My last post referred to an article on entrepreneur.com whose title, 5 Ways Marketing Automation May Be Doing Your Business More Harm Than Good, would lead you to believe that the author actually had some real insight in to this topic.  However, it was pretty standard fare.

  • Just implementing marketing automation is not the solution, you have to use it correctly
  • Don’t let technology overwhelm you
  • Select a solution with the features you need.  If all you need is email marketing then don’t subscribe to a marketing automation platform
  • Don’t be lazy
  • Don’t replace humans with robots

Can the improper use of Marketing Automation could really hurt your business? I don’t mean just costing money and wasting time. Can it really cause damage to your brand and your relationship with your customers and potential customers. The short answer is Yes.

Leaving people in nurture campaigns too long is a huge mistake

I don’t mean that you have nurture campaigns that are too long in duration. I mean that a lead has met some condition that should have taken them out of automated nurture yet they were not.

For example, you have a nurture campaign that is designed to engage with a prospect after an initial download of a whitepaper or attendance at a webinar.  By design, the nurture emails look like they come directly from a sales person. Perhaps the one who is responsible for the geographic area or product of interest of the prospect. The prospect continues to engage with the nurture campaign to such a point that they hit a trigger event (like requesting a quote) or their lead score crosses a threshold.  That sales person is alerted and takes over the conversation.  Then, because they are not removed from the nurture campaign, the prospect gets another automated email that is a complete non sequitur to the “real” conversation that they have begun with the sales rep. In one email, you may have shattered the trust that the well designed automation program created. Even worse, what if that automated email makes some great offer in a last ditch effort to engage the prospect?  Now you just made your sales person job harder, not easier.

I have one associate who stopped giving to one particular non-profit because they continued to send emails asking for donations even after he made a donation.  That is definitely a case of marketing automation hurting a business.

I’m sure the more I think about this, the more ways I can thing of how you can shoot yourself in the foot with Marketing Automation.

Input from the crowd?

 

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