5 Reasons Marketing Automation Fails (And How to Avoid Them)

5 Reasons Marketing Automation Fails (And How to Avoid Them)

I’m going to walk you through five of the biggest marketing automation mistakes I see time and time again. You click, and instead of applying the discount, this happens: Everyone’s had this problem happen at one time or another. In social media, for example, that means sticking with content-based, top-of-the-funnel campaigns. Then they repurpose their content with additional posts over a series of days to increase the number of people they’re reaching. Now you know exactly what to send these people! This problem happens with other fields all the time, too. The best email campaigns sound personal. Trying to automate things that shouldn’t be automated Automation is awesome because it allows you to get more done with less. The more personalized you can make campaigns, the better results you’re going to see. Having other people unsubscribe can actually help make sure that you never lose access to the good people on your lists.

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Personalization is one of the biggest marketing trends.

The more tailored you can make an email or ad, the better results you get.

That’s important because it takes awhile to create loyal customers.

People are going to interact with your brand multiple times before they purchase. They’re going to go through a series of stages to learn about how you can help them.

Automation can help this. It’s supposed to increase your ability to personalize campaigns at lightning-fast speeds.

However, if you’re not careful, it can also blow up in your face.

I’m going to walk you through five of the biggest marketing automation mistakes I see time and time again.

The good news is that they’re easy to avoid if you recognize the warning signs.

So I’ll show you how to fix each one, too.

Ready to get started? Let’s do this.

Reason #1: Wrong person, wrong channel, wrong time

You get an email from your favorite company.

They’re having a new sale on one of their best products.

You’re stoked!

You’ve been waiting for this email for weeks.

Eagerly, you click on the link with anticipation.

However, instead of seeing the message you expected, you see something that looks like this:

The same thing often happens with a coupon code. You click, and instead of applying the discount, this happens:

Everyone’s had this problem happen at one time or another.

The problem is that these issues can result in people leaving for good. 54% of people surveyed said they would unsubscribe ASAP when an irrelevant offer like this hits their inbox.

Why do these issues pop up from time to time?

Most marketing automation mistakes come back to the same root cause.

Most involve sending the wrong offer to the wrong person at the wrong time.

Marketing automation is supposed to solve this problem. It’s supposed to help make sure this doesn’t happen.

It’s not foolproof, though.

Do you want a simple rule of thumb?

Don’t rush head-first into automation.

That might sound surprising at first coming from me. I did write the definitive guide on marketing automation, after all.

However, you can quickly become too clever and make basic errors that lead to many of these problems.

The other reason I say this is because most people need to focus more on brand awareness in the beginning.

Increasing that aspect first will still help you increase conversions at the end of the day.

Here, I’ll show you why.

Search Engine Land and SurveyMonkey ran a survey to uncover what the biggest influencing factor of a purchase is with consumers today.

And they found that the biggest factor was your brand name: “70% of US consumers look for a ‘known retailer’ when deciding what search result to click.”

Now, check out what the answer “known retailer” beats out on that list. People care more about knowing who you are than what they’re going to pay!

Nielsen ran a similar study with similar results. Your brand recognition is the biggest reason people choose to buy from you at the end of the day.

What do these findings mean?

Focus on solidifying your brand recognition before getting overly complex with sophisticated automation.

In social media, for example, that means sticking with content-based, top-of-the-funnel campaigns.

These BuzzFeed ones are a perfect example.

The USA TODAY College account also does an excellent job by working with other influencers who already command their own attention.

Then they repurpose their content with additional posts over a series of days to increase the number of people they’re reaching.

Here is USA TODAY again with the same content, with new packaging, on a different day.

Coca-Cola will also keep the same creative decisions consistent with new campaigns. Here’s an example with their “Share A Coke With…” campaign.

Coke’s brand consistency is what helped them carve out a recognizable name over the last few decades.

There are three objectives here.

The first is to drive home your brand recognition as much as possible.

Even content sharing like this can help.

The second is to reach new audiences. You want to pull more people into your sphere of influence.

Once again, simple content-based plays like this work well. Especially because you almost can’t screw this up.

The third is that you can start seeing what types of content people are most interested in.

This last part is important.

People need to have interest in your content from the very beginning if you’re going to perform automation correctly.

You need to know what people want to receive to send them stuff that they — you know — want to receive.

You don’t ask them for these insights. You watch their behavior.

The right tools can tell you what someone was doing right before they signed up for your email list.

For example, Drip has a trigger and tag system so that you can keep track of where someone signs up on your site.

You could also use this to see that someone signed up to your email list while reading an SEO blog post as opposed to an article on email marketing.

Awesome. Now you know exactly what to send these people!

Get this ‘infrastructure’ set up first, and then you can focus on growing your email list as fast as possible.

One final tip before moving on.

Over time, your relationship with these people will change.

They will sign up for other offers on your site. They’ll hopefully even buy from you!

That’s where suppression lists come into play.

Suppression lists will help you keep track of where someone is in your system.

That way, the wrong person won’t get the wrong email at the wrong time.

You will be able to plan ahead for this common problem.

You can say that if someone purchases product ABC, don’t keep sending them promotional emails for product ABC.

Instead, send them an upsell offer for something else!

Not only do you avoid looking foolish, but you also increase your odds of driving more revenue at the same time.

Reason #2: No personalized messages

We just looked at how you can tailor email messages to individuals.

But true marketing automation goes way beyond emails.

Here’s an example to…

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