How to Use Automation in Your Marketing Funnel

Clint Hosman

Clint Hosman, owner, LongShip Systems

Marketing automation – using software to reduce or eliminate your repetitive tasks – can not only save you time, but can also make your marketing more efficient. Knowing how to best use automation within your marketing funnel is key to a successful implementation. By assessing and streamlining how you’re responding to leads, you can potentially engage more interested families and residents, filling vacancies.

What to Consider When Efficiently Managing Referral Sources

Clint Hosman, owner of LongShip Systems, explains that effective marketing is key to a successful senior care operation. “Setting aside the care of your clients, one of the biggest things senior care specialists have to do, from a business and revenue perspective, is keep [capacity up],” notes Hosman.

Most specialists, he notes, have lists of case managers, social workers, elder care attorneys, and medical providers that they contact when a spot opens up.

Hosman encourages senior care facilities to ask themselves the following questions regarding these referral sources:

  • How and where are you keeping these contacts updated?
  • Are you keeping in contact with these people when you don’t need a referral?
  • If you are keeping in contact with them, are you providing them value for their industry?
  • Are you actively cultivating new referral relationships? And if so, where are you tracking the progress of these relationships?

Effectively, you are selling these referral sources on why they should continue to send you business and referrals, Hosman explains. He notes that you also have plenty of software options that can help you to manage your sales pipeline.

Marketing Automation Options

Products like Keap (formerly known as Infusionsoft) and Pipedrive are non-industry-specific, says Hosman. These sales pipeline automation tools let you create your own sales process right on the platforms. He notes that more expensive options like HubSpot and Salesforce “don’t offer enough of a value increase to be worth it for a first-time automator.”

In addition to automating your sales pipeline, you can also save money and time when automating your scheduling with a tool like Calendly, AppointmentCore, or ScheduleOnce. “All of these products will integrate with your calendar system of choice, and Zoom, allowing you two huge advantages,” says Hosman:

  1. You won’t have to go back and forth with your prospects, trying to find a date and time that works for both of you.
  2. You will now be able to create an experience for your prospects when they book.

How Marketing Automation Helps Create an Experience

Creating an experience for your prospect takes you beyond the basic phone conversation, and it can help you to make a memorable impact.

Hosman explains that on a basic level, with marketing automation, you can create automated reminders for yourself and your prospect. You can send those reminders by both email and SMS.

On a more advanced level, you will have a chance to prepare your prospects for the type of conversation that you will be having. You can answer basic FAQs in advance.

Hosman suggests you take things one level further: “Ask your prospect to come prepared to answer three to four questions you find important when working with a referral partner, thereby getting them into the “buying mindset” before you even get on the phone.”

How to Determine Which Tool Is for You

When narrowing down the scheduling tools, Hosman offers a rule of thumb to make your decision easy:

  1. Are you using Google Calendar or iCal? Yes? Then either AppointmentCore or Calendly will work great. If you’re using Outlook, then Calendly is my go-to solution.
  2. Are you integrating your scheduling links with a CRM like keap or Pipedrive? Yes? Then I go with AppointmentCore.

If you’re not ready to integrate with a CRM yet, then Hosman says that either option will work.

Consider Working with a Contractor

Automation software can save you time and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing, but it’s not the right solution for every facility. “Most likely you got into elder care because you’re passionate about the care you provide and the quality of life your clients have with you, and not because it seemed like the best industry to get into software setup,” says Hosman.

“The reality is that the more time you take trying to figure out software, the less time you have providing the type of service you want for your clients. You’ve got a lot on your plate beyond learning and setting up new software.”

For these reasons, Hosman recommends working with a trusted contractor. Find a contractor who will take the time to understand your passion for elder care, and who will create a solution with you. “That solution should increase your reach and free you up to get back to the parts of your job you actually love.

Topics: Business Marketing Including Social Media and CRM , Information Technology , Technology & IT