Top 10 Critical Blunders of Marketing Automationand how to Solve them!

With the rapid evolution of technology, automation has become an integral part of our life that has changed the way we look at our daily lives now. It’s likely we see software, robots, machines are increasingly automating our everyday tasks, making our lives simpler and easier. But to succeed at marketing automation, one must implement both artificial intelligence and a human-centric approach, and thus develop a working process model.

As the time passed, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, RPA, NLP – all have become common, that have much intense implication in our lives, as well as how businesses are done. The types of automation we see around us have heavily influenced the way businesses are done now, with much more personalization, and tailored marketing campaigns.

Business Automation, aka, Marketing Automation – The New Tomorrow

And not just for marketing endeavors, but also for the day-to-day operational processes of a company, marketers are dependent on automation. Whether it is about managing a specific department, a particular task, raw materials, daily sales, managing a business unit, RPA implementation, BOT automation – today’s businesses cannot do without some form of automation in their systems.

And of course, there’s no denying to it, the manifold benefits reaped out of automating the business tasks, such as cost reduction, more efficiency and productivity, visible improvement in performance, and much more.

These exceptional advantages of automation have cemented the possibilities of 37% of businesses to invest in automated tools and 32% to invest in analytics software, the very next year. This prediction has been made back in 2018 itself, which is proving to be actually true!

Honestly, 2021 will be the year of complete automation, both within our personal perimeters, as well as the outside world.

There will be some serious upgrades, mostly in terms of marketing tools. According to Gartner, by this year, there will be 85% of client associations, without any human interference. Such has been the aura of automation in information technology, that more than 51% of companies have automated their business process. And more than 58% are on the verge of adopting it.

However, there are a few avenues that need to be checked first, before a business can actually succeed in marketing automation. Because the stats mentioned above might seem fascinating, but while executing them for real, several companies face major fails.

Why do many Companies Fail at Marketing Automation?

There are several businesses that have put most of their resources in marketing automation, but have seen negligible success in the venture.

But why? Why such a difference between reality and expectation despite marketing automation reaching mass adoption?

The reason being faulty strategy, spamming, failing to integrate automation with the company’s database, starting without a proper plan, and many more.

All these warning signs are major turn-offs and can cost your business dearly in the long run. Some of these mistakes might make you feel embarrassed in front of your audience. But some can even end up damaging a company’s reputation, credibility, or worse. Often novice marketers or entrepreneurs fall victim to unattested hearsays, that make them lose on their ROI.

Hence, it’s always recommended to trust authentic sources and bona fide automation trends to frame your very own marketing automation strategy, that drives value to your business.

Let’s explore some of the repeated blunders most marketers and companies make regarding marketing automation and how to solve them.

Mistake #1

Having no Prior Goal or Plan

A great marketing strategy must have a solid foundation and a plan to start with. And when it is about automation, a rock-solid strategy is vital. Yet, some companies find themselves in a soup, owing to a lack of an effective automation plan.

A recent survey found that more than 58% of marketers needed a proper plan to smell automation success. They mostly end up committing the biggest mistake of targeting the wrong audience and sending across the wrong message.

How to fix this?

Before even getting started with the concept of automation, determine your campaign goals and objectives. Assess your goals as to why you want the software, what purpose would it serve, are you looking for great conversion, acquire leads, an increase in email open rates, or a reduced effort?

Remember, each of your goals will require a different strategy. Take ample time and preparation to develop a plan that enables you to accomplish the desired results in a short time. And can also save you from an automation disaster.

Mistake #2

Not having a Clarity of What and Where to Automate

If you are looking for success in automation, ask yourself whether you want to automate a specific maintenance task, or your complete business operations, or do you plan to automate your marketing and lead generation efforts fully?

Studies have often found that most marketers commit this serious mistake and ruin all of their investments.

How to fix this?

Don’t try to automate things that do not need to be automated. Ask your automation analyst to select the avenues of your business that genuinely needs automation, whether you like it or not. Your invoicing procedure might need some form of automation to generate e-invoices in a bid to save paper.

However, you cannot think of automating social media replies. Inherently, social media platforms are unpredictable, and you know not what kind of comment you might receive. That said, you cannot automate your responses as templates. This not only turns off existing customers but also drives away new opportunities and prospects.

Mistake #3

Overlooking Customer Data

Customer data is mainly formed by website activity, transaction history, demographics and email. In a nutshell, this is called the Customer Buying Journey. And email automation can use up a major amount of this data to create targeted emails and other focused actions.

But unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of ignoring this resourceful data or do it in the wrong way. This action is mainly spawned by a lack of strategic decisions and general knowledge about customers.

How to fix this?

Take time and analyze your customer data, you can target clients with the correct message and perfect timing. You can also segment your email list accurately based on certain actions. This is an apt instance of Psychographic Segmentation.

Mistake #4

Failing to Integrate the Automation Tool with your Existing Database

Your automation roadmap must include one prime component that can help the software communicate back and forth with your existing database. And that is, a full-proof integration of the automation software with your database. Marketing automation solutions require a mandatory robust integration with a company’s tools and databases, to drive business success.

Otherwise, the solutions are likely to fail in generating valuable data needed to create targeted and personalized customer experiences.

How to fix this?

So if you wish to get the full value of your marketing automation investment, think of integrating your existing CRM with your automation tools in the most effective way.

Thankfully, 89% of marketers are already on their way of integrating automation software with their CRM tools, facilitating a unified approach to data management, improving their campaigns, and ultimately enhancing customer experiences.

Mistake #5

Shooting Off too many Email Campaigns, becoming a Spammer

One of the biggest mistakes that marketers commit when they get their marketing efforts automated. Owing to the ease of automation, scheduling email campaigns are much faster. Individuals, who start with automation, often become too enthusiastic and end up sending too many emails to their audience. This ultimately makes them spammers resulting in higher unsubscribe rates.

How to fix this?

Never focus on quantity over quality just because automation is available. It is pretty common to go overboard with scheduling more email campaigns than needed and then spamming your audience’s inboxes.

Instead, segment your target audience wisely. And send only significant, relevant emails to your existing clientele and prospects, at perfect intervals. It’s always better to have a lower number of leads with higher engagement rates, rather than a tonne of casual contacts who never bother to open your emails.

Mistake #6

Having no or Outdated Inbound Lead Generation Strategy

Marketing automation is everything. But at the same time, having an efficient Inbound Lead Generation strategy is highly crucial! Without a firm lead-gen framework, your ROI of automation will forever be on the lower side.

How to fix this?

Think of creating engaging, interactive content with quality writing, mainly related to automaton marketing. Try educating your audience in the most viral way, giving them the most targeted data. Only then would they start finding your emails relevant.

Create optimized Blog posts, engaging Social Media posts, active and creative CTAs, and landing pages – all these can ensure your website rank higher on the SERPs. In short, along with rooting entirely on how to succeed at automation, also find new ways of acquiring quality leads. And that you can only do through quality content!

Mistake #7

Ignoring A/B Testing and Optimizing

Business pressure can be oppressive. And sometimes, this pressure compels marketers to despatch marketing automation campaigns in bulk. And while doing that, most of the time, no proper testing and optimizations are done. This is probably the biggest mistake marketers commit while adopting automation.

Marketing automation is not something to be done under pressure; yes, it might be a rigorous activity, but there has to be some period of time allotted for testing and optimization so that each campaign drives the desired outcome.

How to fix this?

Always ensure to test your campaigns to the optimum. Analyze the automation trends that pique your audience’s curiosity. If possible, conduct A/B tests for your email campaigns to maximize the capabilities of your automation tool.

A/B tests enable you to create two versions of the same email, thus testing the subject line, the CTA, the sender address, and some other minute details. Make sure that you test one variable at a time, though. Thereafter, once the campaigns are despatched, and the analytics received, compare the analytics to find out the optimum campaign.

Not just A/B testing, ensure to test your emails on various gadgets, like mobiles, tabs, desktop. This ensures your audience will have a perfect experience no matter which device they are using to view the emails.

Mistake #8

Ignoring to Check whether the Contacts Overlap

How would you feel if you get double mails from a single organization regularly? Once it might be okay, but right from the second instance, it becomes repelling. Such fiascos mostly occur as a result of sheer negligence or lack of supervision.

How to fix this?

Fret not. You can duly avoid being the one who shoots an arrow in the dark. Most of the email automation tools come with an option to double-check your contacts and ensure no contact gets repeated. Also once in a while, conduct a list cleaning to guarantee the unengaged contacts are filtered out. Most automation tools come with this option too. Such as Mailchimp. With this small hack, you can improve your metric to a great extent.

Mistake #9

Including Broken Links in Email Campaigns

People find this greatly annoying. Dead weblinks simply don’t find any prospect, hurts your website’s SEO, as well as mars a company’s online reputation. Automation companies on certain occasions (mostly in a rush), despatch campaigns that contain broken or dead links, making them appear severely unprofessional. This also leads to a loss of potential clients.

How to fix this?

You must check, double-check, and triple-check! It doesn’t hurt to conduct a thorough quality control before clicking on the ‘Send’ button. Unless you are sanguine the links are working perfectly, keep checking. It’s always better to spend some quality time checking the imperfections rather than seem unprofessional in front of your audience.

Mistake #10

Taking the Wrong Metrics into Account

One of the most critical automation mistakes is getting excited only by the high-performing metrics and ignoring the lesser ones. It’s quite likely to get tricked by the metrics like high open rates. But what about the click-through and conversions? Are you sure you want to ignore these equally significant metrics?

If you are too contented with one particular metric, you tend to ignore your real goals and objectives. A high open rate is fascinating to see, but zero click-throughs or conversion rates imply your efforts are not taking you anywhere better. Just because your users are opening your email, doesn’t mean they are interested in taking action.

How to fix this?

Stop getting distracted and dig in deeper. Consider all the metrics to get a complete picture and understand the success of your efforts. Measuring the performance of an automated campaign lies in the successful fruition of all the metrics and not just one. Never make the mistake of coming to a conclusion based on just one single metric or analytic.

A Bonus!

Despatching wrong Emails to the Wrong Person, at the Wrong Time!

Another most annoying thing most companies do to succeed at automation, with terrible outcomes. This mistake of ‘batch and blast’ tends to spike the unsubscribe rate vehemently. Such emails generally are tossed to the ‘Trash’ folder with never to be seen again.

How to fix this?

Observe the times when your customers are the most active, analyze their behaviors, add a personal touch in your emails that humanize yourself with your brand. 54% of customers opine that they are more likely to unsubscribe when they receive irrelevant emails.

Before even hitting your target audience with your new-found automation, try on solidifying your brand recognition. Then only seize the perfect opportunity to despatch emails. If you decide on sending offer emails on specific festivals, plan beforehand so that you can schedule the campaigns at the right time, and your audience gets the time to leverage the offers. This is mostly true for automation in financial services, such as automation in banking, where offer-related emails are sent to their customers.

Personalization is a huge trigger in prospects taking actual action. So always ensure your emails are targeted to the right person, with the right message, at the right time!

Wrapping Up!

To conclude, your automation strategy, RPA strategy, BOT strategy, video marketing strategy – all should work in perfect tandem to push your business in the right direction. The value of marketing automation in the present scenario is inevitable, and would further be honed as time passes. No matter you are looking for automation in financial services, or improving efficiency through RPA, avoid a strategy that does not vibe with your business objectives and goals. When done correctly, business automation can bring you the best value and opportunities and ensure you never lose another quality contact on your list.

Often, a professional guidance in these matters is recommended; since a professional agency possess years of hands-on experience and thus can develop custom solutions for your business. Feel free to get in touch if you feel your business is committing any of the mistakes mentioned above. And our dynamic team shall work together, help you amend each of them and create a perfect automation roadmap!