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Essential Digital Tools For Non-Profits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Non-Profits|Essential Digital Tools For Non-ProfitsRunning a non-profit can be challenging enough without being able to rely on profits and consistent paying customers, which is why there are plenty of excellent tools designed to make your non-profit excel without paying the same prices that massive corporations do. If you’re looking for your non-profit to be as successful and as rewarding for its clients as possible, here are the essential digital tools you need to know about.

Make Donations Easy

Donations are a massive part of any non-profit, so it makes sense that one of the main tools you want to invest in is a way to make them as easy as possible. Instead of shaking a collection jug as passersby on the high street, you can reach people from the comfort of their sofa watching football.

Donation software makes it possible for millions of people to feel charitable, and the best of this software can set a page up in fewer than 15 minutes. If you’re still not convinced, there are more than 7,000 non-profit organizations worldwide who use this software, and they can embed your forms or popup widget to make it easily accessible for those who are feeling generous. There are paid and free services, so take your pick of whichever works best for you.

Keep Systems Up and Running

With so much to take care of while running a non-profit, you can often neglect other parts of the organization. If you’re going to make the most of digital software and services, then Non-Profits IT support is crucial.

This means you have one less thing to worry about while you do your campaigning, and they can also solve any issues as soon as they arise, often with 24-hour support, seven days a week. With everything running smoothly, you can focus your energy elsewhere and focus on making your non-profit as fantastic as it can be.

Keep Subscribers In the Loop

Services such as Mailchimp or any of its competitors are a fantastic way of keeping your subscribers firmly in the loop when it comes to what you’re doing, what you plan to do next, or any other big news you want to share, especially at the end of a highly successful campaign.

It’s too easy for donors to forget about non-profits they were once so passionate about. However, with a dedicated email and newsletter service, you can ensure that the good news spreads sufficiently, and you can also reach out to other potential donors to help you fight for your cause. With such an excellent tool for marketing automation, you can also get a wide range of data and information about your subscribers.

Final Thoughts

A non-profit still needs to keep up with advancements in technology and the potential that it can offer if it wants to demonstrate that it can make a difference. By investing in the best and most essential digital tools, you can guarantee that your organization keeps on changing the world and committing to causes on a local, national, or even global scale.

How to Boost Your Retail Store Sales with Task Automation

StrategyDriven, Business Management, Retail Sales, Marketing Automation, Lead Generation,Every business owner needs a little more time and money on their hands. But both resources can be hard to come by, especially if your everyday tasks are bleeding you dry.

Enters task automation and you can save the day and your sanity. Task automation saves you a lot of time and money, while allowing you to close more sales on autopilot.

Thanks to automation, you can effectively boost productivity, lower costs and offer better customer service online and offline.

With a clever automation strategy, your cash registers keep ringing and you spend less time on mundane and repetitive tasks.

At the end of the day, you end up with more time and money to channel towards business growth. And when you hit your growth goals, automation scales with you making your job easy.

With the preamble, continue reading to learn how you can easily boost sales in your store(s) with task automation.

How to Use Task Automation to Boost Sales

Automation uses software to carry out most of the tasks that were traditionally performed by a team of people.
Nowadays, and thanks to advances in technology, you can automate many tasks including marketing, lead nurturing, sales, daily operations and customer service among others.

In the following section, we cover several areas you can automate in a bid to increase sales while saving tons of time and money.

That out of the way, let us get down to business.

Marketing Automation

Businesses spend a huge amount of money marketing their products and services. Usually, most businesses don’t achieve the desired ROI thanks to poor execution, human error and so on.

Automating your marketing strategy can save you a lot of money and time. If you run a website for your store (and you should), automating your marketing efforts include adding features such as newsletters and social media.

Once a visitor sign ups to your newsletter, you can send them automated emails to convert mere subscribers to ready-to-pay customers. To automate opt-ins on your website, you can use a service such as OptinMonster and Thrive Leads among others.

If you didn’t know, email is a powerful marketing channel for online and offline businesses. You can easily send automated offers to your customers, which can boost both online and instore purchases tremendously.

Most email marketing providers offer you automation with a basic plan. For popular players in the industry, checkout MailChimp, AWeber and Campaign Monitor among others. Once you sign up, you can offer free content on a regular basis to win over customers, a practice known as content dripping.

Further, you can schedule social media posts that feed your social media marketing campaigns on autopilot. You don’t need me to tell you that posting on various social media platforms daily can eat up a lot of your precious time.

To be on the safe side, you can pick a few hours to schedule a month’s (or a year’s) worth of social media posts, and automate everything with a tool such as Hootsuite or BuzzSumo among others.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing involves actively participating in the customer’s journey from lead acquisition to purchase and beyond.

Many first timers to your businesses aren’t ready to purchase. However, you can turn the tables in your favor by automating lead nurturing – the process of converting a mere visitor to paying customer.

For starters, you must respond to contact requests immediately. If you delay your responses to customer queries for more than 30 minutes, you are 23X more likely to lose leads left, right and center.

What to do? Automate the contact process. How? Automate email/SMS responses that are sent out as soon as the visitor contacts your business.

As soon as you send out the canned response, automatically assign the lead to a sales rep who then follows up immediately. The prospect appreciates the fast response times, and you smile all the way to the bank.

Additionally, you can incorporate an automatic system that helps you to master phone calls. Such a system allows you to win leads you’d have otherwise lost due to phone tag.

On top of that, follow up with networking connections to generate more leads. However, following up manually can cost you a lot of time. You can automate the whole process, so you can follow up on prospective customers while saving time.

You can automate lead nurturing using a combination of tools such as email marketing, LeadSquared, Zapier and so on.

Sales Automation

Netting that one elusive sale doesn’t end with lead nurturing. Once you or your team has qualified a lead, it’s time to move on to the next phase; closing the deal. But inefficiencies can arise and kill the sale when you’re so close.

Your best bet is to automate the sales pipeline. There are couple of stages involved in closing the sale, and the fewer problems you have in the workflow, the better your bottom line.

A typical sales pipeline involves four main stages namely:

  • Identifying the new opportunity harnessed via lead nurturing
  • First contact when you or your sale representatives contact the prospect
  • Engagement, where your team finds out the prospect’s needs
  • Qualification, when the sales representative goes full throttle and closes the deal

To avoid problems, it’s best to automate the sales pipeline, such that the sales team focuses entirely on the hottest leads, without wasting time on trivialities.

With a great sales automation strategy in place, your sales team can move the lead from stage to the next without any hiccups, saving you plenty of time and money.

On top of that, you should also engage with interested leads who are not ready to buy yet. With a little automated persuasion, you can convince such leads to make the leap and become a customer.

Other than that, always welcome your new customers with automated welcome emails/SMS/phone calls. A huge chunk of customers loves welcome emails, and if you do your homework, you can even score repeat business automatically without trying hard on your part.

For sales automation tools, we recommend Pardot, Hubspot Sales, and Keap (formerly InfusionSoft) among others.

Office Operations

Daily office operations can take a lot of time. On top of that, many stores don’t carry out next-day tasks, which results in huge losses. The best scenario for all businesses is to boost employee engagement and productivity.
And did you know you can leverage the power of automation to boost employee engagement, productivity and achieve consistent store execution? That’s right, you can automate plenty of instore tasks to save time and money, boost employee morale and promote effective customer service.

You can easily automate tasks such as office communication with a tool such as RetailZipline. Additionally, you can use the same tool to automate sending and receiving of important documents, set up daily task checklists, and foster store participation via surveys.

Other than that, you can automate inventory tracking (you can use Zoho Inventory), job applications, employee onboarding (you can use RetailZipline) and so much more.

Other Areas

You can further automate areas such as:

  • Events such as instore sales or networking events
  • Ecommerce including tasks such as recovering abandoned carts, updating credit card numbers, generating repeat business, etc.
  • Customer service such as making it easier for customers to seek help, gauging client satisfaction, asking for referrals by offering small gifts e.g. coupons, remembering client birthdays, and cleaning your email lists among others

Conclusion

Task automation can save you a lot of headaches, time and money. Provided you know the right strategy and tools to use, you can easily automate your business.

As a store manager, HQ or district leader, it is important to invest in task automation to take your business to the next level.

Have concerns, suggestions, favorite tools or questions? Please share in the comments. Cheers to happy automating.

Why Automating Your Digital Marketing is The Way Forward

Digital marketing is vital to your business, but do you ever find yourself living your life in reaction to social media notifications or emails?

The digitally connected world we live in, can be incredibly harmful to living a balanced and successful life; particularly in terms of our emotional wellbeing and social lives.  One of the best ways to ensure a more balanced life, is to automate your digital marketing by creating a network of automated process, systems, and apps to automatically take care of marketing tasks such as following up on emails, posting to facebook, and so on.

This will not only free up physical time, it will give you peace of mind, and a sense of certainty that things are being taken care of.  Essentially, it will allow you the time you need to be calm, focused, and responsive rather than reactive; contributing to a more stress free working environment.

Tim Ferris in his New York Times Bestselling Book, The Four Hour Workweek talks about the importance of automation in our work lives so that we can focus on managing our business in the sense of working ‘on’ the business rather than working ‘in’ the business.  Whilst Tim, along with several other millennial productivity experts urge us to go one step further and outsource our tasks to a virtual assistant; ideally someone living in India or Asia on the basis of cost – this article looks at automation as it relates to technological systems.

In this article we’re going to look at automating a number of the most time consuming digital tasks the majority of business owners contend with; things such as being inundated by emails, following up on sales leads, keeping our files organised, and managing our social media presence.

1. EMAIL MARKETING

There are plenty of time-starved business owners frantically sending out an email to a customer thanking them for their order and letting them know when it will be shipped.  The key point with automation is that it frees your time to be working ‘on’ the business at a strategic level rather than ‘in’ the business where you are wasting your time doing the same job as a low-level employee.  You could use something like mailchimp in order to start automating your emails at very low cost.

2.  FILE TRANSFER

If you’ve ever accidentally spilled a glass of water on your laptop, lost your phone, or had the despair of hard drive failure you’ll have most likely heard the words “did you back-up your files” and if you didn’t, this is the point where you begin to feel overwhelmed by a sense of frustration and kicking yourself.  That said, keeping on track of backing up your files can be time consuming, which is why automating your file transfer can make your life a lot easier and offer a sense of security and certainty that allows you to relax.

3. MARKETING FUNNELS

Your marketing funnel is made up of several stages through which browsers (who will hopefully go on to become customers) move from first awareness of your brand or website through to making a purchase.  A marketing funnel is essentially the process of converting a visitor or browser into a paying customer, and sites such as Clickfunnels can automate this process in a very efficient and visually engaging way.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Managing your social media marketing campaigns can be extremely time consuming.  Many business owners consider hiring a virtual assistant in order to manage this time consuming task though there there are several free apps such as hootsuite and buffer that can help you automate this task.