Most of the time, when discussing sales funnels, we only cover email marketing and automation.
Why? It’s the cheapest, easiest, and fastest to setup and implement.
But, the thing is, you can do a lot more, automatically, than just send emails.
For example, you can …
- Send a text or make a phone call
- Send a postcard or a letter
- Update and post to social media
- Sync with over 500 services
Why Do This?
Why would you want to send someone a text or a postcard?
Obviously, you wouldn’t do this for every single subscriber that enters your sales funnel because it costs extra to perform these functions. Plus, you would need to request even more contact information (phone number and/or address) to make it possible.
Here are a few examples of when you might want to go the extra mile.
Many small businesses have a “birthday club” where they send out special discounts as a birthday present.
Instead of sending a regular old email, you can make your business really stand out by sending a postcard with the special birthday discount!
Every year I receive a postcard from the local ice cream shop and it makes my day!
You can use the text messaging and/or phone calling features to notify individuals if their payment is about to lapse.
Or, if a special sale, offer, or event is about to end, you can send out a message reminding people that they have until 7pm to do X, Y, and Z.
The Overall Concept
Allow me to explain the overall concept, or “strategy”, before getting into the nitty-gritty tactical details.
The concept involves connecting your autoresponder or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to Zapier via webhooks where Zapier acts as a middleman, translating what your autoresponder/CRM spits out and converting it into a language another service can use.
* For simplicity — a webhook is a URL that’s notified when something happens.
For example, when someone subscribes to my email list I could have my autoresponder tool notify Zapier via a webhook that I have a new subscriber. Zapier could then tell Twilio (text messaging service) to send the new subscriber a text, welcoming them to my list.
How To: ActiveCampaign
For this particular tutorial I’ll be demonstrating my favorite email autoresponder tool, ActiveCampaign. However, most autoresponder tools offer some form of webhook capabilities. A Google search may show you how to do something similar with your particular tool.
Step 1: Create A New Zap & Trigger
- The first thing you need to do is login to Zapier and create a new Zap
- You’ll need to choose your Trigger App, which is ActiveCampaign for this example
- You’ll want to select “New Automation Webhook” as your trigger
- Zapier will give you a URL (webhook) to use within ActiveCampaign
- Copy the URL
- You should have something that looks like this:
Step 2: Add Webhook URL To ActiveCampaign
- Login to your ActiveCampaign account and locate where you want the webhook to trigger and select “Add new action”
- Select “Webhook”
- Paste in the URL that Zapier gave you
Step 3: Test
- Go back to Zapier and select “OK, I did this”.
- You’ll see “Looking for the automation…” — more than likely, it won’t be found and you’ll have to go back to ActiveCampaign and trigger it first
- Go to ActiveCampaign
- Do what you need to do in order to trigger the automation that has the webhook — ie. in the example above I had to subscribe to list “0 — test”
- Once your test is successful, select “Continue”
Step 4: Connect To Action App
- Search through over 500 services for the one(s) you’d like to have do something. A couple popular ones are:
- Twilio — Text messaging and calls
- Lob — Mailings
- Follow the instructions Zapier gives you (don’t worry, it’s intuitive ;))
The Future Looks Exciting!
The concept of combining email marketing with offline marketing tactics like text messaging, phone calls, and mailings isn’t new.
Businesses have been taking the multi-pronged approach for years; however, it’s been a very manual process.
Only recently has technology advanced enough that we’re able to start putting automated systems in place to handle all aspects of our sales funnels.
I imagine most email autoresponder tools and CRM tools will eventually integrate seamlessly with text messaging, phone calls, mailings, and beyond without the requirement of a 3rd party tool like Zapier.
I’m excited to see what’s next for the world of marketing and sales funnels!