Do you feel as though your business and your website need your attention constantly?
That if you stepped away for a few days it would mean your sales bottom out and suddenly no money would be coming in the door?
Makes it very hard to go on a holiday, or take some time off if you get sick, doesn’t it?
Yet, it seems all around you, your competitors and other entrepreneurs are absolutely killing it in their businesses!
They seem to have it all, right? An amazing, successful business that makes money and sells like hot cakes. AND they seem to have a life too right? Time to pursue passions, time with loved ones.
It all seems so effortless huh.
Meanwhile, you’re over here, spinning away on your little hamster wheel, stuck in comparison-ville.
I know how it feels and it absolutely sucks!
Hang in there! I have a solution for you.
It’s Sales Automation! Let me show you how in 3 easy steps.
I remember about six years ago, so back in 2010, I was expecting my third child. Even though I didn’t plan on taking much maternity leave, I knew I’d need to have the flexibility to “take my eye off the ball”, so to speak, for a few months.
And that meant that, whilst I wasn’t there to run the ship, I somehow had to make sure that sales continued to grow!
I needed to get more eyeballs on website AND capture those leads and turn them into sales.
The solution for me was to automate my sales system
It’s possible to automate the process of generating traffic, converting the first sale (at a really good average order value), AND motivating those customers to come back and buy more than once.
How much would YOU love to automate the process of building a crowd of obsessed brand fans who’ll salivate over your every single offering, and who’ll buy from you repeatedly? This is what “sales automation” is and I reckon it’s the holy grail of eCommerce marketing!
Here’s exactly how I did that:
1. Attract & Convert Customers
In the early days of eCommerce, there wasn’t nearly so much competition out there. It was possible to have success by being very generic in your positioning and to target a very broad audience.
Those big players are well established now, though. So for new players to gain traction, we need to niche down. We need to serve a very specific audience, and we need to be clear on who they are and how they buy.
Let me give you an example:
Are you selling kids clothing?
Or are you selling funky, hard-wearing threads for the outdoor adventure-loving little super hero?
What kind of marketing messaging will appeal to your exact customer?
And what is the ultimate benefit they are buying in your product?
Bottom line is…
Not everyone will be obsessed with you, but some will – your job is to work out who those people are.
Clarifying the kind of customers you want to serve gives you the power to absolutely knock their socks off with your perfectly-matched products, your mouth-watering content, and your promotions will start generating a shoe-sale-frenzy level of excitement amongst your tribe!
Once you’ve attracted the right audience to your website, you want to convert as many of them from browsers into buyers.
So let me ask you:
Do you believe you’ll make more sales if only you could get more people to visit your website?
I’m sorry to say, that’s not the total solution. People rarely buy from you the first time they’re on your site.
But if they’re on your site, they’re likely to fit your ideal customer profile. So you don’t want to lose them, do you?
The solution – collect their emails
So that you don’t miss out on any potential sales from these first-time non-buying visitors to your website, you want to collect their name and email address.
We call these email subscribers “leads” – they’re your potential customers.
You want to entice as many potential customers to subscribe to your email list as possible. You do this by offering them an incentive, such as a discount or coupon or a free downloadable gift of some kind (called a ‘lead magnet’).
But, what are you gonna do with those email addresses next?
Hint: you do NOT simply add them to your email newsletter list!
Our goal is to move your customers from just-found-out-about-you to ‘YES-I’m-buying-this-product-now!’
And you’ll never achieve that by sending out ad-hoc newsletter blasts to your entire email list.
The key to increasing the number of customers who buy from you is…
Follow up with your new subscribers and make them an offer they can’t refuse!
Direct selling experts will always say you need to follow-up multiple times in order to get a sale. The money is in the follow-up.
You should be following up a minimum of three times, which means having a minimum of three emails in the automated email sequence you send to new subscribers.
Here’s what goes in those emails:
You want to introduce brand and present the benefits of buying your stuff, plus present an irresistible offer.
You want to show some social proof, like customer testimonials, and remind the reader of your irresistible offer.
And the last email is a ‘don’t miss out – this is your last chance to grab this incredible introductory offer’ kind of email. Fear of missing out is an incredibly effective motivator after all!
There are only 3 ways to increase your sales and profits online:
- Increase the number of customers who buy from you,
- Increase your average order value, or
- Increase the frequency your customers buy from you.
By attracting the right people to your website, growing your email list and presenting the right offer or incentive in your follow-up email campaign, you can increase the number of customers buy from you AND potentially increase your average order value. That’s sales automation in action right there!
There’s one more way to increase the number of customers who buy from you, and it’s a super powerful one…
2. Reclaim abandoned carts
Lots of people abandon their shopping cart. It’s kinda like window shopping, right?
You go online, browse around for a bit, add some stuff you like to your cart.
And then, up to 70% of these punters leave your website without completing their purchase!
Why do people abandon their cart? Do they not love my stuff?
Well there’s lots of reasons. Most often its because they were presented with unexpected costs (like when shipping is only calculated at the checkout).
People also abandon their carts because they were interrupted or because it was too hard to complete on their mobile, and loads of other reasons.
Why should you chase someone who didn’t love your stuff enough to buy?
People who add a product to their shopping cart (but don’t check out) are actually your warmest leads!
These people are what we call your ‘low hanging fruit’. They’re the easiest ones to convert because they’ve already demonstrated that they really like your stuff!
Reclaim your abandoned carts – on autopilot!
By using an automated email sequence to follow up with these punters, you’ll reclaim these lost sales 10-15% of the time.
Given most people abandon their carts due to the shipping fees, I usually like to offer a free shipping coupon to incentivize people to complete their purchase.
A sales increase of 10-15% that you can AUTOMATE is nothing to sneeze at!
3. The secret sauce to turbocharge your eCommerce sales.
“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” (Alex Shultz, VP Growth, Facebook).
The first sale from a new customer is rarely all that profitable. When you take into account discounts or incentives, or the cost of advertising, your profit margin will be eroded.
The solution? Sell more to existing customers.
And you can automate this process by sending a post-purchase email sequence to all first-time customers.
This sequence includes a Welcome message and a series of Getting Started emails, followed by a cross-sell or up-sell offer.
Part 1 of your post-purchase automation
Take your welcome emails seriously. Sure, it’s an opportunity to say “hi” and “thank you” and give them an idea of what to expect.
Your goal initially is make absolutely certain their first experience with your product a positive one!
(Because happy customers buy again. Unhappy customers tell 10 friends, so you lose x 10!)
Then, you want to ask for a review! Do this BEFORE you ask them to buy from you again.
We all know how influential social proof can be at getting new customers to buy. So make sure this review-request is an automated part of your post-purchase process.
Part 2 of your post-purchase automation
This is where the rubber hits the road.
Where you get to convert your one-time buyer into a repeat buyer.
It’s time to make your customer a really great offer that entices them to place a second order with you.
Offer them a product (or product category) that makes sense as a next purchase on from their first order.
Or, offer them an incentive to buy more of the same.
And, like in the very first automation, you want to include a couple of follow-up emails to remind them about this offer!
Tips for successful post-purchase sales automation
When automating these messages, make sure you schedule them to be sent during business hours. (An automated message sent 30 seconds after someone purchases at 3am doesn’t exactly look personal!)
With Get Started emails, the idea is to encourage customers to take action quickly. The sooner they can get value from your product, the more likely they’re going to have a positive experience.
Don’t overwhelm people with a long email – just include one step at a time to make it do-able.
Regardless of how user friendly your product is, every new customer feels like “the new guy” when they start using your product. Some of your customers may not understand the best ways to the get the most value from your product.
Additionally, if you can pre-empt any customer service moments, you have a really good chance of turning an upset customer into a raving fan! (Believe me – I’ve done this many times!)
And lastly, when considering the timing between each email, you want to think about how quickly your orders are delivered AND how frequently customers generally buy from you.
That way, you can time each email and your cross-sell or up-sell offer emails to suit your customer perfectly.
Grab my free guide & implementation worksheet
Using email automation can actually help your customers to feel like you’re catering to their needs, and your business will reap the rewards.
Want some help to tailor these strategies to your own business? Download my free guide, “Double The Number Of Customers Who Buy From You”. It includes a free implementation template as well. So no excuses for getting this done, OK?