Marketing automation has changed how digital marketers interact with customers, but not everyone has quite mastered the subtle art of automation. Even now, some marketers are make some major blunders that are costing them valuable leads.
So fess up, have you ever made any of these marketing automation blunders? If so, you’re in good company. Here are some of the most common blunders and how you can correct them.
Blunder #1: Not having a plan
When marketing automation software became more common, marketers breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, those days of having to schedule emails at all hours of the day were over, and marketers could have certain emails automatically sent out to customers who were showing certain behaviours – leaving items in their carts, signing up for emails and other actions.
Unfortunately, some marketers saw only the benefit of automated emails and never bothered to look at all the other great features marketing automation has to offer. Essentially, marketing automation become a glorified emailing machine.
Marketing automation is only as useful as the marketers who take the time to understand the analytics and their buyer personas. From lead scoring to landing pages to search engine optimisation, there are plenty of useful features that marketing automation software offers, and if you take the time to understand each part of the software and how it all works together, your marketing endeavours will be more targeted and hopefully more successful.
Blunder #2: Forgetting the welcome email
When you sign up up to receive emails from a company, do you check your email to see if you got a confirmation email or a welcome email? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. This practice has become so commonplace, but there are still marketers out there who forget to send newly signed-up leads a welcome email.
Marketing automation makes this process a snap. Have a template email ready to go and automate it so that it is sent out whenever someone signs up for your emails. To entice consumers to interact with your site a little more, include a link to gated copy. This will help you progressively profile your interested clients.
Blunder #3: Asking for too much information
In order to generate high quality leads in B2B marketing, you need to have certain information about your leads. You need to know the full name and job title of the contact person for each company, and you need to know enough about the company – size, marketing budget, goals – in order to judge how you want to market to your leads.
Some marketers prefer to ask all these questions up front. When leads go to fill out sign-up forms or download ebooks, the forms to do so are long and arduous. Rather than just asking for a name, email address and company name, these forms ask for more information that companies just aren’t ready to give out yet.
The result is that companies then decide not to fill out the forms, and you miss out on a lot of leads. While it is true that those who go through the long form and fill it out are likely higher quality leads, you will still be missing out on a lot of leads that never got the chance to become buyers.
Instead of asking too many questions up front, gradually get information overtime using progressive profiling tactics. This will help you keep your lead numbers high and nurture them as you go along. Over time, your weaker leads may become stronger and eventually buy from you.
Blunder #4: Not testing subject lines
You might think that you know exactly what it takes to get your leads to open up email from your company, but do you really? Do numbers do better with your audience or are they more emotionally-charged? Are they looking for advice or do they want instructional how-tos? How would you know if you never test out your subject lines?
Many marketers underestimate the power of the subject, but they certainly make a difference. For example, having a subject line too long can deter some people from opening them. MailChimp found that 50 characters seemed to be the preferred limit and words like free and freebie generally didn’t help with email open rates.
Blunder #5: Poor lead scoring calculations
Scoring leads based on their online behaviours is a great way to judge how far along a buyer is down the sales funnel. Liking a Facebook page or subscribing to an email newsletter will give a lead points while unfollowing or unsubscribing will lose them points.
The problem is that some marketers conveniently forget to take away those points, which leads to a highly inflated score. The problem is more prevalent than you might think. According to Salesforce, 45 percent of marketers fail to detract points from a leads score.
Keeping an inflated score doesn’t help anyone. Your sales teams will end up contacting leads with no real interest to buy instead of concentrating their efforts on leads who are genuinely ready to commit. Meanwhile, you’ll be sending these leads the wrong type of information in emails, sometimes sales emails rather than nurturing ones.
Blunder #6: Selling not nurturing
Some marketers assume that when buyers sign up for email newsletters , they’re ready to buy. All the marketer now needs to do is show them the product, and the buyer will do the rest.
Not all email subscribers are ready to buy from your just yet. Many of them are just looking for more information on your company, and others want to see what kind of a business you run before contacting your sales team. If all you seem to care about it the sale and not the consumer, your emails will go no where.
Just like plants, leads must be nurtured. Your goal should be to help buyers make an informed decision. If you arm them with the information necessary to make a smart purchase, chance are they’ll come to you when they’re finally ready to buy.
The key thing to remember here is that all six of these errors are fixable. With a little time and energy, you can remedy these blunders and make your marketing automation process even stronger. Where else could your marketing automation tactics use a little tune up? Share with us!