Behind the scenes: how we at Outfunnel do marketing automation (using Mailchimp, Pipedrive, Calendly)

One morning last week a demo was scheduled in my diary with someone who looked like it could be a new Outfunnel trial user. I didn’t recognize the name, so I opened Pipedrive where we store actionable information about customers.

Outfunnel's web tracking feature sends information to Pipedrive

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

All of this had happened automatically: a new trial user had learned about the product and booked a demo, and 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. We’re using only free or super-affordable tools like Mailchimp, Pipedrive, Outfunnel, and Calendly.

Marketing automation put into practice

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 Mailchimp to send out automated emails and newsletters, Pipedrive to manage our customer success pipeline, our own tool Outfunnel to keep Mailchimp and Pipedrive in sync and to track our web visitors, and Calendly for automating the process of scheduling meetings. 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 in 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"
Outfunnel works off of Pipedrive filters for People.

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.

To create your own automated Welcome email just follow the 4-step guide described here.

2. Is scheduling calls across timezones melting your brain? This is how we keep it cool

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 keeps our mailing lists in excellent shape

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 purpose.

 Contacts Trigger that syncs contacts with a mailing list Mailing list
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.

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

As important as it is to automated email campaigns and keep mailing lists in sync, knowledge about how prospects interact with email campaigns gives valuable information.

You can use Google analytics for web tracking to know which pages, when and how many times your prospects visited, but the real value is in identifying who 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. It’s done by using Mailchimp’s e-commerce link tracking.

Web tracking feature records the following activities in Pipedrive:

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

It’s worth to point out that when we send out email campaigns with Mailchimp, all the sends, opens and clicks are recorded in Pipedrive. Furthermore, when someone unsubscribes from our MailChimp list, we have Outfunnel edit a custom field in Pipedrive. And, if Mailchimp registered a hard bounce, it too is recorded in Pipedrive.

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

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.


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Written by Andrus Purde