Activate Takeaways: Consistent Growth with Automations

Consistent Growth with Automations panel at Activate 2018

“If you set it and forget it, you will regret it.”

Thus spoke Chris Davis, ActiveCampaign’s Director of Education, at the panel “Consistent Growth with Automations.”

Automations are a powerful business tool. By uncovering repetitive manual tasks and filling gaps too tedious for humans to deal with, automations can free up a lot of time—and get your better results in the process.

But, as Chris shared, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can “set and forget” you automations.

After you set up your initial automations, you’re faced with an enormous opportunity.

With the time and mental space your automations win you, you can take a step back from the creation of automations—and look at their optimization.

How can you get consistent, long term growth out of your automations?

That was the subject of the “Consistent Growth” panel at Activate. The panel featured:

  • Kelly O’Connell – ActiveCampaign (Moderator)
  • Jovana Vujnic – Bumper Leads
  • Michelle Via – iVelocity Marketing
  • Chris Davis – ActiveCampaign

You can watch the full video of the panel above (we recommend it).

We’ve also summarized answers to some key questions below—and included links to further resources.

How do you blend automation and human touch?

At ActiveCampaign, we talk a lot about the blend of automation and human touch. But what does it actually mean to apply that blend to your business?

Said Jovana “I’m a big believer in humanizing marketing. You don’t want to use technology to replace all the human touches and customer experiences.”

Chris agreed, saying that he likes to send a personal note to disrupt his automations.

Why not automate everything? Because there’s still no substitute for person-to-person communication.

Instead of looking to automate everything, use tools to automate the behind-the-scenes. Automate repetitive, manual tasks like scheduling—so that you have more time to work on the tasks that require a human touch.

Further resources:

How do you know where to make tweaks and optimize?

If you shouldn’t “set it and forget it” where should you make tweaks?

Our panelists agreed that—no matter how good you are at automations—the first automation you build probably isn’t perfect.

When you look at where to update your automations, look at the numbers.

What conversion metrics are important to your business? If you change your automations, how does that affect conversion?

Chris Davis recommended applying the “mirror test.” Don’t let your customers be the first people to see your messages—always go through your own automations to get a feel for the customer experience.

Further resources:

What are the biggest barriers to automation?

Part of the challenge of marketing automation is that a lot of businesses struggle to understand what marketing automation means for them.

There’s a lot you can do with automation—but that also leads businesses on wild chases of trying to automate many different areas at the same time.

Jovana shared that she’s seen a lot of accounts with “War and Peace” automations—huge, complicated automations that were built once and are now terrifying to edit (because something might break).

Instead of coming in and looking at the capabilities of automation, look at your business.

What do you need to get done? How can you apply automation?

Automation is 80% marketing strategy and 20% the technology. Starting with the technology, instead of what needs doing, is what makes automation programs run wild.

By starting small and scaling up as you see the effects of automations, you can explore the real benefits of automation for your business.

Further resources:

What has automation allowed you to do more of?

Especially for small teams, automation can save hours and hours of repetitive work.

Michelle shared a story of how integrating call center software and automating bookings can save enormous amounts of time.

Jovana has been able to automate administrative tasks, and now lives a digital nomad lifestyle (while running a business)

Chris talked about how automation lets small businesses take off some of their many hats—how it lets people stop dealing with tedious tasks and focus on the reason they like their work.

All the panelists agreed—automation is a powerful tool to save time and fill gaps in your marketing.

By consistently tweaking your automations to improve performance, you can consistently, continuously grow.

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