this is how to build an automated client journey for a smb

Marketing automation, data optimization, synergy between marketing and sales, connection to a CRM system – these terms might seem complex for a small business, which might then say: “we can’t handle this; we’re too busy looking for clients”. However, automated marketing isn’t just for large organizations. Small businesses, tiny businesses and even freelancers, can easily apply this effective strategy.

In fact, the smaller the business, the greater efficiency it will gain from automating its marketing system. For example, an event photographer or a dog trainer who works with 10-12 clients on a regular basis, and another 10-20 occasional clients; can – and should – expand the circle of potential clients through simple automation, which send benefits before peaks periods or holidays. The big question is what to focus on first? How to make sure that creating and ongoing managing of the automated system won’t take up precious time? 5 steps to success.

First step: choosing an automated marketing system

Choosing a mailing system, which can do marketing automation easily and in an excellent price, is the first stage. There’s no need to use pricy and complex systems. Instead, focus on a smart system, which offers the main marketing channels, such as email marketing, SMS campaigns, WhatsApp marketing, landing pages, feedback surveys and more; and lets you combine them all in one automation. The next stage is adapting the needs of the business to the capabilities of the system, so that if most inquiries come from Facebook, then the system will know to interface with the social network, and will collect leads from there quickly.

Second step: grouping clients in one place

Not in a WhatsApp group and certainly not in a phone book. It’s time to put all active clients in a neat excel file, and also add past clients and those who called out of interest or sent an email. It’s important to make sure that all of them are relevant to the business; and you must make sure that they agree to receive marketing material from the business. The number of clients on the list isn’t the main factor here, but the quality of the list, and the degree of involvement the clients show with the product. It’s important to embed marketing forms on the website, and ads on Facebook, calling random users to sign up for the business mailing list.

Small businesses can sell more digitally through automated marketing (depositphotos)

Third step: building client profiles

Clients aren’t all driven by the same impulses, and all of them wants to feel that the business speaks to them personally and understands their needs. So, it’s very important to characterize types of clients, and to create segmentations as accurate as possible. For example, that event photographer can appeal differently to a young couple or to HR managers, who produce business events for employees. Creating an accurate profile can refine your replies, and add a personal touch to every component of the marketing automation, to preserve the clients’ relevance to the product.

Fourth step: time to create interesting content

Long before you think about how to say, you should know what you want to say. After characterizing your clients and choosing a system that will launch messages at the right moment, it’s time to bring in the big guns. All the promotions, benefits, coupons, best stories and the clients who recommended – all these are marketing content that will increase sales in the short term. For example, the event photographer can offer a 15% discount to a couple, for producing a wedding video, or for saving time slot for them on a less desirable date.

Fifth step: just build the automation

So now that all the ingredients are clear and ready, it’s time to build the automation within your chosen system. First thing, decide on the sales process or client journey. That is, what the client sees, and what is their reaction sequence to the content. In most cases, start with a brand newsletter to arouse interest. If the client read it in their email, continue to WhatsApp and so on. If they didn’t open the email, the system will send a reminder email or a tempting offer directly via SMS – which is harder to ignore.