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Monday, 27 February 2017 07:22

5 Mistakes to avoid when automating marketing

Marketing automation, as the name implies, is a software tool that automates your marketing activities. In fact, it is as much a productivity tool as it is a marketing tool.

You get to automate repetitive, predictable, and boring tasks and in turn - save a lot of time; you can then use this time to focus on more important aspects of running a business such as strategy, and planning.

In fact, 49% of companies use marketing automation, according to Emailmonday.

The real problem, though, is that most marketers don’t realize the full potential of an automation tool. This is sometimes due to the mistakes and wrong assumptions we make when dealing with marketing automation in general.

Here are some such mistakes you should stay clear of in order to get the most of your tool:

1. Working with no objective or end result on mind

Indeed, automation tools promise to help you deal with your marketing processes easily and efficiently, but that does not mean that you can skimp on strategy and planning. You won’t be able to use the tool effectively if you lack an objective or goal.

In short, you must know what you want to get out of the tool first. It’s not enough to send out social media posts and email newsletters without having plan-of-action to convert these into tangible results and profits.

Additionally, how can one judge how well your automation software is working for you if you don’t have a way to measure its performance?

So, before you even think about automation, pen down your goals and objectives. What do you hope to achieve with an automation tool? This can also help you select a tool that perfectly fits your business needs.

Remember: automating marketing with a sole objective of saving time is never a good idea.


2. Using an automation tool as an email marketing tool

Many marketers are guilty of this one. Marketing automation can do so much more than running your email marketing campaign! It can help you deal with several other important yet daunting marketing tasks such as lead generation and management, omnichannel marketing, content marketing, and much more.

But, according to Siriusdecisions, 85% of the marketers don’t use marketing automation to the fullest extent.

Maybe you got an automation tool just because your competitors are using one, or maybe you think that trendy tech tools can automatically boost your business. Whatever the reason maybe, if you don’t completely understand what your tool can do for you, you are just wasting your money.

So, educate yourself on the ins and outs of the tool. The more processes you automate, the more time you will have for other important things. Also, automation can ensure consistency and accuracy in your work - use as much as you can and however you can.


3. Not pairing automation with a strong inbound marketing strategy

Let’s say you have a stellar automation tool with which you set up efficient workflows and marketing processes, yet you are failing to see good results. Your ROI is still suffering. Well, it probably is because you have spent more time on automation than on building a strong inbound marketing strategy.

marketing lead generation

Only if you have a strategy in place to attract rich qualified leads will your automation be able to help you. Hence, you need to pair great automation with great inbound strategy.

Have a good content marketing strategy in place. Write posts that would attract your target crowd. Take every opportunity to build email lists filled with qualified leads. Focus on the quality rather than the volume of the list. Engage on social media. Do everything you can to be discovered by your target audience.


4. Getting tunnel-visioned and thinking only about marketing

Okay, so a marketing automation tool is supposed to be only for marketing processes right?! Doesn’t have to be. Think bigger. See how it can help your sales team, for instance.

For example, if you could figure out the parts of your website where customers spend most of their time, you could use that information in your sales call with them. That level of personalization can actually help you convert a visitor into a buyer.

In fact, you could use marketing automation to reduce the gap between the sales and the marketing team and align their goals/objectives.

For instance, set up a workflow for lead generation for the marketing team and include the sales team in the process. They can work together on generating and attracting rich leads.


5. Sending out emails (or engaging with prospects) too frequently

In an excitement to use your new automation tool to the fullest extent, you may have chosen to bombard your prospects’ inboxes with emails and engage them in every possible way.

This is going to get you nothing but a bunch of annoyed leads who probably already have unsubscribed! It’s better to send fewer emails with incredibly high-quality content and with strategic self-promotion.

For instance, at my startup Hiver, we experimented around to find the perfect number of emails to send in a week and the timing too. By monitoring the click-through rates and the unsubscriptions rates, we figured out that sending one email a week at the same time every week works the best for us.

In fact, according to research, 78% of the people unsubscribed from a mailing list when a company was sending too many emails.

Wrapping up

Remember that the first step is to determine if you do in fact need to invest in an automation tool. Weigh your pros and cons, and project your expected ROI to understand if investing in a tool will take you where you want to go. For instance, if you are a small and young startup, automation may be too extravagant a step for you. Choose wisely!

marketing lead generation

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Niraj Ranjan

Niraj is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. Niraj works on programming, customer support, and sales, and also contributes to design and UI.

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