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What’s one way you have used automation to make your business more money?

Maciej Korzekwa/Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Create custom sales paths. When we run email promotions, our order forms automatically redirect customers to different upsell offers based on their previous purchases. For example, different segments of our e-mail database will see an offer for product X and other segments will see an offer for product Y, depending on whether or not they have purchased the product yet."

- Phil Frost | Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Main Street ROI

2. Automatic print services. We offer print services and have software that will automate the entire ordering process. It works well for us because we don't need to pay a sales rep to take orders – it's just free money!

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- Jordan Guernsey | Founder, Molding Box

3. Set email autoresponders. Once a prospect opts in anywhere on any of our sites, we have set up email autoresponders to continue the conversation and build the relationship. These e-mails vary from free offerings to upsells to paid products. Every message they receive, however, is in alignment with whatever they initially signed up for. It creates an opportunity to build the know, like and trust factor and increase sales.

- Erin Blaskie | CEO, Erin Blaskie, Digital Strategist

4. Ask them to share it. One of the additions to my business that have made us more money is to ask people to share our free stuff. This allows us to reach more people, and also be a more valuable provider at the same time. It also makes sense that if someone enjoyed some of our work, their friends will too.

- Nathalie Lussier | Creator, The Website Checkup Tool

5. Mechanical turk makes it easy. We used Amazon Mechanical Turk to sort out and categorize hundreds of thousands of sales leads. It's a huge time saver and a boost to your sales.

- Alexander Torrenegra | Co-founder, VoiceBunny

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6. No more followup reminders. Even when followup with a lead or client should not be automated, the triggers can be. By setting reminders and automating the message, it cuts the time it takes to reach out. Smart CRMs with task notifications trigger e-mails containing the lead name, e-mail, phone number and details regarding the conversation, making it easier to enable personalized followup.

- Kelly Azevedo | Founder, She's Got Systems

7. Collecting leads automatically. My business collects a traveller's information through a contact form (powered by Wufoo) on the homepage. Based on the data, Wufoo triggers an e-mail to send to a specific list on my Mailchimp account. Because this happens automatically, it saves me time, money, and increases the response rate of tourism agencies, resulting in more booked tours and more money for my business.

- Jun Loayza | President, Ecommerce Rules

8. Put business processes in writing. I have a step-by-step direction manual for every position in my company. Therefore, it becomes easy for employees to know exactly what they need to do for effectiveness in their position. Also, it has reduced the learning curve when new employees are on-boarded, which adds more money to my bottom line quicker.

- Lawrence Watkins | Founder & CEO, Great Black Speakers

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9. From manual to outsourcing. If you find yourself doing the same things over and over again, then you can probably write it down, teach someone how to do it and outsource it. As an entrepreneur, you should only be focused on things that cannot be trained, documented or done by someone less skilled. If you find your self doing those types of tasks you should outsource the solution and make it automatic."

- Lucas Sommer | Founder CEO, Audimated

10. Banking to invoicing automation. Most banks and invoicing software allow you to automate almost every task, and while this may not make your business more money, it will certainly free up your time to focus on the tasks that do make your business money. If you bank or invoicing software doesn't allow you to automate a process, it's time to look for a new provider.

- Derek Johnson | CEO/Founder, Tatango

11. People make the technology tick. We experience the best success when we complement automations with a human touch. Instead of simply sending an automated e-mail for example, we program our CRM to schedule phone calls for our sales department before and after e-mails are sent. From our clients' perspective, it's like we're saying: "We're sending you an e-mail," "Here's that e-mail," a "Did you get that e-mail?," Works like a charm!

- Robert Sofia | Co-Founder & COO, Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies

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12. Tricky transactional emails. Our sites functionality is largely based upon the social aspects of sharing links online. To improve our user retention and return rate, we implemented automatic transcriptional emails that alert users anytime someone follows them, likes their content, or leave them a comment. We have seen an increase in traffic and ad impressions since its implementation.

- Hack Murphy | CEO and Founder, SpringClick

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and e-mail lessons.

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