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March 12, 2009 / jasonpinto

“Saturday! In the park…”


Okay, if you have the classic Chicago song in your head now because you read the title of this post, I apologize. (Unless you are a big fan of that song! It can just be so addictive)

Last Saturday was trash pick-up day in my town. Would you believe me if I told you that I did the following:

  • Woke up early to ensure that I didn’t miss the garbage truck
  • Ran to the window at least 3 times in very unflattering pajamas, only to find out the noise I heard was not the garbage truck
  • Still think that when the garbage truck came, it was the highlight of my day

It’s all true; here’s why – this was the debut of the new garbage trucks in our town. The new trucks are only accompanied by one person, the driver. He pulls up next to your driveway…. and then lowers down this gigantic “arm”, which hooks on to our fancy new barrels. The arm then lifts the barrel up, empties the trash, and places the barrel (very nicely) on the ground.

This may not be a big deal to you… but I had never seen this before. I hadn’t even heard about it! The town had automated the trash pick-up industry!

When it comes to marketing, there are some great technologies available to help us automate our efforts. However, a lot of times, the automation part seems like the “extra” part of the campaign… which then turns into the part that we don’t have time to set up.

But, oh! If we only knew how much time we would save in the long run by automating a portion of our follow-ups.

Think of this example:

  • Someone subscribes to your e-newsletter…. This is great! A new subscriber. No doubt, they are interested in what you have to offer. They have gone to your website, and provided some personal information. They are a hot lead. Well – what will you do? Do you wait until the next newsletter is sent out to contact them?

OR… does your system do this – automatically send a Thank You/confirmation email to the person.. which also provides links to contact someone at your company. Perhaps it provides a phone #, email address, and their Twitter account… Making it as easy as possible for that person to reach out to someone at your company, if they want to. Also, it provides a link to something special that is not on your website – maybe a white paper, or another cool piece of collateral.

Yes, a simple, automated email like this can really help your efforts. It enables you to (cliché alert!) “to strike while the iron is hot”. It’s true – the person is on your website! And seconds after subscribing, they receive an email from you, thanking them, and providing a bit of special information that they might really benefit from.

Well, this Saturday, two things might happen – the trash will be picked up, and someone may subscribe to your newsletter.  A little bit of automation can add a lot of excitement to both of those activities.


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