Marketing automation is just one tool we marketers love to have in our bag of tricks. Not all companies can afford one and that might not be a bad thing. After working with various marketing automation systems over time, I’ve come to the conclusion they are great in certain situations and not in others.
If you’re in the business of selling shoes or trying to sell fun summer dresses in a blowout sale, then marketing automation may be the tool that can help you clean out your warehouse. However, when it comes to the smaller business, you really have to think about how to use the tool to your advantage. Smaller organizations typically don’t have—and may never have—the content needed to keep prospects engaged through constant and automated touches.
When NOT to automate…
I think one of the secrets to success with marketing automation is actually the non-automation side of prospect engagement. What do I mean by that? By all means, use the tool to connect with your prospects on a regular basis. But, if that’s all you do with it, then you’re missing out.
Whether you’re using a very expensive and elaborate system or something more basic like Constant Contact, make sure you pull your reports on a regular basis. Look for those prospects who appear to engage regularly with your content—opens, clicks, downloads, etc. That doesn’t mean you should call them after every interaction (please don’t), but look at the data in aggregate.
The problem is, all too often, metrics and numbers are the end goal when they should be an indicator that it’s time to take the next step in building the relationship.
As the numbers next to their names grow, start sending them direct, personal communications—not from your marketing automation system, but straight from your email system. Make these messages personal. Include interesting articles or content showing them you were thinking about them specifically when you put that email together. While you may have a handful of templates to work from, this is an opportunity for you to craft an email that really resonates with someone as an individual, not as a member of a marketing list.
Something simple with no pressured sales tactics will most likely be opened and responded to. While marketing automation is a 1:many marketing tool, the magic lies in the one-to-one relationships that come from it. In a world of automation and saving time, that human touch is more important than ever. Who doesn’t like to buy from someone who actually cares about us as a person? If you have trouble finding the time or words to craft those personalized emails or templates, reach out to The Partner Marketing Group. We can help.