Simple Software Helps Grow our Business by Over $50,000 per Year Automatically
As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to boost sales as efficiently as possible.
Over the past few years we’ve experimented with dozens of different strategies and tools in an effort to increase sales while maintaining, or even reducing, the amount of time required to close a sale.
Auto-responders, auto-scheduling, calendars, day planners, tasks lists, time trackers, CRM software, print-on-demand companies, the latest and greatest app, you name it. If there was a chance it would boost our sales and profits, I was willing to give it a try.
That list reminds me of the famous Edison quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Like many things in life, the vast majority of the tools and strategies we tried didn’t work.
That’s not to say the actual tools didn’t work; they just didn’t deliver increased sales and profits while, at the same time, reducing the amount of time to close the sale.
Back when I first launched Ugly Mug Marketing, I stumbled across a SaaS (software as a service) tool that, on the surface, appeared to be THE solution for which we had been searching. This software was designed to automate much of a business’ sales and marketing tasks.
One of the biggest features, that absolutely sold me on this software, was the ability to create IF/THEN rules. Using IF/THEN rules immediately gives the software the ability to treat each customer or prospect differently based on which actions they take or, in many cases, don’t take. I’ll explain this more a little later.
At the time, the biggest obstacle wasn’t learning the new software; the biggest challenge was paying for it. The software was $300 . . . per month. Which, at that time, was a huge expense in my new, but growing, business.
The Mindset Shift
As a startup, I was overly cautious about incurring additional — possibly unnecessary –expenses. In my mind, $300 each month was a huge expense.
Since that time, I’ve come to learn that this mindset — the one where, each time money flowed out, it was an expense — drastically slowed our rate of growth. Although we were growing at close to 100% each year, I am now convinced we could have grown much quicker had it not been for this “everything is an expense” mindset.
Sure, according to Uncle Sam this was a legitimate business expense. However, as I now know, this wasn’t really an expense. This was an investment. Here’s a simple rule of thumb I’ve learned over the past few years: If money spent can be traced to the acquisition of new, profitable customers, then it should be viewed as an investment. As such, you need to be willing to invest as much as possible in anything that brings you those new, profitable customers.
She never calls in sick. She hasn’t requested a single day of vacation. She doesn’t complain when things get hectic or chaotic. She’s always on time. She’s always working to ensure the prospect chooses us over our competitors.
For Ugly Mug Marketing, Ontraport easily does the work of a 20-30 hour per week in-office assistant.
I’ll dive into some of these a little more in a minute, but here’s an overview of a few of the things Ontraport does for us:
- • Captures contact information from potential clients
• Follows up with potential clients, with no effort on our part
• Customizes messages to prospects based on their action or inaction
• Screens and prequalifies prospects
• Sends task reminders to staff to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks
• Orders gifts for new clients
• Prints and sends post cards
• Asks clients for testimonials
• Sends birthday cards to clients
• Keeps track of customer conversations
• Stores important client-specific information
• Collects and stores job applicant information
• Follows up with job applicants
• Screens job applicants
From the list above you can see that we put Ontraport to work for us. Truth be told, we only use a fraction of Ontraport’s power. However, the fraction that we do use delivers some powerful results for Ugly Mug Marketing.
Two Specific Sequences
Inside Ontraport you have the ability to build out a sequence of events that will take place before or after a prospect or customer takes a certain action. The beauty of sequences inside Ontraport, is that they can be completely automated or they can be automatically placed on pause and remain there until manually released. Instead of trying to further explain it, let me just show you a couple of our actual sequences.
Not all prospects are created equal and, therefore, not all should not be treated equally. Until we are able to verify need, desire, and budget, we call these people “suspects.” This means we suspect they may be a good prospect, but we won’t know until further testing. So, instead of wasting time trying to figure out whether someone is a prospect, we let Ontraport do this for us.
Once we speak with a suspect, we then enter their information into Ontraport, adding them to a short sequence. The primary goal of this sequence is to get them to visit our website and fill out our website survey.
Although there is nothing special about the survey, it’s a critical component in our process of filtering suspects, prospects, and highly qualified prospects. Here’s how it works:
- We know, if someone is unwilling to spend the few minutes required to fill out the survey, that chances are good they aren’t very serious.
- The length of their responses also gives an indication as to how much thought they put into their new website. The questions we ask are designed to help people think through how their website can help them reach their goals. Short answers typically indicate they haven’t given their goals for the website a lot of thought.
- The time it takes, from when we tell them about the survey until they actually complete the survey, gives us some indication as to how responsive they’ll be as clients.
Although those aspects from the survey may not seem like much on paper, trust me, they’re extremely important in regard to helping us filter suspects and prospects. If you’d like, you can check out the survey at: uglymugmarketing.com/survey
The Magic Begins when they Hit Submit
Once a suspect completes the survey and submits it, that’s when all the Ontraport magic begins. We built the survey within Ontraport and, as soon as someone clicks “submit,” Ontraport automatically adds them to a new sequence which looks like this:
Rule – Within Ontraport, a Rule is something that you want to become either true or untrue. On this sequence we want to be sure to remove the person completing the survey from all other sequences. This ensures they don’t keep receiving email messages that say, “Please tell us more about your project by filling out the survey.”
Email – An email is immediately sent out thanking them for completing the survey. This email also very subtly sells them on why Ugly Mug Marketing is the best choice for them.
Task – A task is something internally, that we’re going to complete. In this case, the first task is sent to our Client Development Specialist, letting her know to send the person a handwritten thank you note for their interest in Ugly Mug Marketing. This task is emailed directly to our Client Development Specialist along with all of the contact information for this particular suspect/prospect.
Task – This second task, again sent to our Client Development Specialist, is to make a phone call to the suspect/prospect thanking them for completing the survey, and to ask any additional clarifying questions.
Email – The next email is sent one day after the previous email, and its primary objective is to build our credibility. We do this through the use of testimonials.
Email – The final email in this sequence, which is sent three days after the previous, provides the suspect/prospect with an overview of our website design process. This message is designed to help differentiate us from our competitors by showing our organized and well-thought-out website building process.
And All That Happens Automatically
This is powerful stuff! No more worrying or wondering if our prospects are being followed up with. This sequence ensures that no one falls through the cracks.
What about the tasks? How do I know if and when the tasks are being completed? Great questions! As I mentioned previously, in this particular sequence the tasks are emailed over to our Client Development Specialist and, once completed, she checks a box indicating the task is complete. Ontraport then adds this completed task to the prospects contact history.
Within the “tasks” settings you have the ability to set notifications if tasks are not being completed within your set timeline. For example, if either of the tasks mentioned above aren’t marked as complete within three business days, Ontraport sends me an email (or even a text message) letting me know.
Are you beginning to see how powerful this can be for your business? If you’re still not convinced, hang with me for a few more minutes and I’ll pull back the curtain on one more and, probably our most important, sequence.
Why it’s Critical that You Finish Strong
Once we complete designing, building, and launching a new website, we’re technically done with the project. However, this is the time when we want to go the extra mile and ensure that our clients love us – and recommend us to others. We have a secret weapon that makes us look like heroes! That weapon is Ontraport. Specifically, the sequence we have set up for clients with newly launched websites. Here’s what the sequence looks like:
As you can see, there’s a lot that happens once we launch a website. How do we ensure it happens consistently? We don’t! We let Ontraport do all the remembering and reminding for us. Let’s quickly dive through what happens on this sequence.
Email – This first email congratulates them on their new website, and lets them know we’ll still be here to serve them.
Rule – This rule adds them to a separate short sequence. This separate sequence asks them to complete a short survey and tell us about their experience with Ugly Mug Marketing.
Rule – This rule automatically generates their unique username and password for our support/training portal.
Postcard – This automatically prints and mails a custom postcard. It does it all, we never have to touch it.
Fulfillment – This automatically sends an order to Zingerman’s with instructions about which gift to send to our client. It even includes instructions for what to write on the handwritten thank you note.
Fulfillment – This automatically sends an email to our coding team reminding them to upload the website source files to our server.
Email – This email goes out to our client the following day (after the first email message) with information regarding their website warranty.
Task – This task notifies our staff to send the client their website source files on a thumb drive.
Email – This email simply says “Your website has been live online for about a week, we wanted to check in and see if you had any questions.”
Task – This is a notification to our staff asking them to call the client and do a post-launch follow up. When our staff receives this notification, it includes the exact script needed.
Task – This task is simply to schedule a meeting with the supervisor to review how the project went.
Email – This email is triggered after their site has been live for about two weeks. The email contains a link to an article that may be useful to help them generate traffic to their website.
Email – This email reminds them their warranty will be expiring in 10 days.
Email – This email reminds them their warranty will be expiring in three (3) days.
Email – This email lets them know their warranty has expired, but that we are still here to help them if they need it.
Task – This task tells our staff to send this client a copy of our book, along with a handwritten thank you note.
Email – This email let’s our client know we’re going to be sending them a gift to help them with their website.
Task – This step runs about six months after we’ve launched their website. It is a task for us to send the client a small gift. We change these gifts but, typically, we send a book relevant to their business.
Postcard – This final step in the sequence is a “happy birthday” postcard for their website.
Whew! Let me catch my breath! As you can see there are a lot of different things that take place after we launch a website. So many, that chances are very good, we would never remember to do them all if we didn’t have them in Ontraport.
Imagine if we only had them on paper as part of our post-launch procedure, which we do. Who would make sure that each step was being done? Who would make sure they were all being done in a timely fashion?
Sure, we could do it that way – but how much time do you think it would take to check in and ensure it was all being done? Whatever the length of time, it would be too much! Fortunately, with Ontraport, there doesn’t have to be any oversight unless Ontraport sends me a notice that a step hasn’t been completed.
Why Not You?
I get it! I know how busy you are. Trust me, I understand. In addition to running Ugly Mug Marketing, I’m in the process of writing another book, launching an entirely new product line, developing new software, reading an average of two books each month, and all the other random stuff that comes along with running a business. All that doesn’t take into account spending time with my amazing family.
Please don’t make the mistake I made for so many years. I justified not purchasing Ontraport because it was too expensive. I can honestly say it is one of the best investments Ugly Mug Marketing has made.
Give it a try today.
You can now give Ontraport a try for a full 90-days with absolutely no risk.
The bottom line.
- No ridiculous set up fees!
No lame contracts!
90-day unconditional, love it or leave it, money back guarantee!
But that’s not all! You also get…
- Dedicated phone and email support
- Totally cool personal account manager
- Get-started-quickly implementation
- Comprehensive video training library
- No fail, rapid-response help desk
- Likes, Shares, & Comments WON'T Put Money In Your Bank Account.
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