Why Does Marketing Automation Fail? And how to avoid it

Why does Marketing Automation fail?

Ironically, marketing automation most commonly fails because of us humans.

Mistakes happen. And they can be anything from timing errors to communication blunders.

To help you prevent such mistakes, we’ve put together a short list of the common reasons why automation fails.

No leads!

There are many businesses out there with an effective automation strategy implemented – brilliant! But they forget to focus on growing the number of leads they’re putting into their funnel.

Automation works best when you have multiple channels attracting new prospects. And when you regularly feed your funnel with more and more leads, you can optimise your list performance. The bigger your list, the more inactive subscribers you can remove and the better your performance becomes.

Lack of human contact

This covers two areas. Firstly, the lack of human contact with the automation platform and strategy. And secondly, the lack of human touch in your customer-facing communications.

Use your knowledge of the business to review automations and consider risks. These could include restructuring automations around holiday periods or updating your communications when important changes happen in your business. You should review automation efforts regularly.

Tips for humanising your automation efforts include focusing on data, targeting and messaging. For a more detailed view, read our Humanising Marketing Automation article.

Lack of data and personalisation

Sending generic messages to your whole list is not best practice. It leads to increased unsubscribe rates and decreased levels of engagement. Let’s use a digital marketing agency in this simple example.

The agency is launching a new ‘Google Ads’ service and wants to share it with their clients. If they were to send an email to all their clients and prospects, it would feel overly generic. For example, a client of ten years wouldn’t need as much convincing as a prospect business the agency is yet to work with. So the best practice would be to tailor the content to each segment. Segmenting their lists in this scenario is crucial to their campaign success.

Make your data work for your automation strategy by collecting and storing information from your contacts.

Bad timing

Messages sent at the wrong time is a classic automation failure. It’s incidents like when you have signed up for a free e-book on day one, and on day two you’re sold a thousand-dollar product. In scenarios like this, the marketer hasn’t considered the timing and strength of their customer relationship.

So when you’re creating your automations, consider your relationship with your audience. Highlight where they are in their journey. One way of doing this is to categorise your customers. A good framework to use would be Eugene Schwartz’s five stages of awareness. The five stages include Unaware, Problem/Pain Aware, Solution Aware, Product Aware and Most Aware. This would be a great way of segmenting your audience for your campaigns.

Want to learn more about marketing automation?

The majority of reasons why automation fails are easily avoidable. And once you get them right, there are plenty of reasons to trust marketing automation. Discover more tips and expert advice for successful automation: get in touch today.


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