Looking for a Zapier expert can be difficult being that automation and API software integration is a relatively new area in the online space. APIs or Application Programming Interface is a young technology that allows apps or softwares to communicate with each other allowing customers to integrate the many softwares that they use as part of a single technology solution.
Each app that we use has many different benefits and functions in our work lives.
mailchimp.com offers the ability to send newsletters and emails to clients
formstack.com allows businesses to create forms to put on their websites
There are client relationship management (CRM) systems , content management systems (CMS), shopping carts, online signature apps, transactional apps, payment gateways, and many other kinds of technologies that all need integration with each other to allow them to operate as a whole for business.
Zapier is a relatively new solution that allows the everyday person to connect the apps they use in a functional way and without any knowledge of code. They are essentially a mapping and connection system that allows the different APIs from the different software companies to talk to each other without any manual coding by a coder.
While the coding expert is not required to set up Zapier and the apps you wish to use, it is advisable to get somebody that knows about the different apps that are available and how they interact to help you architect your system before you begin. Because the marketing automation space is relatively young, it is risky to start choosing softwares one by one without mapping out the entire solution as often, different technologies are unavailable within Zapier and the software choices you make might be based on whether or not the zap is available to connect them.
When setting up your Zapier account, it may be important for you to have a pro level account so that zaps happen more quickly. The free Zapier account or the cheaper accounts only provide for a five-minute interval (last time I checked) which may not be sufficient for you if you are passing information between softwares and require an instant effect.
One of the benefits of setting up a Zapier account is that it almost serves as a marketing automation system to some degree. By this, I mean that if you use Zapier to pass information from a website form to an SMS software and then to an email software for example, then you could also set up time delays within Zapier to feed information to clients and stakeholders in a predetermined order that suits your business procedures. Zapier is a good way for business owners to dip their toe in the waters of technology improvement and begin upgrading the way they do business by implementing different apps that can help them improve the different parts of their enterprise that need help the most.
It is important however to start with a meeting with an information architect or a marketing company that has an experienced IT Team who can properly design a technology strategy for improving your business long-term. Doing things piecemeal will give you some experience with the different technologies that are available, however, you risk unplanned change and long-term unease within your organisation. Software problems and lack of traction is one of the major causes of businesses failing in the first five years. Technology or the lack thereof can be the major prohibitor to growth and can cause severe unease within an organisation.
At the end of the day, if you are looking to improve your business using technology, then a Zapier expert is for you. If you need help finding an expert to set up your IT solution for you, then give me a call or send me an email, and I will help point you in the right direction.
Like any industry, there are many shonks in the space and few know exactly what they are doing and have done it before successfully. Because this industry is relatively new, most of the players in the space are still learning as they achieve success. For this reason, it is critical not to waste your time with a firm that cannot show their experience and the results they are getting with other clients.
I have a great network of successful performers that I have worked with in the past and that have serviced my clients in the past that I would be confident in recommending to reach any outcome using the latest app technologies in the market.
As well as being savvy in IT and applications, it is also critical that the adviser you use is savvy in business and understanding the value that each software or application brings to the table, what it cost to run and maintain, and how it will interface with other softwares.
There will be major problems for you long term if you choose the wrong softwares short term.
Good luck and reach out if you need my help.
If you are considering using Marketing Automation Software then most likely, you are about to set course on a change that will revolutionise the way you do business and ultimately bring growth to your company. But before you start, you are going to need to make one very difficult decision, which is to decide what marketing automation software you are going to use. To compare marketing automation software or marketing automation apps as they are better known, you will either need to spend many hours sifting through the different benefits on each of the marketing automation websites or you can approach an expert marketing automation team to assist you with the correct software selection.
It is important to understand that not all marketing automation softwares are created equal. Depending on the industry you are in and the way you like to do business will depend on the automation software you choose.
Next, you will need to decide on your budget as there are both cheap automation softwares and expensive automation softwares and everything in between. You may also find that there are Freemium software options that allow the user to sign up to basic software automation while they learn how it works and then upgrade to a paid plan later once they are sure they have found the right plan. While this offers some security in terms of spending money, it can still cost you a great deal of your time going from one software to another while you find pitfalls and weaknesses in each.
Being that I have been through this process for several of my clients, I would like to point out here that there are a couple of very good options with respect to automation that I would like to help you find to save you conservable hours sifting through the options.
But before I help you pick the correct software for you, it is important that you realise that even once you have selected the appropriate software for your business that you have an expert on board to help you set the software up. While basic functions are relatively easy to achieve within the software itself for even beginner users, the real benefit of using marketing automation software is in its ability to integrate with several other app types.
App examples include:
The reality is that a good marketing automation software should be the cornerstone to which your entire marketing efforts and technology strategy revolves around. Before you commence planning for your automation software, it is critical that you map out the entire customer flow that you would like both potential customers, existing customers, and past customers to travel through. Imagine your business is simply the perfect company designed to take care of just one client, how would you treat this client, what would you do on a daily basis to take care of them, when would you educate them, how often would you educate them, what would you educate them on, what different options would you give them to interact with you, and how would you allow a transaction to take place?
Once you understand exactly how you wish to use your marketing automation software, then you can begin to select which software meets your needs.
One of the most important things that almost every company should have is a CRM. A CRM or Client Relationship Management software is designed to manage the client details and the history of every client in your business. Therefore, it makes sense that your marketing automation software is also your CRM. While this is true, there are many automation softwares that work independently from your CRM and these may be ideal for those that are already using an existing CRM and are happy with its performance.
Most of my clients, however, prefer to engage with a marketing automation software that is a little more holistic and can offer CRM, marketing communication, sales pipeline management, webpage management, customer service management and ticketing all in one central place.
Myself, I prefer a software that is all encompassing because it gives staff and other stakeholders the ability to have transparency across the entire enterprise at a single glance.
If your business is one that is relatively linear (meaning that every customer travels through a very similar process) then a Kanban system might be ideal for you. A Kanban system allows you to build a customer flow of stages that every client will go through.
For example, the first stage in your Kanban system might be "new lead". Every customer that comes in contact with your brand would appear in the new lead section. From here, your staff can drag the client’s details across the Kanban to the next stage as they progress in the client life cycle. For example, the second stage in the Kanban might be "lead contacted". Once the lead has been contacted, it can be moved here. Each stage in the client life cycle has a different name and marketing automation will allow you to set actions based on what stage in the Kanban the client is up to. For example, you might like to send somebody a reminder about payment when they are at the project completed stage for more than seven days without an invoice being paid. Another example might be that 14 days after an invoice remains unpaid, a director of the company could be notified by SMS to speak to accounts about the unpaid invoice.
Marketing automation is not just about speaking with customers but also about designing actions and reactions to the customer life cycle for all stakeholders to ensure that the company has success from its technology architecture.
So, which automation software can give you a Kanban-type management systems combined with a CRM and a full suite of integratable features that will allow you to do pretty much anything in business? The answer is, there are many that claim they will be able to do this but only a handful that actually can. Only a few of these are actually affordable for small businesses only a few are easy to use and high quality.
Contact me if you would like me to introduce you to the perfect marketing automation software for your industry and save yourself a LOT OF TIME, MONEY AND HEARTACHE, however find below a link to the top 4 marketing automation systems that most owners investigate as part of their due diligence into which system they like.
If you have ever wondered how companies grow at speed with little-to-no human infrastructure then, the answer could very well be marketing automation.
Marketing automation is essentially replicating what your human marketing team do on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, based on a number of variables of how customers interact with your business. Everything from an initial inquiry response email through to an email checking a client’s satisfaction after they have dealt with your business is included in marketing automation.
Essentially, marketing automation is about designing the perfect customer flow for every client to take in your business to ensure that all clients are treated in the best possible way. Marketing automation improves customer retention, customer conversion rates, customer referral, and increases the spend that customers are willing to spend with your business.
Imagine that you, the business owner, was able to spend a significant amount of time with every single client that comes into your business. Now imagine that you only need to do this once to create the perfect road map or system that every client in the future was going to go through. This is marketing automation. It is about creating the perfect path in an ideal world for every stakeholder of your business to go through and can be used not just for customers but for all kinds of stakeholders, including shareholders, potential investors, and all other people in the business including staff and suppliers.
Marketing automation starts with the trigger.
Triggers can range from many different kinds of things that happened in your business to start a marketing automation pathway. For example; one trigger could be that when a website visitor fills out an inquiry form a welcome email could be sent. This welcome email then forms another trigger that for example could wait for a number of days and check for a response. If the response has not been received this could trigger a following email. Each time creating a trigger and response that reacts in different ways depending on how you would like your client to be treated.
Using delays is a common way for marketing automation experts to give the impression of real human interaction. For example, a text message from a particular sales person could be activated upon an email being received from the client in response to an automatic email. This would give the impression that a sales person has now been connected to their account even though no human interaction has actually happened. The SMS could be programmed so that if any response to the SMS occurs that response is forwarded directly to the sales person for manual interaction.
It possible to prewrite SMS, emails, manual posts, Facebook messages and other forms of communication through the automation software. Automation software can even treat clients differently depending on the stage in the pipeline that the client is at. When setting up automation software to begin with, good automation agencies work with clients to analyse their client flow and to create numerous milestones in the customers on boarding process.
- Stage 1 might be called "new lead"
- Stage 2 might be called "brochure sent"
- Stage 3 might be called "face to face meeting booked"
- Stage 4 might be called "face to face meeting completed"
As you can see here, the pipeline of the client is based on their interaction with the company and different automations can be programmed to occur at different stages.
For example, a client that has been sitting in the brochure stage and has not yet been booked in for a meeting might be prompted with SMS seven days after sitting stagnant to request that they book a meeting. If a further response is not received a sales person or possibly management could be notified to call the client manually.
This form of automation allows companies to have transparency across the enterprise as to where each client is at in the pipeline but also to ensure that every client receives the same attention as the next. It is true that 80% of revenue is derived from 20% of clients. This is a ratio that is prevalent across multiple industries and because of this sales people generally treat the clients unequally due to the constraints and pressure from upper management to ensure that they perform at their best.
Marketing automation allows enterprises to mitigate the risks associated with not treating clients equally and allows management, sales staff and other people within the enterprise to treat clients equally using a set of standard automation principles which can be developed from the onset and integrated to maintain a high level of customer interaction ongoing.
Marketing automation can also be used to create referrals by contacting customers who have already purchased from of business at several stages in time. For example, 24 hours after a client purchases they can be asked to comment on the purchasing experience. This can give the marketing and transactional team insight into the quality of the current systems and allow for further development and improvement of the systems.
Other organisations use time based automations to communicate with customers well beyond to the point of purchase. For example, one month following a purchase the customer could be contacted to inquire as to the quality of the product or services they received.
This constant form of communication puts the company in good light and customers automatically perceive the company as one that cares about their concerns and needs.
This kind of good-will that is developed through marketing automation is unfathomable with respect to the valuation of a company and the goodwill generation that this imposes within an organisation.
LMNT provides on-the-money resources to those people most passionate about success in every aspect of their life.