Marketing automation is convenient and efficient, but don’t become too complacent. Many automated marketing campaigns suffer from some all-too common mistakes–mistakes that ruin the campaign’s effectiveness or even damage the company’s reputation. Mistakes like:
1. Using Dirty Data
Clean your database. It’s the cardinal rule of any modern marketing campaign, whether you’re using email addresses or phone numbers. And yet far too many teams do a bad job of it or not at all. Sooner or later the wrong customer is going to get the wrong message, and then your team will have to spend the next week doing damage control.
Take as much time as you need to clean up an email list, even one that’s provided by a list vendor (in fact, I’d say you should take extra pains there, because you don’t know who created it).
2. Not integrating your CRM
We discussed this on the blog before, but it bears repeating. If you want a really effective automated marketing campaign, you have to coordinate information with the sales team. Not doing so means that sales reps will get to the leads long after they’ve turned cold. The prospect may have been looking at your product last week, but if sales calls late, they’ll already have moved on to the next brand on their list–your competitor’s.
Integrating your CRM is also essential to understand campaign ROI. Without the accurate marketing and sales intelligence that an integrated CRM provides, you’ll find it difficult to determine the dollar impact a campaign has on your business—and so you risk wasting money on a follow-up campaign that does not work.
3. Ignoring A/B Testing
Yes, A/B testing is a lot of work. You have to develop multiple email options, pick out a test audience, analyze the results, tweak the emails even further, and then test them again. Most marketing teams don’t have that kind of time. But you should make time.
One advantage sales people have over marketers is that reps can adjust their tactics in the middle of a conversation. This doesn’t work for marketers, who rarely see prospects face to face. That’s why A/B testing is so important. You can test your emails on a small sample of your target market, so that you’re sure to use the most effective one during the real thing. Send an untested email, and you’ve just wasted a perfectly good mailing list.