Five Ways to Get More Leads Using Automation

Alison Groves
Alison Groves / June 30, 2015

Zaps for Lead Generation

Lead generation. It's on all of our minds. No matter what business we're in, leads—those special contacts that seem most likely to purchase your products or services—are one of the most important things we strive for. The more people in our sales funnel, the more potential for new sales and customer retention. However, maintaining the flow of leads can be an extremely tedious job with lots of manual work.

There are lots of moving parts in the lead generation puzzle: forms, CRMs, email marketing lists, e-commerce platforms, and so much more. A few simple automations can help you save the time you'd otherwise waste on manual data entry with leads, leaving you with plenty of time to help move those leads down the funnel.

Use Forms to Gather Leads

"The Zap eliminates the need for us to re-enter fields the customer already provided us, saving our sales team considerable time and energy."

Most of us have used the most tried and true lead generation method out there: a form embedded on our website. However, once someone has entered their information into the form, then what? Find yourself spending considerable amount of time manually copying information from that form and pasting it into your CRM? Use a simple automation to cut that step out entirely.

"We embed a Wufoo form called 'We'd Like To Carry Fullsteam!' on our website," Sean Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery tells us. "A potential customer fills out the form and, thanks to Zapier, that data goes directly into Batchbook, creating both a Company and Individual record. We still need to add information to make it a Batchbook sales 'deal,' but that requires a customer interaction anyway. The Zap eliminates the need for us to re-enter fields the customer already provided us, saving our sales team considerable time and energy."

Tieshena Davis, Senior Publisher at Purposely Created Publishing, shares a similar experience. "We struggled with capturing our consult form submissions into our CRM system until I noticed the integration capability between Jotform and Insightly with Zapier," she says. "At first I had to go to Jotform to get the prospect info, and manually enter it into Insightly after each call. As my business grew rapidly, this became a very time constraining and unproductive task. Thanks to Zapier, now after each consult call, I can easily log into Insightly, find the prospect name and enter my follow-up notes, set reminders and record the sales funnel stages and projected revenue.

"This not only helped me, but now my sales team also having an easy way of tracking info without having to do multiple steps beforehand."

Nurture Mailing List Signups

"With Zapier, it all syncs, keeping us all on the same page and eliminating the need for data being entered multiple times throughout several platforms."

When you do acquire a new lead, getting them into the proper email marketing channel is paramount. You'll not only want to ensure that they receive timely communications from you, but will also want to be sure your message is tailored to the reasons they reached out in the first place.

"We utilize Formstack to handle all of our drop off residential technology repairs with a form we built," Jason McAnich, CTO of J.Tek tells us. "We also use Formstack for our website contact form, and several other forms in our business to collect information. We love the MailChimp integration, as it allows us to automatically add new clients to our mailing list, and ones that contact us via any of the other forms we use.

"We no longer have duplicate data or missing from one system or another, instead, it's all in sync and works great as some of my team prefer to enter data in Insightly, some Formstack and some via Quickbooks. With Zapier, it all syncs, keeping us all on the same page and eliminating the need for data being entered multiple times throughout several platforms."

Collect Leads Via Surveys

"That whole process is very time consuming – time that we just couldn’t afford any longer!"

Much like forms, surveys are another great way to generate interest and capture leads. A survey allows you to take the lead process just a bit further and ask certain questions of a person you may not want to include on a simple form. And when you can automate that data right into another tool, massive amounts of time can be saved.

"Here at Amplify Research Partners, we make great use of using Zapier to connect SurveyMonkey and Google Sheets," explains Kimberly Wakefield, Project and Data Associate. "We are a market research firm and have many studies happening each month, and we use SurveyMonkey to conduct the first portion of the research. People, who we call “respondents”, take our surveys via SurveyMonkey to find out if they are potentially qualified to participate in each particular study. As you can imagine, with multiple surveys running simultaneously, we have a lot of data to sift through!

"Without Zapier, we had to manually export all the responses from each survey, reformat this exported data, and upload the reformatted data to Google Sheets. That whole process is very time consuming – time that we just couldn’t afford any longer! We need the survey data in Google Sheets for our recruiters who call the qualifying respondents to invite them to participate in the studies.

"Zapier removes the tedious steps of reformatting and simply puts our data from SurveyMonkey into Google Sheets. Now we have nearly real-time data from our surveys that allows us to continue on to the next portion of the research while the first portion is running automatically."

Automate Personal Emails

"This feature is great because visitors expect to be contact quickly and get the information that was promised."

Following up with an initial lead is one of the most important parts of the lead generation process, and for best results, follow up with the lead from your personal email address. That way, the communication comes directly from you, and not your email marketing platform. It can make all of the difference to the lead knowing you took the time to reach out to them personally. Then, with that initial step automated, you can spend even more time taking care of those leads further down the funnel.

"When I became a Independent Promoter with The LIMU Company I wanted to have my own website to send traffic to," says Neal Brown. "I created MeetNFB.com to quickly direct prospects to our Opportunity video. For people that find the website on their own, I wanted a way to contact the website visitors.

"With SumoMe and Zapier I am able to collect the visitors' email address and then can send an automatic reply that sends more information. This feature is great because visitors expect to be contact quickly and get the information that was promised. SumoMe and Zapier is helping build my business, easily and effectively without additional costs."

Gary Yau Chan from Oz Content also uses automation for lead generation as it relates to content marketing. "We at Oz use Sumome to develop our inbound marketing list for our webinar about content marketing ideation. Currently we have 5x our sign ups rate per week using Sumome as opposed to a standard contact form. Previously, with our old contact form we would need to manually insert information into Salesforce by hand. With Zapier, we were able to instantly add them into our Salesforce marketing qualified leads opportunity pipeline.

"We honestly cannot work without Zapier from now on. It is integrated to our internal operation and process. Its very pivotal to building connections between any sales and marketing applications we use and our database in Salesforce."

Treat E-Commerce Purchases as Leads

"As soon as a transaction is processed, our marketing and sales teams have actionable data in Salesforce to fulfill the sale or follow up with other opportunities."

When someone purchases your product or service, they become an entirely different type of lead—a customer, one you want to work as hard as possible to retain. By taking those purchasers and automatically turning them into qualified leads in your sales app, you can easily nurture and maintain that relationship without all of the tedious work.

"While eCommerce is a big part of our business, a lot of our orders take place offline or over the phone," explains Shane Quast, Director of Digital Marketing for PureWRX. "Maintaining two separate customer databases for online versus offline was becoming very difficult for us, especially from a customer service perspective. A customer would place an order online and call for an update and our phone reps had no record of the order in Salesforce.

"We used Zapier to automatically push all order and customer data to Salesforce, and this helped us not only centralize our customer data, but also streamline reporting. All Bigcommerce online orders are pushed by Zapier and create a Closed / Won opportunity in Salesforce. When our sales team runs reports on close rates and sales, all online orders are included."

Sean Wetherell of ACHC uses a simlar automation. "As soon as a transaction is processed, our marketing and sales teams have actionable data in Salesforce to fulfill the sale or follow up with other opportunities. Highly recommend Zapier for any organization that needs simple, easy, and accurate app connections!"


Zapier eBook: "The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys"

The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys

Get the Free eBook!

Forms and surveys are some of the best ways to gather leads, but where do you start when you need to build a form or survey? Over the past few months, the Zapier team has researched the best form and survey apps, the tips you need to get the most out of form and survey software, and even put together a guide and sample spreadsheets to help you analyze your survey data. You'll find all of that and more in our new free eBook, "The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys".

With 9 chapters covering forms, surveys, database builders, and more, there's something for everyone in this book:

Check out our blog post for more info on the book, or go ahead and read "The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys" or download it in PDF, ePub, and MOBI formats for free.

Download The Ultimate Guide to Forms and Surveys


New Zapier Apps, Triggers and Actions

New Zapier Apps, Triggers, and Actions

During the month of June, we welcomed 12 new apps to Zapier, including form apps, software to manage team goals, and the much requested Wunderlist. We also made enhancements to Zapier's Email Parser.

DocSend

DocSend brings you notifications and insight into when and how long clients or sales prospects viewed the documents you've sent them, giving you peace of mind that your sales pitch, marketing campaign or important doc was viewed.

"For a mobile startup in the hospitality industry that juggles relationships with brands, venues, and consumers, tracking all outreach is imperative to our success," says Stephen Lybeck, director of operations for Preo Mobile-Ordering. "We use DocSend as our primary delivery mode for investor decks and partnership documents because it gives us invaluable analytics that tell us who viewed the document and the duration spent looking at each slide. We then use Zapier to add the contacts that view our DocSend files into Base CRM and receive alerts via a dedicated #docsend Slack channel."

Wunderlist

One of the most popular to-do list apps out there, Wunderlist has all the features you'd expect to manage everything you have to do, including organizing your tasks into lists, creating sub-tasks, due dates, and more.

"We rebuild, customise and paint mainly motorcycles but lots of other stuff," says Michael John Brits. "We run the shop on pictures in Trello, and we have lists in Trello for the many processes an item will go through. As an item is moved to a list then we use Zapier to automatically send a task todo to the the responsible person's Wunderlist.

"Everything in the item moves as a process is completed the next person is notified of the task in Wunderlist. Although they can check their list on Trello, Wunderlist gives them a quick overview of their current tasks."

Michael Greene, head of eLearning Tools and Strategy for Duke University, uses a few other apps all in conjunction with Wunderlist via Zapier. "Anytime someone assigns me a todo in Basecamp, ticket in Zendesk, or card in Trello, it gets automatically added to my Wunderlist inbox. I include a link back to the original item so that I don’t have to include tons of metadata in the title of my Wunderlist todo."

Proposify

Creating a proposal is one of the most tedious parts of the pitch process. Spending time to make one that is attractive to that potential client and to gain insights on what's been successful in the past, is a tall order, but is now made easy with Proposify

"By using Zapier in conjunction with Proposify, we're able to automate a lot of the manual tasks for getting a new client spun up in our tools…centralizing communication in Slack, getting rid of disjointed emails to various individuals, and being efficient," explains Gabe Weaver of Spartan. "In the long run, this is allowing us to decrease the cycle time between contracts being signed and deals won to collecting the first check, speeding up accounts receivable and cash flows while decreasing errors/waste caused by the over processing of information."

Vtiger

With Vtiger, you can manage your projects, contacts, and support emails, all inside one app. You can even add new prospects, lead them through the sales process, follow up at a later time, and answer their support inquires all from within.

Marty Bostick of Freelance Marketing Group tells us how they're able to optimize their workflow with Vtiger and Zapier. "With the rise and popularity of online productivity tools, also comes the complexity to tie them all together. At Freelance Marketing Group, our core focus is on building stronger business relationships with local businesses both online and offline. Acquiring customers and integrating them into a sales pipeline successfully has presented many challenges for us over the last year. Because there is no 'one size fits all' solution, Zapier solved that very problem for us."

He goes on to explain that "being able to streamline our daily activities has been a top priority in order to stay focused on marketing and business development. We first discovered Zapier a few months back and it has allowed us the flexibility to incorporate the many manual stages and data entry points in our CRM, Analytic Call Tracking, Sales Proposal and Project systems and completely automate them.

"To date, we have been able to acquire phone leads through ACT (Analytic Call Tracking), which, through Zapier, automatically are inserts the lead into VTiger CRM. Once a lead converts to an opportunity in VTiger, Zapier then loads the lead into NiftyQuoter, our Proposal system. If the prospect approves their proposal online, Zapier then updates the records back to VTiger to generate a sales order, while simultaneously creating the new client project in Active Collab, our project management system.

"These tasks would otherwise take hours to 'glue' together for each new client we onboard and Zapier fires Zaps in all directions, making it a snap!"

Workboard

When working with a team, visibility of goals within projects is paramount to ensure that everyone has all of the information they need to be successful. With Workboard, you can organize everything you need for your team to meet goals, set priorities, and receive feedback all together.

OmniFocus

Need to link your online team productivity tools to your personal task list in OmniFocus? By utilizing the mail drop address from the Omni Sync server, Zapier can add new tasks to your OmniFocus inbox automatically.

ContactUs.com

Since we are talking best ways to automate lead generation this month, ContactUs.com fits right into that conversation, with contact forms, lead generation tools, and analytics data all in one platform.

Planyo

The rental business is a tough thing to manage. With calendars to organize, websites to manage, calendars to keep organized, and—most importantly—relationships with your customers to nurture, there is much to be done. Planyo is here to help you with managing your bookings, which might be the most tedious task of them all.

Sandglaz

If you're using the agile method of project planning, but haven't landed on the right app that will allow your team to fulfill requirements for sprints and deliver on time, you may find Sandglaz helpful. It can not only help you easily adapt to agile itself, but also to the ever changing nature of sprints and need to communicate effectively.

Zoho Subscriptions

Zoho Subscriptions, a member of the greater Zoho app family, is a subscription management and recurring billing application which helps you manage the complete life cycle of a subscription. It provides self-hosted payment forms which can be embedded to collect the customer payment information and create a subscription for that customer automatically. It comes bundled with subscription specific key metrics and is also integrated with some of the major payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Forte etc.

PlanSo Forms

If you use WordPress to power your website and need a simple form solution to help with lead generation, PlanSo Forms can help. Drag and drop bits and pieces to create just about any type of form you'd need in minutes.

Nexticy

When forms are on paper, they can be far more creatively laid out than any form you might find online, where you're usually restricted to one column of standard questions and bullet points. With Nexticy, you have some of the free-form nature of paper forms in your digital forms, with an iPad app that lets you lay out forms the way you want.

App Updates

Updates to Zapier's Email Parser

Zapier's Email Parser got a lot smarter this month with a few updates. Now, you can correct its behavior by providing some "extra templates" that it can use to improve its algorithm and parsing ability in the future. If you've had problems with it in the past, give it another shot and see if it doesn't work better for you. The Email Parser can be a really big help with lead management, allowing you to quickly create any sort of record from an incoming email.

Continued SMS Support for Google Calendar

Last week Google discontinued the ability to send SMS alerts and reminders for Google Calendar events. If you'd like to continue using these type of alerts, a simple Zap can keep you going.


Learn More About Your Apps + Zapier

Zapier courses to help you get the most out of your apps

We're teaming up again with folks from Zapier-connected apps for a free online training session, where you can learn the ins and outs of automation. In July we're co-hosting a session with the team at AWeber to chat about all things email marketing task automation. If you can't make a session, or want to catch up on previous events, we also have an archive where you can watch recordings anytime you'd like.


A Look Inside Zapier

Join the Zapier Team!

The Zapier family grew again in June, as this month we were joined by our latest Customer Champion, Tatyana Veren. Want to work with Tatyana and the rest of the team? We're looking for a Marketing Specialist, Platform Engineer, and another Customer Champion to lend a hand in helping over half a million (and growing!) Zapier users get the most out of automation every day.


Go back in time! Read our May edition of the Zapier Monthly: "Five Ways to Manage Contacts, Customers, and Sales Leads with Ease".

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