One of the most frustrating parts of setting up your online wellness business is when your tools don’t work together. That’s where automation tools can help.
When tools work together that’s called an integration. An example of this might be your course platform passing the name and email address of a client to your email marketing platform.
Most tools come with a variety of integration options so in many cases automation tools are not necessary. But there are many cases where you’ll need to use automation tools to do what you want.
Here are a few common automation tools.
Zapier is probably the most common automation tool. And it has one of the most extensive lists of apps that you can integrate. In fact many tools rely on Zapier for integrations with other tools. Zapier uses ”Zaps” to create an automation that takes information from one platform and uses it in another platform.
With the paid version of Zapier you can set up multi step automations which can be useful in many cases.
I’ve run into a couple of issues with Zapier. When you are testing a Zap it pulls data from that account. And it will perform the automation that you request. So that could mean an old client in your database being sent a welcome email or being added to a new product. Something to watch out for.
But for the most part, Zapier is a reliable and useful tool.
Make, formerly known as Integromat, is another automation tool. It also offers an extensive library of integrations, but fewer than Zapier. They offer fewer integrations with the free version, but the paid version is substantially cheaper than Zapier. So it is worth considering if it works with the applications that you use.
Webhooks are messages sent from a platform when something happens. They can be received by other platforms to perform a task that you want. They can be used with an automation tool or on their own. Some platforms like ConvertKit and Active Campaign make sending webhooks easy. But generally they can be complicated and are not for the beginner.
Email marketing platforms
Email marketing platforms are not usually considered automation tools, but they can actually be the most important automation tool in your business.
Email automations are absolutely necessary if you are trying to grow your email list with a free offer. The automation can be set up to deliver your free offer when someone signs up without you having to do anything.
If your email tool has good integrations and/or supports webhooks you may be able to use it for external automations. Email automations usually support time based automations and advanced conditions that may not be present in other automation tools. And example of this is being able to set a program start day to a Monday regardless of the purchase date. Many course platforms don’t allow this type of drip feeding, but email automation tools can make this possible.
Social media or appointment schedulers are another form of automation tool.
Social media schedulers integrate with your social media platform and perform that task of scheduling posts when you want them to go out.
Appointment schedulers integrate with your calendar and your video conferencing platform to allow clients to book appointments easily.
You may need to use additional automation tools to completely automate these processes.
Reasons for using automation tools
Here are several scenarios that automation tools can come in handy.
- Adding people to your email list from a tool that doesn’t integrate with your email list. Some examples of this could be your scheduling tool, form builders, client management platforms and course platforms. Many of these, but not all will have direct integrations.
- Automatic responses when people sign up for a free offer, webinar or appointment
- Adding people from your email signups, or client management tools to spreadsheets, tables, or other tracking programs.
- Adding people who sign up to your webinars to your email provider or your client management software
What Tech Do You Need?
To start and grow your wellness business
Doing things manually
You may decide that automation tools are not necessary for the stage of business you are at and decide to do things manually. And this might be the right decision. Here are times when automation is not necessary:
- It’s not time sensitive. If someone signs up for your program and you add them to your client platform a little bit later, that’s OK. Just make sure that you set expectations ahead of time so your client doesn’t think they have been scammed.
- The volume is low. Automation is probably not necessary when you only have a few clients.
Things to consider
Before I discuss choosing automation tools, let’s look at other tools. It can be simpler to choose tools that directly integrate with each other, but consider other aspects of the tools before you make the decision.
If you do decide that automation tools are necessary, make sure you consider that cost. If you choose to use an automation tool to integrate things, it’s very likely that you’ll need the paid version at some point. So that needs to be factored into your budget. In other words don’t save $10 a month on one tool only to pay $20 per month for your automation tool.
If your automations are complicated you may need help setting this up. If you’d like help strategizing how automations can simplify your business and improve your client processes book a strategy call.