As I’m writing this, I'm sitting on the side of the road waiting for someone to come and rescue my car from blocking up traffic, after it gave up the ghost. However, the fact that I can sit here, having a completely unplanned car fiasco, and know that I'm still running my website, bringing in new subscribers, posting on my Facebook page, tweeting up a storm, and writing a new blog post, got me thinking a lot about my marketing automation techniques, and how you can be using them for your church.
If you haven't heard of marketing automation before, it is a trend that is currently overtaking the internet, and, with good reason.
Now, before you go all crazy on me and say that marketing is from the devil or something (side note: someone actually said that to me!), just have a little listen to what marketing automation can do for your church. You might be surprised at how much churches need and should use automated processes.
See, most small churches have the issue of being under-resourced, under-funded and overworking their volunteers. It’s okay if that’s where you’re at right now! Many of us are. What these automation tools can do for you is help you to ‘set it and forget it’. In other words, you invest time in the beginning setting up these tools, but once you’ve started using them, you can forget about them! They will save you countless hours, and therefore, hopefully stop you or your communications person from feeling overworked. As far as being under-resourced and under-funded goes? All of the tools I’m recommending today have a free plan that you can stick to, so there are no excuses!
Let’s get onto the toolbox!
Feel like listening instead of reading?
Oh my golly, this is a new tool to me, but I am already 100% addicted. If you’re wanting to streamline the processes that run between the apps and websites you’re using, If This Then That will blow your mind. To put it simply, you can create ‘recipes’ that will happen automatically when something else triggers it. So, for instance, I just set this recipe up: IF I post to Instagram, THEN post the photo to Twitter for me. Now that this recipe is in place, every time I post to Instagram, I’ll also be posting to Twitter. But, it doesn’t stop there! You can set up recipes that will put your phone on mute when you arrive at work or go to bed, you can save photos that you’ve been tagged in on Facebook directly to your Dropbox so you’ll have them forever. The opportunities are endless, and once you’ve got your recipes in place, you’ll realise how much time you’re saving from no longer doing the mundane tasks.
For Social Media:
The best thing about Tweet Jukebox is the ability to loop your tweets. If you've ever been on Twitter before, you'll know that the feed zooms down quicker than my 1990 Corolla. Actually, most things go quicker than my sweet ride (especially now!), but you get my drift. If you don't tweet often and consistently, you tend to get a bit lost in the fray. So Tweet Jukebox lets you write a whole bunch of tweets, and then put them on repeat over a period of time! This is the only free looping tool that I've found for Twitter, so you've struck gold!
Buffer is the best free social media scheduling tool out there, in my opinion. You can schedule for Facebook, Google + and Twitter. You can set it to post at your favourite times of day, and you can even view your likes and comments in Buffer so that you don't distract yourself too much from your main goal. You can even sync Buffer with If This Then That and create a recipe to help loop your social media posts!
Hint: if you’re using Buffer, check out Quuu. It will find content from categories that you select, and then post it for you! Just be careful to give the okay to the posts before they go out into the world!
For your email list:
MailChimp is the best free email automation tool out there. You can put together a series of emails that will be sent out on autopilot when someone subscribes to your list, so you can properly welcome them to your list! And once you’ve created a template for your weekly emails, you can simply duplicate that email each time and change the words! Super simple!
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my current marketing automation tools! Don't forget to grab your copy of The Master List of Must-Have Tools for Churches from below, and we'll chat soon, friends!
*None of the links on this post are affiliated or compensated in any way - I just genuinely use and love these tools, and I hope you will too!