PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Marketing sales

At one of my events this week, there was an great discussion on ways to keep "filling the funnel" during the busy season. We all have those times when we forget about nurturing prospects and business development because we're heads-down working in our business. That doesn't mean marketing has to stop. As a business owner, you're always marketing anyway - why not let your conversations lead right into your online efforts.

I admit to being a bit remiss about following up at certain times of the year, but technology does make things a little easier. For example, I've been making use of a platform called Zapier for the past year. I recently decided it was worth the $15 per month to get some additional connections going and now I'm working toward getting the most out of it.

For this article, I'm going to focus on a single task as an example and I may add some others down the road. We all need to build our email marketing list and that's one of the hardest things to do. I'm now using Zapier to tie my contacts (stored in Google Contacts) and my email marketing list (on MailChimp) together.

First things first, make sure you have a Google Account (or an iCloud account if you're of the Apple persuasion) and a MailChimp account (Zapier also works with Constant Contact and some other email platforms). Once you have those set up, you just need to sign up for a free Zapier account to get started.

Zapier listens for events on one platform to signal when it should send some amount of data to another. This process is a called a "zap". Once you're signed up, create a new zap.

  1. Choose Google Contacts for the Trigger app (left side).
  2. Choose MailChimp for the Action app (right side).
  3. Choose New Contact for the Trigger (a second selector shows up on the left after you pick Google Contacts in step 1).
  4. Choose Add Subscriber for the Action.
  5. Zapier will help you connect your accounts in the next section
  6. Set a way to filter who gets added as a subscriber. *
  7. Choose the email list to add them onto
  8. Choose what information should be sent as the email, first and last name, and any other information you have in your email list that you want synced from Contacts (these menus will give you a list of fields in Contacts to choose from).
  9. Test the Zap (there's a convenient button to do this for you).
  10. Name the Zap and turn it on.

I realize this looks like a lot of steps, but it really only takes a few minutes and the time savings is immense. I've gone one step further by setting the option to send a Welcome email to yes. This triggers a notification to the email address that's subscribed and gives them the opportunity to unsubscribe if they'd prefer not to receive my emails.

Sure, you still have to add the contact information to your phone and I highly recommend only triggering the Zap when a contact is added to a specific group and when an email exists so you don't add every single person added to your contacts subscribed to your mailing list. I use an app called CamCard to make entering the contact bit easier, but there's several great options for capturing business card contact info to add to your contacts. If you already have a favorite, you can use it with the same impact.

That's it. With these steps, you've now taken the effort of building your email list from 2 actions (adding to Google Contacts and subscribing to MailChimp) to one simple process.

Need assistance connecting any of the many systems you use on a regular basis to run your business? That's what we do. We help you use technology to help, rather than hinder, your business activities so you can make your ideas a reality. Contact Sol Minion Development to get more ways to streamline your business.