Marketing automation is a powerful way to help businesses scale processes that would otherwise require additional headcount, or an inordinate amount of time. In fact, that’s true about automation in general; not just marketing automation.
When I ran my first business, installing draft beer systems in Lansing, Michigan; well, I didn’t do the best job. You may have heard this story before, but the point is that I wasn’t very efficient. I did the things I did, and when I wanted my business to grow, I hustled harder instead of trying to improve my processes. I didn’t know that tools like Infusionsoft existed. I didn’t know that marketing automation was a thing.
Even if I had known, I still would have been resistant.
And here’s why:
Most people treat automation as a way to remove themselves from their businesses. And I don’t think that’s the best use of automation at all.
Let me explain.
Yes, automation is a way to make systems and processes happen more easily.
It’s a way to ensure that things happen in a certain order, or a certain cadence, or with a level of consistency that would be impossible to create if you were solely depending on human assets. And the nature of introducing automation into these processes means that you’re likely no longer spending as much time on it yourself; which, means that you might have more time available.
It’s that reality that creates the dangerous idea that automation removes you from your business. The truth is, it can; but it doesn’t have to. It can also put MORE of you into your business.
Let me make my case: Marketing automation can remove you from your business. And if done poorly, it can create a cold and robotic experience.
But when done the right way, it can create a really effective and personal customer path; one that reflects exactly what you’d like your customers to experience. And it can do it with uniform consistency. (If you’re looking for a full and comprehensive Infusionsoft Review, this is by far the best one I’ve seen.)
This is true for two big reasons:
- You’re designing the automation, so you get to create what you want your customers to experience. That means you’re just doing more of what you would have done anyway, and hopefully that gives you some peace of mind.
- The second reason is that automation frees you up to do the things you are best at, or the things you enjoy. I have a stack of 16 thank you cards here for people who have bought the IS Starter Kit this week; and I fully recognize that I could outsource this and have someone else write them – but I have automated enough of my business that I have the luxury of choosing to write these myself. Now, I don’t have the best handwriting, but the fact is I enjoy writing out the name and address, I like seeing where people are from, and I like writing a unique message to everyone who buys. It makes me feel a little more connected. So, I’ll probably continue to do this for as long as I can.
My point is this:
Automation should create the confidence that your customers are experiencing what you intended.
It should increase the freedom for you to choose how you spend your time.
If this resonates with you, or you still do something silly like writing thank you cards by hand just because you can, I’d love to hear it. Or, if you feel differently and think I missed the mark, I’d love to hear that too.