6 errors to avoid when using marketing automation

With the rising use of chatbots and artificial intelligence in digital campaigns, communicators should take care not to lose the human element. Here are some mistakes to watch for.

Marketing mistakes run the gamut from silly typos to catastrophic oversights.

Some leave you shaking your head; others can ruin your campaign or, worse, your credibility.

In email marketing automation, missteps are especially costly. Customers and subscribers can easily get turned off, and you don’t want to burn money on preventable problems. Here are six common email marketing automation mistakes to avoid:

1. Spamming

Because you can create and schedule email campaigns with minimal time and energy, it’s easy to overdo it, especially when your metrics are looking good.

Spamming can hurt your business big time. Send relevant emails only to the right audience at the right time.

2. Forgetting to be human

Automating workflows and shedding manual processes are the wonders of marketing automation, but they carry the risk that your messages will become inorganic.

Your customers are humans. (So are you.) Don’t let them feel that a robot is bombarding them with email. Humanize yourself and your brand. Add a personal touch to make communication authentic and genuine, and use triggers so your emails have strong relevancy to recipients.

3. Failing to document a plan

Like any element of your content marketing strategy, your email marketing must have clear objectives, as well as smart tactics to achieve them. Are you using it for lead generation, or do you want to improve customer service? What is your overall goal?

By identifying your objectives, you can devise appropriate approaches for each one, such as re-engagement email campaigns, cart abandonment emails, and more.

4. Focusing on the wrong metrics

It’s easy to get fooled by numbers. When that open rate is high, you must be doing something great, right? But are you getting click-throughs and conversions? Are your end goals being met?

Simply put, it’s better to see a 15 percent open rate with an 8 percent conversion rate than a 50 percent open rate with no conversion at all.

5. Failing to perform tests

Testing is mandatory for predicting which strategy or campaign is worth pursuing and to learn more about your audience. This is true for any part of your marketing, but especially so for email automation.

Test your campaigns to optimize the advanced features of your software. For instance, A/B testing helps you compare two versions of your subject line, call to action, landing page and so on.

Also, test your emails on smartphones, desktops and tablets to ensure that all your recipients will have a smooth experience.

6. Letting customer data go unused

You can amass a bounty of customer data—such as email and website activity, transaction history and demographics—to produce targeted campaigns.

Review your customer data, so you can segment your email list properly and target customers with the right message and perfect timing.

Kimberly Maceda is a content writer for ActiveTrail. A version of this article originally ran on the Influence & Co. blog.

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