This is a contributed post by Maria Peagler, an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant

Congratulations! You signed up for a marketing automation tool to turn your business into a 24/7 marketing and sales machine.

Now what?

Setting up a marketing automation tool can be daunting: with so many options and tasks, where do you begin?

What if you could start with three simple automations providing an almost-immediate return on your investment (ROI)?

I’m revealing three dead-simple marketing automations that can provide ROI in 24 hours — these are the automations I build for my clients immediately, as they earn back their investment in marketing automation (and my services).

The best part? These automations are fast and simple to build (or have an ActiveCampaign certified consultant build them for you).

Let’s get started!

3 automations providing 24-hour ROI

The automations are:

  1. New client onboarding
  2. Abandoned cart (even if you don’t have a shopping cart)
  3. Generating new leads & follow up

Why these three particular automations?

Because they address the most profitable stages of your sales funnel, starting with the people already spending money with you:

  1. New client onboarding provides an exceptional welcome to people who recently purchased from you, so you’re likely to retain them as clients longer
  2. Abandoned cart targets people who have shown interest in spending money with you, but were interrupted or possibly have objections
  3. Generating new leads & follow up provides a steady flow of potential clients for the previous two automations. After all, where do those new clients and abandoned cart prospects come from?

These three automations create a 24/7 marketing & sales flow providing qualified traffic at every stage of your sales funnel.

New client onboarding automation

“The person most likely to buy from you again is the customer who bought from you most recently.” – Chris Baggott, Email Marketing by the Numbers

If you remember just one thing from this article, it’s Chris’ quote above. Take care of your current customers first: too many entrepreneurs and marketers chase new customers then forget them once they buy.

Instead, start with an automation delivering an outstanding experience for people who just bought from you.

How?

By triggering a welcome email immediately after someone makes a purchase. Triggered automations begin as a result of your subscriber’s (or buyer’s) activity — in this case, they made a purchase.

Here’s what the automation looks like:

A new client onboarding automation.

How does it work?

  1. When someone buys one of my digital marketing service packages, ActiveCampaign adds them to the Digital Marketing Services list, which immediately triggers this automation. New clients aren’t left wondering, “what’s next?”
  2. The automation checks to see if the client already has the Client Welcome Email tag, and if so, ends the automation. This prevents existing clients, or previous ones, who have already received this email, from getting it again.
  3. I send the Client Welcome email delivering outstanding client service (my favorite welcome email is this one from Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want and founder of CD Baby)
  4. I add the Client Welcome Email tag, so if the client purchases anything else from me, they don’t get this email again
  5. I end the automation

Simple, effective, and makes a fabulous first impression on a new client!

Abandoned cart automation

The abandoned cart automation is the darling of digital marketing agencies and brands, as it’s practically guaranteed to capture lost revenue.

What is it?

An automation triggered when people visit your Pricing or Shop page, but don’t buy. The automation sends a follow-up email to remind visitors to complete their purchase and offer to answer any questions they may have.

In my experience, however, abandoned cart automations are notoriously complex to create.

And what if you don’t have a shopping cart? Most marketing automation tools integrate with major shopping carts, but what if you don’t use one?

I was determined to find a simpler way. The result is this elegant abandoned cart automation.

Here’s what the automation looks like:

An abandoned cart automation.

How does it work?

  1. When someone visits my Pricing page, ActiveCampaign immediately triggers this automation
  2. I wait one hour to give the visitor time to purchase. They may have been interrupted and completed their purchase a few minutes later, so I don’t want buyers to get this email.
  3. After one hour, the automation checks to see if the visitor is already a client (the Current Member tag). If they are, then the automation ends. If they’re not, then the automation continues to the next step.
  4. The automation sends the Abandoned Cart Reminder email. Make this short & simple: remind them to complete their purchase, give them a link to your Pricing or Shop page, and also offer to answer any questions they have (bonus points for including a client testimonial).
  5. The automation ends

Here’s what my Abandoned Cart email looks like.

That’s it! The abandoned cart automation acts as a 24/7 sales team on your behalf, since it triggers automatically: anytime people visit your Pricing/Shop page without buying, it follows up with them.

And no complicated shopping cart integration necessary.

If you’ve got website traffic, and they visit your Pricing/Shop page, this automation pays for itself in no time.

Generate new leads & follow-up automation

Now that we’ve nurtured new clients and potential buyers with the previous two automations, we can turn our attention to generating a consistent pipeline of qualified leads for those automations.

Again, we’re keeping this simple by:

  • Capturing new leads with an opt-in form on your website homepage
  • Immediately following up with those leads using an automation

You can use this same process for any page of your website, including a blog post or a landing page. For this article, we’re keeping it simple so you can start with the one website page everyone has: a homepage.

First, ask yourself WHY someone would give you their email address? What’s in it for them? Start with an outstanding offer they can’t refuse.

On my homepage, I make an offer for a free Social Media Strategy class, as shown below:

Once people enter their email, the automation takes over and immediately starts the follow-up process. Here’s what the automation looks like:

A new lead generation and follow-up automation.

Let’s see how it works. The follow-up automation:

  1. Triggers when a visitor offers their email and is added to the Free Social Media Strategy class list
  2. Adds the SMS Class tag to identify the offer this subscriber opted in for
  3. Sends the Welcome email with access information for the class
  4. Adds a LM Active (Lead Magnet Active) tag: I use this to ensure these subscribers don’t get other emails while they’re in this automation. I don’t want to bombard their Inbox with multiple offers at the same.
  5. Waits for one day before moving to the next step in the automation, giving the subscriber time to open the email and start taking the class.
  6. Ends by entering another automation where I make them a buying offer and ultimate removes the LM Active tag. You could end your automation here with a simple End Automation step, but this is the perfect time to make an offer: they’re a new subscriber and you have their attention.

Conclusion

Remember where we started? Wondering what your first steps should be with your shiny new marketing automation tool.

You now have a blueprint for three foundational marketing automations you can build that provide ROI in 24 hours.

Extra Credit: These three automations build a full sales funnel. Your next step is to identify people in your funnel who are your most engaged subscribers, then nurture them toward a purchase. How? By using tags to identify what I call your “hot leads.” I wrote a guest post on how to do exactly this for the ActiveCampaign blog here.

Maria Peagler is the founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, an award-winning author & artist, and a certified ActiveCampaign consultant.  Find her on Twitter at @sm_onlineclass.