The concept of marketing automation defines a combination between marketing and technology and aims to provide businesses with tools that automate redundant tasks and improve the entire lead nurturing process. The software built for marketing automation can even keep the customer engaged and in close contact with the brand. Not to mention, there is a plethora of functions that this software does better and faster than a person could.
As a result, over 50% of all top performing companies are using automation software to improve their marketing process. But, even though marketing automation can be seen as a paradigm-altering tool, it is still often misunderstood. To avoid a potential lag, beware of the common mistakes listed below.
#1: You Expect the Software to Do Everything
Software automation has not reached the point where you can tell the software your final goal and then simply sit back and wait for results. Knowledgeable human input is still important if you want your marketing automation to work!
Marketing automation software is amazing at repetitive tasks. Unfortunately, the end result of creative processes executed by the software is robotic and unengaging and maintaining a process you create, but the process should be put together by human beings for human beings. So, don’t just let the software make the segmentation and put together email templates – the result will be a robotic communication.
These software generated email templates will likely annoy your customers and the automated segmentation will be uninspired, neither outcome is something you want. For inspiration (or as we should call it, anti-inspiration) check out these worst automated emails examples and don’t repeat their mistakes.
Start by getting used to the software’s features. Also, make sure everyone in charge of marketing campaigns or involved in the sales process understands the software. The more knowledgeable your staff is, the more useful the software will become.
Continue by developing content for each step of the sales funnel and making sure the entire communication feels personal and warm. Also, when you make the segmentation, find the criteria that work best for each category of customers. As a starting point, check these ecommerce email automation workflows.
#2: The Lack of a Solid Content Strategy
The idea behind marketing automation is to simplify the process of attracting quality leads, nurturing existing customers, and creating a reliable and easy-to-follow sales process. However, this won’t happen if you don’t have a strong content strategy in place.
In order to attract people who need your product and are on your email list because they are interested in your company, you will have to show you have the capability to support their needs. You do so by using high-quality content such as authority articles, high-quality blog posts, insightful newsletters, and more.
When thinking about implementing automation software, you should analyze your current content. Is your site optimized for search engines in order to attract new visitors? Do you have existing content that can be used to nurture a lead or will you need to create new, engaging pieces? What kind of content do you want to send to prospects, current customers, churned customers, etc?
You can do this and establish a strategy for the following months before you even purchase a software solution.
#3: Not Choosing the Right Software
Yes, there are plenty of marketing automation software solutions out there! But the biggest mistake people make is selecting a solution based on price. Since not all software solutions are built the same, the price is the least revealing aspect to consider.
Not only will you end up with features you don’t need (or use), but you may also miss out on the ones you do need!
Before you even consider making a purchase, do some research on the features supported by each piece of software. Also, make sure to understand your own automation needs. This means knowing which features are important for your business, besides lead nurturing. Do you also need a solution that supports CRM integration features? Or maybe you want one that comes with a landing page builder. What are your needs in the near future compared with long term? Is the software scalable or will you need to switch as you grow? In short, analyze your specific needs to understand which solution will work best for you.
#4: You’re Only Using It to Send Emails
Some businesses that use automation software only use the email features. While email automation is useful and the software packages are amazing at it, they have a lot more to offer. By only using the email features, you underutilize a great tool that can help grow your business and integrate all the processes that lead to a sale.
Software automation tools also handle CRM integration, the creation of landing pages, analytics for each campaign, segmentation, campaign management, and even lead management. All these features help create a fully integrated process from attracting the right leads to closing the deal to maintaining a long-term relationship with your customers.
If you were to apply all these features (or the ones that are helpful in your line of work) the time spent on redundant tasks will be drastically reduced. But even more important, there won’t be any gaps between departments and you won’t lose clients through the cracks that usually show up in human communication.
#5: No Integration With the Company
Just like most business don’t use automation software to its full potential, many only use it for the marketing team, which creates delays and lagging of the internal processing of data.
Often, automation software supports features that automatically notify the sales team whenever a lead is considered a solid possible customer. But, if the sales team is not in the loop, the communication happens using external tools (emails, internal messaging, meetings, and so on). While this process can be effective, you don’t have the guarantee that leads are seamlessly passed from the marketing team to the sales team.
Make sure both teams (and any others involved in the process) understand how the automation software works. Also, in the spirit of collaboration, organize meetings with all the members and have them work on creative ideas together. It will solidify the bonds between employees and will allow for a more fluid exchange of information in the future.
Marketing automation software is an effective tool and worthwhile investment if it is used at the right time and by people who understand the features and functionalities. We hope that the mistakes listed above will help you select and use the right type of software for your business.
About the AuthorMore Content by Joshua Lauer