Everyone makes mistakes. As a 165-pound puppy who is still learning and often forgets my size, I’ve made plenty – like trying to sit on people’s laps, dragging my humans across the grass while chasing ducks, and tearing up my favorite toy in a fit of frustration.
The important part about mistakes is to learn from them. In fact, a smart human named George Bernard Shaw once said: Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
Of course, some mistakes are costlier (or more painful) than others, which means its wise to avoid making them in the first place – especially when we can easily learn from others. Marketing automation is a great example.
Marketing automation (MA) is a powerful tool capable of generating and converting leads and building customer loyalty, but many marketers do not take advantage of everything it offers. It’s seems silly to invest in such great technology and not get the most out of it.
As experts on the subject, my colleagues have some advice to help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when implementing and using marketing automation:
Mistake #1 – Automating everything. Sometimes when I get a new toy, I become obsessed with it. In the same way, when you first implement MA, it’s tempting to use it 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.
Mistake #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 adjust and improve the next campaign?
Mistake #3 – Failing to Clean Your Data. Imagine driving with a dirty windshield (perhaps blurred by nose prints)—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, but it will give you a clearer view of your customers, which will lead to more insightful marketing decisions.
Mistake #4 – Sending Emails to Everyone. If you’re sending the same message to all 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.
Mistake #5 – Hiding the CTA. While I love a good game of hide-and-go-seek (I always find the human), clicking on your call to action (CTA) should not feel like a challenge. 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.”
Mistake #6 – Sending Daily Emails. I’ve been told that pawing at my humans until I get their attention can be annoying. Well, that’s how a potential customer feels about receiving constant correspondence. Remember, sometimes less is more.
Mistake #7 – Being Mobile Unfriendly. While I’d personally like to chew my human’s phone to bits so he’ll stop looking at it, the truth is, people love these things! 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’re probably losing readers—or at least causing unnecessary aggravation.
Mistake #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.
Looking for more tips? Check out “4 Key Traits of Successful Marketing Automation Campaigns.”
Even if you follow this great advice, you’ll probably still make a few mistakes along the way, but we hope this helps you avoid unnecessary missteps. Honestly, I wish someone had told me not to corner cats – it would have saved me a nasty scratch on my nose!
If you need help implementing or making the most of your marketing automation platform, why not consult with someone who knows what they’re doing. Call my friend, Jeremy Sterling, Director of Marketing (and certified Pardot Specialist) at 734-546-5434 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.