Earlier today I was talking with my wife about unknown potential. Yeah, I know. Kind of a meaty topic for a Sunday afternoon discussion. We were talking about how sometimes we feel like we are at 100% capacity (which can get extremely frustrating when you’re at that point for a long period of time) – but given a sometimes small change in how we are looking at certain parts of our life, new opportunities present themselves that create space for more output. It’s kind of like Donald Rumsfield’s “Unknown Unknowns”. He got a lot of crap for that statement but what he said was actually a pretty brilliant simplification of a complex matter. For most Infusionsoft customers, what I’m going to share in this blog post will fit squarely into either the Known Unknown or Unknown Unknown category.
Want to know what it is?
You’re probably saying to yourself “I want the 3 minutes of my life it took to read that paragraph back”. If you made it thru that – good job. Here’s the little known secret – Using Infusionsoft to automate your repetitive tasks can save you an insane amount of time each day/week/month/year. Most people don’t know that they can do it, and more people don’t ever get around to doing it. But now you’ll know and knowing is half the battle – GI Joe
How to get started
“If you do it more than 3 times per day, figure out how to automate it in Infusionsoft”
The origins of this statement in the halls of Infusionsoft aren’t really clear. Tyler Garns claims he said it first, some say it was Brad Martineau – I think I actually heard it first from his older brother Scott. Regardless of the origin, the statement is true. Automating repetitive tasks is a sure fire way to get more value out of Infusionsoft.
The first thing you need to do is think about your day and make a list of the stuff you do more than 3 times – and the approximate number of times you do them per day, and how long it takes you to do it. Here’s a list of 8 potential items to get your mind going:
- Follow up phone call reminders
- Left voice message follow up
- Sending out promotional materials
- Customer service phone calls
- Collection calls
- Expiring credit cards
- Lead entry
- Entering prospects from a trade show or networking event
Now, take your list and do the math. How much time are you spending doing each of those items on the list per week? How about per month? What about per year? How about all of the items on that list? If you were able to significantly cut that time down – say to less than 1 minute per task. What would you do with all of that extra time?
That’s how you get your 19,200 minutes of your life back. 19,200 minutes is approximately 1 months worth of working 80 hours per week, 6 days a week. In other words, saving 4 minutes per task for 4,800 tasks. Using Infusionsoft to automate those repetitive tasks will easily free up that time (if not more) – especially if you have employees. The more employees you have the more this effect is multiplied.
How to start automating
This is what your campaigns should look like. Super simple, 1 goal with 1 sequence. Don’t make it any more complicated than this. Take each of those items on your list and build out one of these structures for each of them. For the goal, you’ll use one of the following:
- Submits an Internal Form – Use this one when you need to collect more information before the automation runs. For example, entering in an appointment date / time.
- Applies a Note – Use this one when you want the automation to start and you want to leave a note in the history of the contact that says you did something. For example: Sending out promotional materials
- Applies a Tag – Use this one if you need to trigger automation from your mobile device. For example: Following up with someone that you met at a networking event. Note: This one gets way over used. More often than not, you’ll want to use one of the other goals mentioned above. If you want a tag to get applied, have the sequence do that after you use either of the 2 other goals.
Here’s a real life example
Back in the day, I was a salesperson at Infusionsoft. One of the things we sent out all of the time was an e-book called The Edge of Success. It was a great lead magnet and also a great way to engage with prospects that weren’t interested in what I had to say. As a sales person, I needed to make sure that I notated the account so I got the lead if they bubbled up again. The way we did it was thru leaving a note on the contact record (not the person notes, but the activity notes at the bottom of the contact record screen). Here is what my workflow would have been, had I not leveraged Note Templates:
- Pull up the contact record using the top right Quick Search
- Click the email icon next to their email address
- Write out (or copy paste from Notepad) the same text for that email that I’d already sent 1,000 times and send the email from Outlook. Something like, “Hey So and so. It was great talking with you today. I’ve attached a copy of a whitepaper we’ve put together called the Edge of Success. Take a few seconds to read it and get back to me if you have any questions.”
- I’d go back to Infusionsoft, click to add a note and type in the same thing “Talked with prospect, emailed a copy of the edge of success”.
- I’d create a task for myself to call the person back in 7 days
- Move on to the next lead and repeat the process.
I’d be willing to bet that the entire process would take 3-5 minutes for each lead I called and talked to. Take that process and multiply it by the number of leads I talked to per week, and see how much time would have been wasted.
Here’s what the goal and sequence to automate that would look like in the campaign builder:
This is how I’d configure the note template:
You know how to build an email (with an attachment), but here’s how I’d configure the follow up task:
How to use this to automate that process
Ok, so the campaign is built and published (make sure everything is marked as ready). How do we use this? I’d pull up a list of my prospects in the interactive list view. That’s the one that looks like this:
Let’s say I just called and talked to Mr. No Name. If the task I need to automate is setup to start from a Note Template, I’d click on the first icon (the one with a paper and pencil), then click Add Note. From the Template dropdown menu, I’d pick the corresponding note template. In this case I’d choose “Send the Edge of Success” and press save.
This will leave a note in the history for the contact and will kick off the rest of the sequence. That’s it. All of about 30 seconds to do that.
Now, if your sequence is kicked off by an Internal Form, you’ll want to click on the 4th icon from the right (in between the tag and the campaign icons). That’s the form icon. You’ll select the corresponding Internal Form for the task you’re automating and click Fill out Form. Something like this will pop up:
Fill out the form and press save. This will store the information to the contact record and fire off the automation. It will also check for duplicate contact records and either create a new record or update an existing record.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows how to apply a tag, so I won’t go into that here. It’s no different for this process than it is for anything else. Apply the appropriate tag and the automation will fire off.
That’s it. Simple as that. Take your list and start building out some of those processes. Leverage the existing content you have (aka the stuff in your Sent Items folder in Outlook) to make the process go even faster. Once you’ve implemented 1, take the time you would have spent doing that repetitive task, and go automate the next process, and so on and so on. When you’re done, come back and tell me how much time you’re saving on a weekly basis – and how you’re doing it.
Why are you still reading this… shouldn’t you be automating something?
UPDATED: My math was wrong. Originally I said you could save 1,920 minutes. I misplaced the decimal. It’s actually 19,200. Thanks for double checking my math Kim Snyder :).