Behind the scenes: how we at Outfunnel do marketing automation super affordably

Whenever I speak with customers, I want to know as much useful context as possible, to maximize the value of every call.

One morning last week, a demo was scheduled in my diary with someone who looked like they could be a new Outfunnel trial user.

I didn’t recognize the name, so I opened Pipedrive (our CRM) where we store actionable information about customers:

Outfunnel's web tracking feature sends information to Pipedrive

Among other things. I learned that he had visited one educational blog post and one FAQ item before scheduling a demo with me. This gave me a pretty good idea what he wanted to chat about, and we had a great call.

Let’s quickly review what just happened:

  1. A new trial user had learned about the product and easily booked a demo as a follow-up.
  2. I had the context I needed for the call without having to dig into data or paying for one of those monolithic tools that take months to learn.
  3. All of this happened automatically, using only free or super-affordable tools.

How exactly did we get to this point? Let’s dive into the specifics of the marketing automation we do at Outfunnel.

Marketing automation put into practice for about $50/month

Our marketing automation is primarily targeted at new free trial users. We want to educate them and make it easy to talk to us if they have any questions.

Marketing automation doesn't have to cost thousands. We do it with less than $ 50 per month! Click To Tweet

To make that happen, we use…

All of this costs us less than $50 per month.

1. We put our best foot forward with an automated Welcome email

We have automated our Welcome email and are happy to say that, on average, 70% of the recipients open it.

To send it out we use Mailchimp. But our own tool makes sure that the right people get added to the right mailing list, all of which happens automatically, of course.

This means that all of those who have signed up for Outfunnel and have landed in our customer success pipeline in Pipedrive, receive the following email. Did I already say it happens automatically?

Outfunnel's automated "Welcome email"

We use Pipedrive filters to build segments, and Outfunnel seamlessly syncs these to Mailchimp.

Anything we do in Pipedrive for contacts to start matching a filter (or stop matching a filter) can be used to trigger a Mailchimp Automation campaign.

Learn more about building automated email sequences, using Pipedrive and Outfunnel.

2. Is scheduling calls across timezones a time-sink in itself? Calendly removes the hassle

Meet Calendly, a software that schedules my calls for me. I can forget the hassle it takes to try to find a suitable slot for a call. That is something we had to do a lot since we talk to 1/3 of our users.

To get hold of people, we have placed an invitation link with a call-to-action to register for a demo in our second “Welcome” email.

Book a demo with us

Calendly is easy to set up and saves a lot of time otherwise spent on exchanging emails. How it works is that once I’ve connected my existing calendar with Calendly and have defined when I am available for a call, I’m given a personal link that I can add to my emails.

If you want to see how we have done it, please sign up for Outfunnel and wait for the second Welcome email.

3. Integrating Pipedrive with Mailchimp saves us the trouble of having to manually update our mailing lists

Mailchimp is great for sending out emails, one-off announcements, and newsletters. But it can be frustrating to make sure all lists are always up-to-date when I wish to send out an email, especially if people should get or stop getting different kinds of emails.

Now, what happens if my contacts database in Pipedrive is 24/7 in sync with my mailing lists in Mailchimp? I’ll save a lot of time as I will need to create each list only once.

Right now we have 4 lists for marketing and sales purposes.

 Contacts Pipedrive trigger that syncs contacts with the right mailing list Mailing list in Mailchimp
New trial users “Signed up” stage Welcome list
Paid accounts, active trial users “Won” deals and deals in “Active Trial, Live Data Moving” stage Active Users list
Early adopters, fans Updating a custom field Beta Testers
Contacts who say they use Pipedrive  Updating a custom field Users of Pipedrive

Whenever contacts’ custom fields in Pipedrive are changed or they move in our customer success pipeline, they also get added to or removed from our mailing lists. All of this works automatically, because Outfunnel does that for you. Learn how.

4. Our sales team knows who to call first because we get web and email insights automatically

How does your sales team prioritize their calls? Making good decisions about this requires having knowledge your prospects – and details about how those prospects interact with email campaigns can be very valuable information.

You can use Google Analytics for web tracking to know which pages, when and how many times your prospects visited, but that information is anonymized. The real value is in identifying who exactly those prospects were.

This information about your prospects helps you to make the right decision who to contact and how.

We are using Outfunnel web visitor tracking feature to match our website visitors to our contacts in Pipedrive.

Web tracking feature records the following activities in Pipedrive:

We can see it displayed as a custom activity called Website visit and/or a Note in the contact’s profile.

Apart from web visitor tracking, we also find our Mailchimp-Pipedrive integration to be very useful.

Here are some of the important things that Outfunnel’s Mailchimp-Pipedrive integration does for us and our users:

All of this makes it much easier to see, at a glance, what’s happening with our emails at the level of individual prospects.

Do you remember I started my article with a real-life example of how a trial user booked a demo with me and I went to look from Pipedrive who this person is and how he interacted with our website? This is how it was possible – thanks to Calendly, Pipedrive-Mailchimp integration, and our own web tracking feature.

Conclusion: Marketing automation doesn’t have to be overwhelming or costly

Whether you are a marketer, sales rep or a business owner you will increase productivity by automating your marketing activities. The question is which tools to use and how much to spend.

You can choose an all-in-one system where set-up fees alone are $5,000 or you can save a hell of a lot of money by going for the “custom-stack” as we have.

Written by Andrus Purde