Making Automation Work for You

A successful marketing campaign is one of the determining factors in whether freelancers make it or break it in the world of online business. No matter what you “do” for your freelance business, bringing in revenue starts with getting the word out about you and your services.

To reach an audience, it takes effective communication. This article breaks down the best way to effectively communicate with potential clients – building a newsletter automation and then turning that automation into a sales funnel.

First Thing’s First:
What the Heck Is Newsletter Automation?

Newsletter automations are so ubiquitous these days that it’s literally something you already know and experience nearly every day, without even realizing it. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your email inbox.

You’ll probably see h a number of newsletters, promotional material, and sales stuff. While many go unread in your inbox, odds are that there are a select few that you open for one reason or another. Perhaps it’s a product you want to buy, or a blogger that you find informative and funny.

Whatever the reason, you opened that email. If you signed up for their newsletter or “more information” via their website, you likely opted into a sales funnel. The emails that are hitting your inbox aren’t random – they are specifically designed and written to build your trust in what the company is selling, and finally, convince you to buy it.

These emails likely look clean and are easy to read, not coming off at all as sales emails. In most cases, they are using an email marketing service such as Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another from the growing list of available options.

One great example is Live Lingua, which offers a free “Spanish Survival Crash Course” to those who sign up for it via the language school’s website. Enter your email, and you’ll receive a series of six emails to your inbox over the next week, each offering an immense amount of value in terms of free Spanish-learning material.

The emails are nice and clean, get to the point, and provide value.

After receiving them, the reader trusts that Live Lingua is an authority in online Spanish tutoring. And as such, they are more likely to trust their services.

While this series of emails is valuable to the subscriber, it is also a sales funnel — and that hits at the point of sales funnels. Provide value, build trust, and then hit with a call to action in the last email.

The ‘automation’ part comes in when your freelance services are presented via an automated email sequence that goes out automatically to everyone who signs up or “opts in.”

Creating A Sales Funnel

Your newsletters can be sent right away. They can also be scheduled to send at a later time. You can also create a series of newsletters intended to build your trust and influence among subscribers and encourage them to buy your product or sign up for your service. This is called a sales funnel.

When a freelancer is trying to get you to buy their services, they will send this series of newsletters that built to a ‘Call to Action’ at the end. This type of email series is typically triggered when someone signs up to receive more information about a product or joins a mailing list either online or at a specialized event, as we noted above with the example.

The user receives the welcome email right away, which contains valuable information for them. Over the next week, they receive one email per day which builds on the information contained in the previous email. This process not only helps the user learn their desired language, it builds trust in Live Lingua and our services. Throughout the sales funnel series, we lightly mention our Skype language lessons.

In the last email of the series, we’ve placed a ‘Call to Action’. This is a selection of text, video, and/or imagery that encourages the user to go a step further and buy the product or service. In this case, we are encouraging them to sign up for paid lessons. Most people won’t do it, but some people will.

Email marketing services such as Mailerlite have an ‘Automation’ tab that allows online teachers or business owners to create these sales funnels and set them up to be triggered each time someone signs up with their email address.

Making Automation Work for You

Freelancers, listen up: email automation can play a big role in marketing efforts. If you are considering running ads on social media, make the goal not to gain immediate sales but to gain opt-ins for your sales funnel. Send the opt-ins through a multi-day sales funnel, such as this example for an online math tutor (keep in mind this copy is very basic, meant only to provide an example of how this process can work for online teachers).

  • Email 1: a general welcome email, explaining who you are and how you will provide value with this series of emails.
  • Email 2: Hit first with a value – a free YouTube video, eBook, or course that the reader can take advantage of.
  • Email 3: More value, and a quick favor ask: you ask the reader to review your free gift, on Google, Facebook, your website, or elsewhere.
  • Email 4: A bit more value, and boom — now they trust you, believe in you, and are primed to buy your freelance services.
  • Email 5: Call to Action — sign up with me today!

For more detailed examples, browse your inbox and find some sales funnels (look for multiple emails from the same business in a short period of time). Look through the emails and note the points that most appeal to you and replicate those methods in your sales funnel and email newsletters. Closing a sale is all about building that trust and capitalizing on it.