Marketing automation is an incredible tool... if you use it to its full potential. If you do not understand how to use it, however, or if you don't put the necessary time into planning, execution, and analysis, your marketing automation solution will not help you grow your business. What should you be careful to avoid when using marketing automation? We go over some of the most common missteps in this post.
1. Running marketing automation campaigns but not analyzing your results
It is tempting to think that once you implement marketing automation that your marketing literally runs itself. Although marketing automation is designed to save time (a lot of time), reduce workload and make your marketing more effective, it cannot function on its own. You still need to be the driving force behind your marketing.
One of the most beneficial things about marketing automation is that it gathers so much data. The only way to truly optimize your campaigns and find out what your customers want is to constantly analyze that data. Without putting in the time to use this wealth of data, it is almost pointless to collect it. There are many data analysis tools now available so you don't get overwhelmed looking at your numbers, graphs and statistics. Many of these tools are even integrated into the marketing automation solutions themselves. Capitalize on your data!
2. Using marketing automation to simply push more products
Marketing automation is not just another way to advertise. It is a way to build stronger and more loyal relationships with customers. It is also a great way to nurture leads. Simply sending out information about your products and sales is not effective for building engagement and attracting customers away from competitors.
Sending out the right information at the right time often means the difference between gaining a new customer and losing a potential lead. Focus on truly nurturing leads with excellent content. Create and send content that educates and entertains customers. Some examples would be: "How to Select the Best Vehicle for Your Family" and "10 Funniest Photos of Pets at Our Veterinary Office."
The content should be relevant to your company and industry, but should not focus directly on selling. It should instead show the lead or customer that your company is dedicated to connecting with them and appealing to their interests. Your content should also help you build your reputation as an expert in your industry.
3. Not using marketing automation to its full potential
Marketing automation is a very powerful tool, yet many businesses do not use its full capabilities. Often, businesses use a marketing automation platform in the exact same way that they used their previous email marketing platform. The business continues to send out monthly automated email campaigns without altering their marketing strategy very much.
Marketing automation is not just like email, however. Although it usually includes email, there is so much more that you can do using marketing automation. You can run marketing campaigns through multiple channels such as text message and social media. You can also personally target each customer and nurture each lead based on their specific preferences and interests.
Marketing automation has endless potential but if you simply use it as a glorified monthly email tool, you will not gain the most possible benefit from it. You are investing in a more expensive solution, and you have the potential for excellent returns. If you are not using it fully, you will not see the returns you had hoped for.
4. Allowing your marketing automation to get robotic
Marketing automation without personal interaction is like a car without a driver. Yes, marketing automation does customize campaigns for each customer based on that customer's actions and date triggers. Yes, marketing automation saves you the time of manually organizing messages and connecting with each lead who comes in.
No, marketing automation does not answer all your customers' questions. No, marketing automation does not eliminate the need to monitor your campaigns and respond to customer messages. It is essential that you still put a personal touch into your customer communication and marketing.
If a customer contacts you, try to respond promptly and include relevant information that addresses the customer's comments. Also, keep a close eye on your campaigns. Ensure that they are sending at the right time, update your content frequently so it doesn't get stale, and provide lots of opportunities for customer interaction. Use autoresponders carefully. You never want customers to feel like they are communicating with a robot.
5. Not having a strategy
Many businesses adopt marketing automation without having a solid plan for how they plan to use it. Do you know what areas of your marketing you are trying to make more efficient? Do you have a list of the issues you are trying to resolve? What results do you hope to gain?
Before you begin using marketing automation, there are several aspects you need to consider. Keep a record of your original requirements and alter it over time as necessary. Figure out how much you are willing to spend on marketing automation per month. Write down what you hope to accomplish using marketing automation: a better lead nurturing process, higher conversion rates from your email campaigns, more social media interaction and so on. Highlight any pain points that you hope to resolve, such as customers having trouble initially figuring out how to use your product.
Once you know what you are trying to do by using marketing automation it will be much easier to set up effective automated campaigns and processes. You have listed your challenges and you know which parts of your communication process most need marketing automation.
Try before you buy
Don't select a marketing automation solution without trying it first. Almost all solutions offer a limited time free trial and free demos with their staff. Learning how to use each solution enables you to find the solution which works best for your own marketing strategy and communication needs. Evaluate the cost, how easy or difficult it is to use the solution, the customer service and other help resources that are available, and the company's reputation and ratings.
Sign up for a free 14 day trial of SimplyCast's marketing and communication solution. If you want to see its full capabilities, check out one of our free demos. Demos are hosted by our knowledgeable and friendly staff, who are always happy to answer your questions and listen to feedback.