This past week, our good friends over at The Tech Tribe announced that they’d be rolling out a fully featured marketing automation platform to be included with their membership. To me, this move makes perfect sense, as they have long been providing templates and resources for their members to plug into such system. For TTT, owning the tech themselves allows them to  increase the value of the content they’ve already produced and compound that value with all of the added features. 

While I’m sure Nigel Moore and the Tribe will put their awesome spin on it as they always do, this concept is not unlike a few other marketing-automation players in the MSP space (Glasshive and Mindmatrix come to mind), who have delivered a similar combination of turnkey content and automation tools in one package. In my opinion, all of these offerings are a great alternative for MSP Owners who don’t have the time and resources to develop Hubspot automations from scratch (nor do they have the will to deal with their dreaded ladder of incremental upgrades). 

For those MSPs that are finally dipping their toe into marketing automation, or need some inspiration to do so, here are few basic automations that are relatively easy to implement no matter the platform: 

Lead qualification for website and event opt-ins

One of the best overall uses for automation is to qualify new incoming leads. If you only create one single workflow, make it this one. Personally, I see this as almost an insurance policy against the investment I am making into SEO, ads, social and any other investment intended to generate traffic and/or leads. From the moment those leads are captured, you should have a way to qualify them, nurture them, and keep them warm until they become active prospects. 

Trigger(s) – When a new lead / contact is added matching your desired source 

Call-To-Action  – Send an email series intended to get your new lead to schedule an appointment.  

Lead Scoring – Track the opens, clicks, and scheduling activity to determine lead score. 

Alert Salespeople of email opens and website activity 

Imagine you are a CFO of a company who was shopping around for a new IT Provider. You received multiple quotes over a few week’s time and you decide that today is the day you are going to review them all to make a decision. You open each quote and just a few minutes later your phone rings. “Coincidentally” it’s one of the IT Providers, asking if you have any more questions about the quote. This scenario is one that actually happens more often than you would think and it’s made possible by marketing automation. Knowing when a prospect is reading your email or visiting your website is incredibly valuable and can almost be a sales superpower if used correctly. 

Trigger(s) – When a contact visits your website or opens an email. 

Call-To-Action – Send an alert to Sales rep to follow up with prospects.

Lead Scoring – Track opens, page views, and time on site to determine lead score. 

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Follow-up on discoveries / new appointments

Immediately after you meet with a new prospect is typically when they are at their “warmest” point. What you do from this moment forward will ultimately determine if and when the deal is won. Chances are the prospect is waiting for some kind of deliverable from you to further inform the next steps. This could be a full fledged quote or some kind of scope for any initial project work that would need to be performed. Putting these things together might take some time, so it’s important to keep the conversation rolling through the ensuing days and weeks. You can do this manually, but automation will allow you to scale this outreach and ensure that you are always using a proper cadence. 

Trigger(s) – After the conclusion of a calendar event or changing a contact’s status

Call-To-Action – Ask recipients to schedule a  follow-up to review your  quote / deliverables.

Lead Scoring – Track opens, replies, and appointments set to determine lead score. 

New user welcome series for onboarding

While your PSA likely already does the heavy lifting when it comes to internal automation workflows, I have found that marketing tools are a better option in some cases. One example of such scenarios is with new user onboardings. Sending an email series is a great way to welcome your newest end users and walk them through some of your basic processes such as opening tickets, and accessing your services. This attention to detail and proactive communication might be exactly what your client needs to remove some of the stress that comes with such transitions. 

Trigger(s) – When contacts are added to your PSA as end users. 

Call-To-Action – Send a series of emails asking recipients to watch video / read informational content 

Lead Scoring – Track clicks, video views, and page views to determine lead score. 

Reminders for QBRs and Contract Renewals 

Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) are important for MSPs to keep their clients informed on the overall health of their technology and provide a roadmap for continuous improvement. The challenge with providing these consistently is that stakeholders are notoriously busy individuals and getting them to commit to a date and time without canceling or rescheduling can seem like it’s next to impossible. This is where marketing automation comes in. Two months after their last QBR, you can automate the outreach to your client to proactively schedule their next sit-down. This is also useful for upcoming contract renewals and any significant milestones in the relationship that would warrant an in-person or virtual meeting scheduled in advance. 

Trigger(s) – Time elapsed after an event or preceding a contract end date. 

Call-To-Action – Send reminders asking clients to schedule an appointment / QBR. 

Lead Scoring –  Track opens, replies, and appointments set to determine lead score. 

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Project quote approvals and follow-ups

Project backlogs are often stockpiles of revenue simply stuck in limbo for one reason another. Sometimes issues arise which cause a paint point to rise to the surface, and since the actual fix requires a large project to be scoped,  a “workaround” is implemented to make the pain go away. While these projects are still eventually scoped and quoted, they become less urgent and thus get brushed off until the whole thing happens again. Marketing automation workflows can help to stay on top of clients to approve these project quotes and avoid having to constantly react to issues after it’s too late. 

Trigger(s) – When a project quote is issued or sent to a client / prospect 

Call-To-Action – Send a series of follow-ups to approve / sign a quote. 

Lead Scoring – Track opens, quote views,  and approvals to determine lead score.

Add-on upsells and product roll-outs 

Adding something new to your technology stack can be a challenge, despite the MRR pipedreams that you hear on the exhibit room floor. Unless you are stacking these new offerings as a free value-add on top of your managed services bundles, you will have to treat your clients as prospects all over again. This means continuing to educate them about the new product, gauging their interest, offering demos, and giving them a clear path to upgrade once they are ready. 

Trigger(s) – When a prospect qualifies for a new offer (such as tag-added). 

Call-To-Action – Offer a free demo of the product, either self-serve or by appointment. 

Lead Scoring – Track opens, clicks, and demo sign ups to determine lead score.