Like so many areas of business, the field of sales and marketing in recent years has been evolving and applying advances in automation technologies. More and more businesses use marketing automation software to streamline marketing and sales workflows, gather customer data, qualify leads, analyze data for in-depth forecasts, and do many other things. However, you might fall into some marketing automation traps that do harm to your business when choosing ready-made software or building a system from scratch. You can read on to explore five basic mistakes you might be making when using a marketing automation system and how to avoid them.
Top 5 common marketing automation mistakes and how to avoid them
Starting without a proper lead generation strategy
According to a Three Deep Marketing survey (the company was acquired by Bold Orange), 58% of marketers had trouble finding success with marketing automation solutions due to lacking an effective strategy, especially among rookie marketers.
You might be getting new customers but paying more than they are worth in ad spending. Also, your business is unsure how to use the right customer acquisition channel in order to get leads. Another effect without a sound lead gen strategy is that you will find it challenging to deal with your competitors in the market.
When it comes to lead gen strategies, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It involves continuously assessing your target market, how to engage with them, and what it would take to turn them into pleased, long-term customers.
Solution: Lead generation plays a critical role in every business's marketing strategy. The best thing we can do here is to have a proper and coherent lead generation strategy for your business. To be most effective, your lead generation strategy should include measurable, time-bound, and specific initiatives. You can keep your strategy top of mind and stay tuned in on progress by associating your team goals with your day-to-day work. As a result, you can identify the appropriate avenues for your business, grow your business and create lifetime value for both your business and customers. As reported by Marketo, businesses with comprehensive lead generation strategies acquire at least 133% more revenue than those without the right strategy.
Only using marketing automation with an email marketing function
Most people usually confuse automation marketing and email marketing as similar things. Thus, they only use email automation and management function in the system. If this is the case, they aren't using the software to its full potential. Actually, email marketing is a part of a marketing automation platform. Marketing automation includes numerous features like lead management, social media, CRM, closed-loop reporting, content marketing, landing pages, advanced multi-channel campaigns, and more.
Solution: You should use the marketing automation tool in the best possible way to reap maximum benefits from your digital marketing initiatives. Whether you use off-the-shelf software or build from scratch, you need to determine the critical features in an automation tool, explore new features, and validate whether your business needs them. Each feature will offer unique value that should be put to use.
Not being compliant with GDPR/can-spam regulation
Many "experts" nowadays claim that building an email list is a waste of time. There's a way to get an email database much faster and more accessible by buying them. While it’s definitely a quick and convenient way to get plenty of email addresses, it's also hazardous. Using purchased or scraped email lists is illegal in many countries. Under the Can-Spam and General Data Protection Regulation act (a.k.a. GDPR), sending newsletters to random emails may quickly get you into many financial and legal problems. They risk huge regulatory fines, loss of customers' trust, investor appeal, and data breaches. If the messages you generate many emails spam complaints, your email domain reputation will worsen, and future messages will be harder to get to the inbox. Domain blacklist could be an even bigger issue. Aside from that, the quality of those lists is often very poor (with inactive or made-up email addresses). But even if active users are on the list, they are unlikely to be interested in your product/service. Hence, buying a list of emails or sending a newsletter to these emails is not a useful strategy.
Solution: The critical point here is managing data in a transparent way and compliant way, being accountable for the personal data they process and adhering to privacy principles. Knowing where your target users are based will help you understand what laws you must comply with. Users from the EU, for instance, must adhere to GDPR, whereas those from California must follow the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). Privacy laws like GDPR have pushed some companies into their digital transformation giving a competitive advantage to privacy-advanced companies. Another solution is to use automated privacy compliance software or third-party plugins to track your collected data and ensure you use it legally.
Not optimizing or testing enough
The business pressure will entice you to launch marketing automation campaigns right away. And under pressure, you neglect appropriate testing and optimization. DON'T commit such a mistake. Without testing, your marketing initiatives would be like a shot in the dark, and you risk wasting your budget and time. Despite being well aware of this importance, many businesses still choose to skip testing and run campaigns based on their previous experience or by guess and by gosh. And in such a case, as practice shows, these companies fail to maximize the full return on investments (ROI) from the marketing campaigns.
Solution: Testing is a helpful technique that enables you to learn more about your customers and find out how they respond to various marketing automation trends. You should set up trials and tests for your automated tasks at regular intervals. In such a way, you will appropriately gauge how the marketing automation platform functions.
A/B testing, for instance, enables you to compare two versions of your campaign's subject line, CTA, and landing page, among other components. Concentrating on two aspects will produce superior outcomes. Aside from this, be sure to test your emails on mobiles, desktops, and tablets to ensure that your users will have a smooth experience regardless of which device they use to view them.
Gathering the insights from your experimentation allows you to quickly fix bugs, optimize marketing automation campaigns and plan better initiatives next time. Luckily, modern software makes testing and analysis simpler than ever before with easy-to-understand visual interfaces. These platforms can now do much of the work for you, helping you make informed decisions backed by data.
Using much different marketing automation tools at once
Speaking of automated software, there are multiple tools available out there. Small businesses don't need the long list of solutions that Fortune 500 brands use. The goal's marketing automation is to make things easier and more efficient. However, the fact that client data is out of sync with one another can seriously cause data to be missed or duplicated, harming your business and resulting in numerous issues during the execution of marketing campaigns or a waste of resources. Along, using different tools can slow your website and harm your technical SEO score. And that's not even considering the wasted money from unused software subscriptions.
Solution: Instead of investing in multiple tools, you need to develop an all-in-one automation system to take care of all your marketing and sales tasks as well as customer service. Furthermore, you need to ensure that it also integrates with other devices and software you use in your organization for smooth communication and handling. This will save you time updating different platforms, keep everyone on the same page, and enable you to measure marketing efforts quickly.
- How to build a marketing automation platform
- 4 critical marketing automation tactics for businesses
- How to build an effective CRM system from scratch
Above are our perspectives that guide you through 5 basic mistakes when setting up marketing automation. Even though they seem simple, neglecting them might cost you dearly later. We hope this sharing can help you make the right moves from the beginning and avoid major headaches later on. Since then, you can operate your marketing automation system effectively and reach a wide range of most critical business goals, like growth, revenue, profitability, and productivity.