Avoiding the Pitfalls of Marketing Automation

By Bill Zoelle, Chief Creative Officer

Published: June 19, 2018

With marketing automation, it’s important to make sure your digital interactions with customers aren’t too cold. While automation can create efficiencies and eliminate human error, remember to balance technology with personal touches.

At Envano, we use a variety of automated tools to manage email lists, newsletter sends and landing pages. We work to ensure any email triggers or automated processes we have in place are authentic, relevant and just smart. Here’s how:

1. Make sure your automation meets the need of your customers.

I used a local Toyota dealership’s online system to schedule my airbag recall appointment. You can imagine my confusion when I received an email from that same dealership with the subject line “We Need Your Vehicle.”

Email from Toyota requesting trading in a vehicle

My vehicle was apparently on their list of “highly-requested pre-owned vehicles,” so they reached out via an automated email to see if a trade was of interest. It wasn’t. Make sure your automation speaks to search intent. Any emails triggered by landing page visits should speak directly to the content the lead was browsing.

2. Don’t let automation slow down process.

Coca-Cola Freestyle Soda Machine in a Burger King
By Phillip from Miami, USA – New Coca-Cola Freestyle Soda Machine Burger King, CC BY 2.0

Digital soda machines are the epitome of technology-creating inefficiencies. While they seem like an advanced, even more automated version of a standard soda machine, you’ll often find long lines forming behind the digital version because the decisions are endless (and previous machines accommodated more than one person at a time).

The same can apply to marketing automation. Make sure your calls to action, forms and system notifications are strong and simple. It will not only make it easy on leads to make decisions and take action, but also enables your team to immediately meet needs and expectations.

3. Acknowledge your automation.

MOO does it right with Little MOO, the company’s virtual assistant and self-acknowledged Print Robot. I first met Little MOO via an order email, in which he reminded me, “Remember, I’m just a bit of software,” and urged me to read MOO’s FAQs with further questions.email from moo.com following up Little MOO perfectly balanced communication and automation in a way that was friendly, not creepy.

4. Add warmth where you can.

After I ordered a blind spot mirror on Amazon, I received a handwritten thank card from the seller WadeStar. For a blind spot mirror. I’ll certainly remember their name, attention to detail and customer service if I ever need a blind spot mirror again.

handwritten card from seller of blind spot mirror

As a digital marketing firm, we try to add the same warmth to our day-to-day. Our office entrance welcomes visitors with a handwritten hello. We celebrate team birthdays with a good old-fashioned birthday card. Even our partner Christmas presents are hand wrapped and delivered with care.

With everything technology affords, it’s easy to let things get a little too automated. Marketing automation and a CRM lets teams be nimble and quick — just don’t lose sight of the little things on the way.

Ready to leverage smart automation that isn’t soul-crushing? Fill out our contact form and let’s chat!