Have you been a good WordPress pro this year? Great – you’ll receive a nice EFY deal!
The Santa of Shopping Carts will appear multiple times in your inbox promising a substantial percentage off of products you’ve browsed but never bought.
Let’s not forget the ATO, a.k.a. Santa’s BIG helper, with the $20,000 instant write off – ending on 30 June ’18.
Indeed, it’s a good time of the year to be spending your hard earned $$$ – an opportunity to upgrade your systems, whether digital or not.
But do so strategically. Invest in what can help you build up more momentum in your business.
Setting yourself up for lift off
The Startup Journey graph (right side) is the handy work of Gerard Doyle of Fractal. And I’m drawn to point 4, just before the upturn.
Gerard was kind enough to share a strategy to achieve this: Startups: Why You Need To Create A Niche Monopoly. It’s worth a read even if you’re not starting up. For those struggling with their cash flow and customer base, this piece is for you also.
My question is this: What tools can help us execute such a strategy and boost growth?
Here are three suggestions based on my own experiences in digital marketing:
#1 Automate your marketing efforts using ActiveCampaign
I’ve used a number of marketing automation platforms in the past, including enterprise-grade solutions which cost a small fortune. ActiveCampaign’s entry-level plan starts at $9 and gives you access to most of the functions that the bigger platforms offer. One caveat, though. ActiveCampaign is very email-centric, so lags behind when you need to reach folk via other channels.
With ActiveCampaign, you can automate your lead gen and conversion efforts so that you can push more and more leads to the top of your funnel without fearing being overwhelmed by the manual tasks you’re replacing.
ActiveCampaign has a secret weapon too: CRM. They call it ‘Deals’ and it’s relatively simple function to track opportunities through a pipeline. They don’t need to be sales-related either; you can set up pipelines for tracking support requests, outreach, job applications, etc…
An ActiveCampaign WordPress plugin is available to easily drop lead gen forms on your website.
#2 Use Zapier, the internet’s glue, to connect your platform ecosystem together
We’re living in the API economy where data is a currency that needs to flow between platforms. Marketers know this very well and have to wear a Technologist’s hat to build out their growth systems, by stringing together multiple platforms.
If you don’t, that great user experience you’re trying to achieve will be fragmented: You’ll have touch points along with ‘touch gaps’ prospects will fall into, never to be seen again.
I’ve used Zapier for numerous projects and it has saved me a lot of time, money and sweat, particularly when they introduced Filters. It allows you to set conditions for Zaps to fire off or not, as well as a degree of data manipulation.
At the time of writing, there are 100 WordPress integrations available, giving you the opportunity to position WordPress at the centre of your platform ecosystem.
Also, devs prefer Zapier because it reduces the number of annoying last minute requests from marketing folk.
#3 Implement the Swiss Army knife of project management tools: Trello
How can a project management/collaboration tool helps us upgrade our marketing efforts and scale?
Consider this: Our brains haven’t followed Moore’s Law and upgraded as quickly as the tech we’ve adopted. Unless you’re superhuman, you’ll struggle to juggle items on your to-do list. So, think of Trello as an upgrade to your brain’s capability!
We’re big Trello fans. You can read up about our efforts here, explaining how it works for us.
You can get a ton of value from the free version, but we soon found that some of the paid-for PowerUps helped us save a lot of time.
One of these is the Slack integration which we use to alert us of some key updates on Trello.
Talking of Slack, it gets an honourable mention in this post as it has helped us cut back on a significant number of internal emails. The free edition works fine for us, and I suspect it does for many SMEs too, hence… I’m not recommending an upgrade to a paid plan.
What will you be upgrading before the EFY?
Got any extra $$$ to spend before Finance takes it away from you? Let us know what you will be upgrading in a comment below.
If you’re not inspired by any tool, well, you can always upgrade your hosting to a dedicated server. :)
About the author
Lawrence is Marketing Manager at WP Hosting, a father of two, half Italian, half Australian and half Hungarian, AS Roma fan, keen futsal player and addicted to popcorn.