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How I keep my “Follow-Ups” in flow (My Follow Up Reminder Automation in ActiveCampaign)

Does following up feel like yet another task to add to your "to-do" list? If the thought of creating a system with your tech tools feel less than exciting to you, read on to see just how following up can be made simple.

I wanted to share a tangible example of the "how to" in creating a follow-up system in your business. If it happens to inspire you, feel free to share this post with a colleague or new connection. It just might be a great excuse to follow up with them ;)

Ok, let's dive in!

Email Follow Up: How I Use ActiveCampaign

In my last post, I shared my super simple follow-up process that I call "Chat & Check". To quickly re-cap the process is:

  1. Chat: a connection or interaction with a contact (in person, email, phone, etc.)
  2. Check: update notes to track "next steps" with this contact

Simple enough right? A good ol' notebook and pen might even get the job done. However, it is 2018 and my go-to "secret weapon" of choice is actually ActiveCampaign (you can learn more about why I love this tool here). This is a very powerful Email Marketing Platform PLUS CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool that is packed with useful features. So how do I use it for my Chat & Check process?

Here's a recap of the steps within my process, after the image, I'll highlight how each step is implemented:

my super simple follow up formula

step 1: make a connection

This happens at meetings, networking events, workshops, conferences, or even if I bump into someone when I'm out and about. (I use the same process for a virtual meeting).

step 2: take notes

I try to take notes during interactions, but sometimes I wait until after the meeting to write up my notes. The ActiveCampaign CRM includes a note section for each of your contacts, however, I enjoy using Google Docs for notes --  Google Docs is more flexible for formatting the fonts.  I have a specific way I've structured my notes documents so I can quickly find a note if I need in the future.

step 3: add tasks

In this step, I add the tasks that I must complete as a result of the meeting - like sending additional information or making a connection between people I know. This isn't always necessary, and is separate to the on-going follow-ups I schedule in the next step. ActiveCampaign has task management built within its CRM tool. If I need to complete a task that I can't do right away, I'll add it to my ActiveCampaign list so that I'll get my reminders in the same place. If you don't use ActiveCampaign, you could also use Google Keep, Trello or any other task manager.  If the next task is a meeting and we've already specified the date and time, I'll add that directly to my calendar. I  use Google Calendar, but any calendar tool (or notebook) would work.

step 4: update follow up frequency

This is where my ActiveCampaign magic happens. I've created a custom personalization field within my ActiveCampaign account and called it "Follow-Up Frequency". In this step, I select the correct interval for the person I just met (sometimes it is in a few days, other times it is in a few months).

step 5: wait for reminder

Once I set the "Follow-Up Frequency" field for a contact, an automation I set up in the background goes to work!  In the background, it keeps track of how many days have passed and adds a task within ActiveCampaign for me to contact that person when the time is right! Exciting! 

So that is how I do it, but the right system for you may be different. There really are many different ways to automate these types of business scenarios. The great thing about technology is that it can be customized to your specific needs and preferences. With a few key tools and the correct settings, you can start to simplify routine tasks that keep your business on track and free up time in your day for working on actually growing your business - not just keeping it running. The key is in knowing what you need and maximizing your tools to save you time and effort.

If you're interested in learning more about ActiveCampaign and how you can use workflows and guidelines to maximize its use in your agency, book a session with me! or receive a free session when you sign up for ActiveCampaign via my referral link. [You can learn more about ActiveCampaign and why I love it here.]

photo of Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Author : Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Hi there! My name is Dr. Ada, and I'm your cheerful OperationsAlly! I help organizations find meaningful and bottom-line boosting insights in their email marketing data. By adding my analytics skills to your team, you'll receive a new perspective on your data that allows you to provide better customer service and see a real increase in sales. Learn more about Ada.


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