How to Use Automation to Find Leads

This is the blog transcript of our video “How to Use Automation to Find Leads”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Ok so I’ve got my automation system. My leads should be falling from the sky now, right?

Well, maybe, but you have to set up your campaigns first. Let’s take a look at how you can use automation to help you generate leads.

Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.

As you may know by now, I’ve been doing this for a LONG time. I’ve been working on some sort of sales automation platform for longer than I remember.

One of the things that I’ve learned in that time is that sales automation is a great way to help you find really high quality leads that are interested in a conversation. This is a bit of a nuanced distinction, though, because most people hear “sales automation” and “leads” together in a sentence and their mind instantly starts thinking about quantity, not quality.

One thing I’ve learned in all this time is that the quality of the leads you’re creating and pursuing is significantly more important than the quantity of the leads that you’re finding.

Ok so lets redefine the question.

How can sales automation help you find more QUALITY leads?

Well that’s something that we can dive into.

Finding the diamonds in the rough

No matter how early you are in your business, you DO actually have a list that you can work with as a starting point. It’s probably pretty rough and not very clean, but at least it’s something that you can start with.

Fortunately you have your automation system in place so that can help you find the people in your list, however small it may be, that you’ll be able to talk to. And hopefully sell to.

How can you do this?

Well, again, we have to start with your list of connections. If you’re new, you can use the connections in your LinkedIn account as a starting point. Depending on your business, maybe it’s the email addresses of your friends and family.

If you’ve been around for a while, chances are you’re working with a bit of a list already, so you already know who you’re starting with. This same concept that I’m about to go through applies to you, too, because if you haven’t been reaching out to these people then they may as well have never heard of you.

Now don’t worry, we’re not going to spam them or beg them for business. All we’re going to do is send off an email letting people know what you’re doing and asking them if they want to follow your journey in their inboxes.

If you do something like this and send off that email as a starting point, I always recommend making the option to unsubscribe as prominent as possible without it being absurd. In this first email, you want to make it really simple for people to opt out if they don’t want to get emails.

If they don’t opt out, and they know that you’re going to start sending them emails, then you have a kind of implicit approval to continue to do so. Of course, you can also get even more strict with this and ask people who are interested to opt IN to your list instead of the other way around.

After that first email has gone out, you’ll end up with a smaller list of people who want to keep hearing from you. Continuing with this “diamond in the rough” analogy, this tells you where the diamond mine is that you’re going to be exploring. Now, it’s your job to keep digging and actually find the diamonds.

Next, send out an email that is a bit more specific to what you’re doing and how you do it. The goal of creating that first email is to create a modicum of interest in what you’re doing. Now, you want them to get interested in what it looks like to work with you.

When you send that email, tell people more details about what you’re doing. Tell them what makes you unique and really drive home your unique value proposition. Don’t be boisterous about it, but don’t worry too much about bragging. It might be a fine line, but it shouldn’t be that tough to find.

You’ll probably lose some more people from your list after this email, and that’s ok. Remember, you only want to be sending emails to people who want to hear about what you’re doing, so someone who unsubscribes is just as valuable as someone who doesn’t – it’s helping you narrow your target.

Finally, send out something that would really pique the interest of your ideal client. Some sort of downloadable PDF or something like usually works well. 

The reason this works is because this type of thing usually excludes people who wouldn’t be a good target for you. Now, of course, if your mom is on your list then she’ll probably click on everything regardless. But I’m assuming you know that you can rule her out anyway.

After this email goes out, again, you’ll probably lose some people from your list. But more importantly, you’ll be able to see who’s actually downloaded the content that you offered up.

And once you know that, you get to start making a few calls and setting up a few meetings.

And, of course, this can all be automated in your automation system so that all you need to do is click Start and let the campaign run until it tells you to make a phone call.

Keeping your list clean

Email marketing is still a huge marketing channel. People keep trying to call it “dead”, but it’s just not. And, frankly, it’s not going to die.

But that said, it is getting more and more challenging. And that’s because the email providers are cracking down more and more on marketers who send emails to people who aren’t engaging with their content.

If you consistently send emails to loads of people who never open those emails, then Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc – they’re just going to stop letting your emails get through to their clients. And when that happens, it’s not even going to get to the spam folder. It just won’t get through.

Again, this digs into the quality over quantity conversation. With email especially, it’s going to be hugely more important to maintain a QUALITY list than it is to have a massive list that never engages.

Just remember, if they don’t even open an email from you in 90 days, then they’re just not that into you. It’s time to let them go.

The problem is that this kind of list management can get really time intensive if it’s done manually. You have to go into the tracking report of every email that you send and find the people who did NOT read it and track them over a 90 day (or so) period. 

No one has time for that.

Fortunately, you can build a system into your automation platform to do this for you with a lead score.

Although sometimes complicated in its execution, lead scoring is a pretty basic idea at its core. Every action a contact takes is given a score. For example, reading an email is worth 1 point. Clicking on a link is worth 3 points. Clicking on the register for a demo link is worth 10 points. And so on.

Those scores degrade over time so that you can keep an eye on the current hot and cold leads. Someone earning 10 points by opening one email and clicking on three links today might be a valuable contact today. If they don’t do anything else for the next six months, however, you can be pretty confident that was just a one off for them. 

Again, it’s time to let them go.

The great thing about this lead scoring concept, though, is that your automation system can work with it to determine who is a cold lead and ultimately needs to be removed from your active list.

You can always put them on a sort of re-engagement campaign for a couple months to see if you can revive them, but if they still don’t care about anything that you’re sending them after all that time, you can get rid of them all together.

And all of this can be done automatically using automation tied to lead scoring.

We did a Community Table session where we really did a deep dive on email marketing and why it’s so important to keep a clean, high quality list. You should check it out! It’s in the infocard on the screen and in the description as well.

Qualifying your leads

Finally, let’s talk about qualifying leads.

There’s a big difference between someone who just signs up to be on your newsletter list and someone who is ready to have a sales conversation with you.

The difference to you might not seem huge, but there’s a lot of trust that needs to be built up by that new email subscriber before they’re going to be ready to have a sales conversation.

And that trust building process can definitely take time. But, again, if you can get your automated process in place, you don’t have to think about it until the system tells you that they’re ready for a phone call (or whatever that step is).

Think about this kind of qualification process as a step by step process to create that trust with you.

You start out by asking for their email address (and maybe their first name) to get them onto your list. That’s a relatively low level of trust in you. It’s basically telling you that you can have the most basic information that can’t really be used to hurt me in exchange for this thing I want. There’s not a lot there.

But, if you show value in that initial interaction, and they like what they see, then they’ll be open to a bit more.

So maybe you have something else of value that is also relevant to what they initially requested from you. Now that you have their contact information, you can send them an email offering them this “second level” content, but maybe they need to give you their first name, last name, email address, and company name.

That’s more trust because now, if I wanted to, I could get a hold of you by reaching the company and, even though you didn’t give me your phone number, I could go out and find it and start reaching out.

From a sales perspective I get it, but you have to think about the user, not about the sale. Very few people make it to the “sales qualified” trust level if they roll their eyes and regret giving you their information.

But, if you keep going, you can ultimately send them MORE value and, in exchange for that, maybe you ask for their phone number in addition to everything else. 

See, these small steps of trust that a contact takes can be really important in getting them to a point where they’re willing to have a conversation with you.

Again, though, this is where that automation system is going to come into play. If each step on that “trust ladder” requires different emails, thoughtful timing, and most importantly, consistency and execution to actually get there, you don’t want to leave it to chance.

You can build out a drip campaign, a marketing journey, or maybe even a static workflow (again, this is all going to depend on your business model) and execute it automatically and, when they’re ready for a phone call, you can get that alert automatically too!

Your Turn

If you think that this all sounds interesting, we’d love to talk about how this can work for you. Not only can we give you the system that will manage it, we can actually help you get everything all set up!

Check out the link to our demo in the description to this video to learn more.

Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!

We’ll see you next time around!

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