What to Expect—and Not Expect— from Your Automated MLM Marketing System
In our previous article, we explored how MLM automation can expand the reach and impact of a direct selling team. We looked at some basic examples of how automation technology can help direct selling firms stay in closer contact with their customers and distributors, thereby fostering deeper relationships.
Now, we’ll take a closer look at the specific ways in which an automated MLM marketing system can help you implement timesaving automation. We like to think of this automation happening on five distinct levels of complexity.
Before we get into those levels, let’s define our terms.
Focus on Outcomes, Triggers, and Actions
As you work with an automated MLM marketing system, you’re going to be thinking in terms of outcomes, triggers, and actions.
An outcome is simply a desired end state. You’re launching a marketing program to your distributors and customers because you want to encourage their loyalty, recognize their achievements, give them knowledge, help them develop leadership, or provide them with ideas.
A trigger is an event or condition that will cause your automated MLM marketing system to take action by sending some sort of communication to your customers or distributors. It could be a date, benchmark, status, qualification, or choice.
An action is what your system will do in response to a trigger. This could mean updating a status, engaging other triggers or a sequence of events, sending an email, text message, or instant message. It can even include postal mail. And it will probably result in one or more data changes within your direct selling platform.
These terms will come up constantly as we explore the five levels of marketing automation for direct selling firms.
Five Levels of Marketing Automation for Direct Selling Firms
Level 1 automation is “if/then” automation. A single event-driven trigger will drive your system to take one specific action. For example, when your customer has a birthday, your automated MLM marketing system will send them a birthday card or message.
The idea here is simple: if a certain date occurs or a particular distributor sells more than X amount of product in a month, then the system will recognize that event by taking a predetermined action.
Level 2 automation takes this concept one step further by enabling multiple triggers and multiple actions. It can also link multiple Level 1 sequences and take action as a result.
You’ll often see Level 2 automation in e-commerce when companies run “buy two, get one for half price” or “buy three, get one free” sales. In direct selling, a common tactic is to include timeframes. If a customer purchases $100 worth of product throughout July, your system will be triggered to send them a 50% off coupon for all their August purchases.
Level 3 automation is where things start to get exciting. You can start to chain together Level 2 elements and make offers based on customers or distributors taking precise actions within specific time periods. With Level 3 automation, you can create complex communication scenarios that give the impression of a personal relationship between your company and its people.
The potential applications are many. For example, you could set up your automated MLM marketing system so that a new distributor who hosts a product party and makes their first two sales within their first three months receives a special gift in the mail.
Or, if a more advanced distributor sells $1,500 of product in a single month, you could award them an extra $50 in commission—but if they also recruit a new sales rep during that same period, you’ll bump them up to the next distributor tier, which means they’ll earn commissions at a higher rate from now on. As they work towards their $1,500 goal, your system could send them a reminder email at the $1,200 mark to congratulate them and provide tips on how to sell that last $300. Setting this up is just a matter of creating rules in your system.
Level 4 automation incorporates what you did in Level 3 but leverages custom and calculated values from different sources. You’re still creating communication sequences based on customers and distributors taking specific actions within specific time periods, but now your system is also pulling in information from databases and crunching numbers to determine next steps in the sequence.
This is where you can start to use branching questions to really dig deep in your relationships. If your customer buys $300 worth of product during fall, and your automated MLM marketing system determines that they’ve been a customer for more than five years, then it can send them a $100 voucher for their pre-Christmas purchases. If they then spend more than $500 before Christmas, and it’s the third consecutive year they’ve made at least $100 in Christmastime purchases, then they’ll receive a 50% coupon for all their January purchases.
Level 5 automation is a bit of a holy grail for direct sales firms. This is where we’ll start to see predictive technology enter the picture as companies use artificial intelligence and logic sequencing to dynamically change their communications based on the responses they’ve received thus far. Level 5 automation will also be able to summarize the activities your company has engaged in so far and make suggestions about optimizing them to enhance your outcomes.
In the explanations above we’ve used sales discounts and promotions as our examples but keep in mind that this type of automation can be added to nearly any data base element or system’s process. Literally any data item that can be monitored as it changes can be used as a triggering event for other actions.
Can Any Automated MLM Marketing System Do All of This?
Now the question is: if you implement an automated MLM marketing system, can you expect to get all five levels of automation right out of the box?
In a word, no. Many systems support Level 1 and Level 2 automation. Thatcher Prowess supports Level 3 and Level 4. At Level 4, an incredible array of business rules can be configured which generate intuitive and dynamic interaction with your customers and field.
Thatcher is keenly interested in the potential that this automation can bring to your business. We are always looking for ways to help you run a more profitable direct selling business. Implement marketing automation in your environment today, and reap the results. Thatcher Technology is eager to discuss your automation needs. Contact us anytime.