5+ Cool Technologies to Automate Your Marketing for 2011

Many of you ask me what marketing technology vendors I use in my business. I thought I’d make it easy on me and answer all of you at once! Please note that these are not necessarily recommendations; your business requirements may be completely different from mine.

In any case, here’s a sampling of vendors we have used for our teleseminar, social media, and email list management. You’ll notice some great behind-the-scenes systematization secrets sprinkled in below describing how I use these technologies, if you are astute. Shhhh, don’t tell!

HootSuite

http://www.hootsuite.com

If you think I am on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin all day long, you would be mistaken. But it looks like that because I post all of the time. In actuality, I post once or twice a day. The rest of the posts are pre-written and loaded into HootSuite about once a month by Mika, my amazing assistant. What’s more, my Twitter account, my Facebook, and my LinkedIn account are all tied together so that one post updates all three places.

My blog is tied in too using Networked Blogs. I never blog. Mika posts my newsletters to my blog, and that takes care of my blog content. She also sends the article out to several article portals so that I get great search engine juice. Manta, a popular business portal, recently picked up an article of mine and I converted numerous incoming calls from otherwise cold prospects into paying customers during the time the article was featured.

I’ve had a single Facebook post earn me four figure deals with prospects that didn’t previously know me. It’s all in how you associate with other Facebook accounts that’s the key to social media profitability.

This type of social media marketing is the only way to get social media to pay back for you; otherwise you can easily end up playing Farmville all day long.

1ShoppingCart

http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?pr=1&id=53779

I use 1ShoppingCart to send my weekly newsletters as well as to track my affiliate program sales and to use as a shopping cart. Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of 1ShoppingCart and do receive a consulting fee for suggesting the product to clients.

I love the fact that it is completely integrated and has so many bonus marketing features that many carts fall far short of. We have clients on 1ShoppingCart, and we also have clients on Constant Contact (those just starting out) and Aweber (those extremely worried about deliverability), the only two others we work on and recommend. We also have clients on MailChimp, iContact, and a few that are quite obscure, but we do not recommend these for various reasons.

I know my QuickBooks readers do not like the way 1ShoppingCart integrates with QuickBooks software, but there are ways around it, none of which are great, but they are workable. If you’re doing nearly a million in sales a year in 1ShoppingCart, it’s time to switch to Infusionsoft anyway.

Sound Forge

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/

I love my Sound Forge software. It allows me to practice my teleconference classes before they air, get them transcribed, and see what I need to change. I can record MP3 after MP3 using Sound Forge and my Logitech USB headset without even calling into a phone line. My voice is recorded straight into the PC. I can later upload the MP3 to the Internet for replay, download, or conversion into an audio product.

Black and White Communications

http://www.blackandwhitecom.com/

We use Black and White Communications for our public preview calls and our teleseminar classes. The service is much higher because a live operator handles all calls coming in, so my clients can get a real person to troubleshoot if necessary. Although there are many great reasons to use them, there are two things that I really like about them:

  1. If you need a spike in the number of people you have on a line, you can call them a few hours, even a few minutes in advance, and they will patch everything together.
  2. In the case when I have a time conflict with one of my calls and my schedule, I can pre-record the call and B&W can replay the audio file as if it were live. (Shhh, that’s one inside secret you are not supposed to know about.)

B&W also has operators to handle the queue of participants asking questions so that all other participants remain muted while the host and a caller gets their question answered. This maintains recording quality so that the call can be used later in product or for other reasons. I found out about B&W through my coach Ali Brown.

The quality of the phone you use to record the calls can be a really big stumbling block when you first get started. For best results, use a land line with a corded phone that has a headset button, and buy a nice headset. I am using an AT&T 993 with a GE headset. Some swear by Plantronics, but I could never get the frequencies to be loud enough. My only complaint about the 993 is that it drops calls fairly often; I believe this is a quality issue with the keypad tones.

Free Conference Calling

http://www.freeconferencecalling.com/

I use a second conference calling company primarily for my coaching calls. My clients and I dial into a private line and all calls are recorded. My assistant, Mika, who found this service for me, downloads the calls from freeconferencecalling.com and uploads them to a private directory on my web site for each coaching client. The coaching client can then grab their calls and listen to them over and over again. The nice thing about Free Conference Calling is the free part.

Those technologies should give you some behind-the-scenes tips and ideas on the marketing technologies I am using in my businesses. I’ll cover additional technologies in a future article; there are many more but this article is already too long!