your Marketing Goals This Year?
We couldn’t cover every possible marketing goal here, but I’d still love to help you with your 2017 marketing goals if they didn’t make the list. Tell me in the comments: what’s your top marketing goal for the year? The team and I are standing by to give you some ideas.