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Automation With Authenticity

I was listening to this podcast the other day, which had the creator of The Art of Charm on it, Jordan Harbinger. He talked about how, in forging relationships and networking, he could tell when people had automated their email or text based messages, like the annual happy birthday greeting or the 3 month “we should catch-up” email, and how they end up sounding blah and form generated. He then went on to explain because of this automation, he felt disconnected from those contacts and also a little annoyed.

Be aware inboxes can also be highly impersonal places

I’ve been starting to feel the same way about email marketing. Granted, it’s different in the sense it’s a way to inform others of what you’re doing, but the same rules apply. When you think of filling an inbox as a way to connect with your customers or your audience, be aware inboxes can also be highly impersonal places. On top of that, people are busy, stressed, overworked, lonely or whatever else and probably just want some real humanity in this world.

Connecting with humans is good.
Connecting with humans is good.

I love when things can be automated or is done by a bot, but I definitely think when it comes to connecting with others, you got to put a little bit a heart in it. I feel like I’ve seen a huge shift in retail and so many gurus and brand experts talk about this at length. It’s that people want to have a look behind the scenes and feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves or escape from their day-to-day.

Take a look at this shift in big commerce, people don’t necessarily trust those brands anymore. They’re too big, they’re full of fat cat CEOs with little connection to their customers. These businesses just see #’s and $’s. So when you’re working in small business, your customer really is your best friend, your biggest ally, and a megaphone for what you do. And since that’s the case, don’t you want them to feel good about you and your business, even share their positive experiences with others?

You + customer = besties
You + customer = besties

Many of the business owners we talk to feel as though they’re drowning in all their marketing efforts. And it’s no surprise, handling everything from advertising to customer interaction is a massive undertaking. There are some new software solutions popping-up to provide ways that manage these situations in a more personable way.

Handling everything from advertising to customer interaction is a massive undertaking

Drip campaigns combined with marketing automation are changing the ways businesses interact with their customers. These softwares allow you, the business, to touch customers individually based on the interaction with your email communication, website content and forms. It’s extremely powerful because you can also automate these actions so your customers get unique experiences each time they are clicking on links or responding to messages, and it feels really personal and human.

It’s really important for small business owners to have a powerful all-in-one solution, since keeping everything humming is already so daunting

It’s a confusing world of softwares and lingo if you’re not a trained marketer, but the best software for small business and entry level marketers we’ve found is ActiveCampaign. It’s really important for small business owners to have a powerful all-in-one solution, since keeping everything humming is already so daunting. Without getting too in-depth, it’s a great way to manage your customers alongside your email marketing and capture new ones from web based forms, while also giving them individualized attention.

RIP Ron Popeil
RIP Ron Popeil

There’s a big investment upfront on creating the automation flows and the content your client will see, but once it’s done, ActiveCampaign is just set it and forget. I appreciate that all of the emails can be designed to reflect your brand throughout, and customization is encouraged through coding or drag and drop blocks for text and images. Another thing to mention is you are able to send email to a customer directly through the software and track that interaction as well. Some of the competitors don’t have this feature, or even the ability to add customers individually, which gets very repetitive if you don’t have a large team managing all your communication.

Like I said, people don’t necessarily want to feel like they’re being sold to, but if they feel a genuine connection to what it is that you’re doing, they definitely want to hear from you. Making your communication warm and uniquely reflective of you and your business is an honest and effective way to reach people, and ensures other like-minded individuals will want to work with you. Personalized relationships are the ones that mean the most to us as individuals, and while we often can’t make every marketing interaction a personal one, finding a way to touch on that feeling is one of the best ways to build a bond with others.

Making your communication warm and uniquely reflective of you and your business is an honest and effective way to reach people

Best car salesman ever.
Best car salesman ever.