(Lately, we’ve received quite a few questions regarding how to use marketing automation properly. So, we’re re-posting a blog from last year that addresses some of the most common mistakes marketers make when implementing and using this tool. We hope it helps!)
When our dinosaur of a television finally became extinct, my husband immediately ran out to buy something new. “Don’t get anything too complicated,” I shouted as he sped off with glee. Of course, he came home with the latest piece of technology (I really should have gone with him!). While this gadget has more than 100 functions, we currently use only five. Why? Because no one has time to read the complicated user’s manual, and old habits die hard – we use the new television the same way we used the old one.
We’ve noticed this same phenomenon with clients using marketing automation (MA). You’ve invested in a powerful tool capable of generating and converting leads and building customer loyalty, but are you taking advantage of all it has to offer?
In our experience, clients either learn to use MA properly, often with the help of a consultant, or muddle through on their own. This “learn as you go” approach typically leads to some bad habits, including:
1. Automating Everything—Like a kid with a new toy, it’s tempting to use MA to automate every process. We urge you to step away from the software and create a plan. Automating inefficient processes will only amplify the inadequacies. Focus on what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
2. Ignoring Analytics—With MA you have the means to see which aspects of a campaign are hitting the sweet spot and what areas are falling short. Unless you analyze the data, how can you make adjustments and improve the next campaign?
3. Failing to Clean Your Data—Imagine driving with a dirty windshield—this obscured vision could lead to some poor choices, such as careening off a cliff. Keeping customer data up-to-date and eliminating duplicate and incorrect data can be a chore (much like scraping bugs off a windshield), but it will give you a clearer view of your customers, which will lead to more insightful marketing decisions.
4. Sending Emails to Everyone—If you’re sending the same message to all of the customers in your database, you’re not utilizing the power of MA. You also risk diluting your credibility. Today’s customers are accustomed to receiving personalized messages, and MA gives you the ability to do that. Trust us, it’s worth the effort.
5. Hiding the CTA—Clicking on your call to action (CTA) should not feel like a game of “Where’s Waldo!” Instead of hiding the CTA at the bottom of emails and landing pages, put it where the readers’ eyes go first, which is “above the fold.”
6. Sending Daily Emails—You know that annoying kid who keeps asking, “Are we there yet?” Well, that’s how a potential customer feels about receiving constant correspondence. Remember, sometimes less is more.
7. Being Mobile Unfriendly—Who isn’t reading emails on mobile devices these days? If your emails and landing pages are not designed to be mobile friendly (i.e., easily and quickly downloadable, images designed to view on small screens, etc.) then you are probably losing readers—or at least causing unnecessary aggravation.
8. Asking for a Life Story—Requesting more than four fields of information is considered too much. The goal is conversion, so again, less is more.
We feel obliged to encourage best practices when it comes to MA, because we want you to get the most out of your investment. If you find yourself falling into bad habits or would like to prevent them from starting, give us a call. If you’ve discovered other less-than-ideal practices, please share them.
In the meantime, I’ll be busy learning how to use the new remote.