Marketing automation is capable of transforming how you do business, but as with any new technology, it has a learning curve. One of the mistakes some companies make when installing marketing automation software is assuming that “automated” means “we don’t have to think about it anymore.” You may have a more powerful engine under your organization’s hood when you install marketing automation software, but you still need to steer. Here’s how to swerve around obstacles and run laps around your competition.
Emailing the Wrong Recipients
Your marketing automation software has powerful data hygiene tools built into it, but it still needs a sound data management strategy in place to keep information organized. If you migrate data onto your marketing automation platform without oversight, you risk including invalid names and addresses in the mix. Another potential pitfall is sending to the almost-right recipient – that is, you’ve reached the right person, but your personalization isn’t accurate. If you’ve ever gotten email addressed to “Dear Lastname Firstname” instead of “Firstname Lastname,” you’re seeing a data error that indicates insufficient gatekeeping and governance.
Solution: Work with a data governance team. With proper data governance, you ensure that every marketing email or newsletter you send addresses the right audience by their correct names.
Delivering Undifferentiated Content
Content fuels automation. With steady streams of content flowing out to your leads via automated nurture programs, you can attract, educate, and convince potential buyers with ease – but only if you curate that content properly. That means defining content as top-, middle-, and bottom-of-funnel information as well as sorting it by job title, industry, and other well-articulated market segments. It also means vetting shared content and its recipients to be sure you aren’t spotlighting your competition or reaching out to rivals as though they were customers.
Solution: Choose a trained marketing team to handle your set-up process and maintain business mailing lists. Automation technology excels at developing nurture programs and delivering curated content, but it needs a defined rule-set within which to operate.
Automated Social Sharing
A message might have the right keywords, but it could still be one you don’t want to share. Setting your system to auto-share or auto-reply to certain hashtags could lead to sharing topics or tweets you’d prefer not to distribute to your entire audience. A constant barrage of social media updates can also take up too much of your followers’ time. Instead, set up private auto-replies so your audience knows they’re being heard without broadcasting details to everyone who’s following you.
Solution: Social media management that vets tweets and updates before they go out will go a long way toward making social work for you.
Forgetting to Test
Everything your automation software does is predicated on three fundamental elements: Testing, testing, and more testing. Even organizations that choose the right marketing automation platform for them, migrate data successfully, integrate seamlessly, and implement without a hitch can stumble if they fail to test their system regularly.
Solution: Take advantage of the testing tools built into your marketing automation software. Create accounts and email addresses so you can see the system from a lead’s point of view. Set up A/B split testing protocols that help you find the most effective ways to connect with your prospects.
Marketing automation is the most powerful, flexible, and versatile tool available to marketers, but it can’t achieve its full potential without some human ingenuity in the mix.
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