What Marketers Say: Marketing Automation No-nos

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A while ago, we reached out to marketers on Twitter to get their take on marketing automation. You can see some of their thoughts and tips here and here. Today, we give you a few things from them on what NOT to do when it comes to automating your marketing.

Don’t just send

 

 

Marketing automation is not just sending emails. It’s present in all aspects of marketing, including in social media (although some still find it controversial).

If you’re planning an automated outreach campaign in social media (which can be immensely helpful), make sure you have a well-targeted base. There are tools that will automate that process for you, too, but you need to personally make sure that every person in the group you’ve found using certain criteria is there for a reason. You wouldn’t just email a random group of people, would you?

This, of course, takes us right back to the point that marketing automation is just a tool to help us, not to do the whole job for us.

 

Don’t send everyone the same content

 

 

Last year we found out that 42% of email marketers don’t segment their lists, meaning they send everyone on their list the same message. Why would you want to do that?

Marketing automation is actually a fantastic tool to both help you gather data about your leads and then tailor your messaging according to that data, so that the communication you’re sending has a much better chance to be successful (even 760% more successful according to the DMA).

 

Don’t just “set and forget”

 

 

 

A lot of marketers have mentioned that in our Twitter research and for a good reason. It’s tempting to just have a program do something for you, right? Well, if this is why you’ve decided to use marketing automation in the first place, you might be disappointed by the (lack of) results it brings.

A successful marketing automation program will need a smart marketer to control it, test it, and change it if the results indicate there’s a need. A marketing automation platform will not spot a typo in your email or warn you that you’re not sending the right content to the right people. Then there are the occasional software glitches you’ll be able to react to much quicker if you actively keep an eye on the whole thing.

So sorry to spoil it for you if you thought that’s just, you know, pushing a button and waiting for the money to pour in! 😉

 

Don’t forget to test

 

 

 

You can test basically everything in your marketing automation program so choose the important elements you think might make a difference and test. A thing to remember is to test one thing at a time, like just the subject line, to be able to interpret the results correctly.

And then of course, analyze the results and introduce necessary changes to improve the overall results of your campaigns.

 

Don’t leave the qualified leads without a follow-up

 

 

Syncing the marketing and sales departments within a company is crucial for its success, but many companies still struggle with this. It’s important to have a smooth process whereby sales and marketing communicate with leads at different stages of the funnel, helping each other to move these up until a sale is reached.

One of the worst things you can do is once the leads have been generated in a marketing campaign and qualified by sales, is just leave them there with no follow-up communication. It’s also a no-no to do that too late in the process. I personally don’t like the “hot & cold” terminology when it comes to leads, it’s just so inhuman – but it’s kind of obvious that a hot (and nurtured) lead will be much more prone to buy than a cold one.

 

Don’t forget to care!

 

 

So this one is by far the most important one – I’m putting it last purely to emphasize it. Don’t just treat people as hot & cold leads, email addresses that need to be scored and tagged. Thinking of them as real people you can communicate with might actually help you become a real person on the other end of the line, not just a marketer or a sales person trying to get better conversion.

That’s the thing about automation – it helps organize processes and handle heaps of data, but it will never replace the human element. You need to devote your time to make sure it’s actually helping with the communication, and not interfering with it. You need to care.

What are your marketing automation no-nos? Share them with other marketers in the comments or tweet using #GRAutomationHub.

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