67% of all marketers are currently using marketing automation, and 21% say they are going to use them over the next three years. Marketing automation helps businesses in many ways. But how can you make the best of it? If you use the right platform, marketing automation can be relatively easy. You can customize and edit your templates to fit your business needs. But, no matter how prepared you are, there are some common mistakes in automation, especially for small and medium sized businesses. In this article, our goal is to help you avoid these pitfalls so that you can start on the right foot. 🪤 What is marketing automation? Marketing automation uses specific software to handle repetitive tasks without the need for human action. Each automation carries users through a flow of messages and interactions (i.e an automation for abandoned carts or an automation for new email subscribers etc). The goal of marketing automation is to give users a quick and effective response while saving time and money. Benefits of automation It’s efficient By automating a few of your customer relationship flows, efficiency grows by allowing you to focus on tasks that cannot be automated. It reduces human errors When your team spends a lot of time doing repetitive tasks, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Automation reduces human error to a minimum. It simplifies communication with leads and customers If most of your interactions with leads and customers are automated, you get the free time to respond to the actual questions that matter. Lead generation becomes easier Lead generation is simple if you use automation. You can collect email addresses using a form that places those leads in one of your marketing automation flows. Improved user segmentation and retention Segmentation allows you to group users according to their behaviour and characteristics. This will help personalize your messages for leads, users, and even cancelled customers. Easy operating When you create your first automation, a template can help you a lot. You just need to customize it according to your needs and goals for that flow. Increases conversion rate and revenue If your processes are improved, your conversion rate and revenue tend to increase as well. Faster and more efficient processes optimize your business. Common mistakes to avoid when setting up marketing automation With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why companies would want to automate their marketing tasks as soon as possible. However, there are many things that can go wrong when setting up automation. Marketing is fluid and dealing with customers does not always bring the same challenges. 🎯 In the following section, we’ll discuss common automation issues and how to avoid them. 1. Lack of appealing content If you want customers to pay attention to what you have to say, you need to make your content resonate with them. Your content should be clear and concise, interesting and engaging. Focus on the benefits of your product rather than features. Get readers to understand why they should choose your product. The story should always be about your customers. People buy something that promises an advantage for them. Appealing content should follow these guidelines: focus on the customer’s wants and needs, and mention benefits rather than features. 2. Lack of planning Before you start creating automations, you need to take care of your strategy. What do you want to achieve with these automations? Which KPIs (key performance indicators) are more important for you? Who are your target customers? How should you measure results? Which automations are you going to use and why? You should have an idea of how to answer most of these questions. Ideally, your answers should be based on data from your own customers. These ideas allow you to plan your campaign. If you don’t plan, how will you know if your campaign was/is successful? Planning thoroughly is essential for your automation to work. 🗓️ 3. Not using features fully This is another common mistake. Marketing automation tools have a learning curve, and what might suit your company in the beginning might not work after a certain time. In order to keep your marketing efforts up to date, you need to learn new features of your automation tool as early as possible. Not using features fully is a common mistake that can cost you a lot of money and time. Do the onboarding sequences when available, add all the relevant data you can think of. If you have any questions, contact the support team for your software. Make sure your automation flows stay relevant. 4. Campaigning aggressively There is nothing wrong with reaching out to your cold prospects or missed leads. You should make sure that you’re not missing out on opportunities. However, there is a time and place for everything. And if you don’t respect your recipients’ time and availability, you end up losing them altogether. Creating campaigns that are too aggressive, too hard on the sales pitch or just too demanding is a missed opportunity. Don’t follow up more than twice on a lead. You had three strikes – on the third, it’s time to move on. 🚗 5. Not integrating with other platforms in use (especially your CRM) When selecting a marketing automation tool, make sure you find software that integrates with your existing stack – especially when it comes to your CRM. If you use Platformly, you have access to many integrations that will expand the possibilities of what you can automate. TRY PLATFORMLY NOWGrow Your Business With Marketing Automation 📈 15-day free trial, 30-day money back guarantee Plus, on Platformly we offer a fully featured CRM, which improves your automation abilities without even needing to subscribe to another service. Your marketing automation must coordinate the several SaaS in your stack seamlessly. 6. Not understanding that marketing automation and email marketing are two different things Even though the same platform can be used for marketing automation and email marketing, it’s important to understand the two do not mean the same thing. You can have a newsletter and an automation going at the same time, or even more than one of each. Whereas email marketing refers to a broadcast via email, marketing automation can use several different channels such as social media, email, SMS… An automation creates a flow – users get into it by performing an action and, as they proceed through it, receive different messages according to their segmentation (demographics, interests, family…) and their engagement. Email marketing might use segments, but usually refers to a specific campaign sent at once for all the recipients. By separating these two marketing tactics, you make it easier to profit from each and get the best results out of your campaigns. 7. Missing team training When it comes to training, you should invest in your employees. Of course, your team members should have previous skills and experience, but it’s very important to provide consistent training from day one. Choose a marketing automation tool that fits your company, and ensure your marketing team gets proper training to use it correctly. Always use the onboarding sequences to make sure you have everything set up and ready to go before approaching your first automation. Also, make sure your team members are up to date in regards to new features. You can find our product updates in the Platformly blog. 8. Setting and forgetting It’s tempting to think that, once your marketing is automated, you can just “set and forget”. However, this is far from being true. You should collect data from your automations, analyse what can be improved, and proceed with the necessary changes. Every update needs to be backed up with data from actual customers, their response to your campaigns and the results according to your KPIs. Measure everything you can to make sure you’re in full control of your campaign. 9. Not auditing frequently As we mentioned, you need to ensure that your campaigns are relevant and your customers are satisfied. A way to make sure your campaigns are up to date is to perform auditing. An audit analyzes all the factors involved, including customer response, conversion rate, content performance, calls to action… We recommend auditing your automations frequently to make sure you don’t fall behind. What works in one season might not work in another, and what works for a certain demographic might not be the same for all demographics. 🧑 Remember that marketing is constantly changing, especially in a digital environment. Audit your campaigns often and improve your results through performance analysis. 10. Don’t forget to optimize Now, if you analyze your campaigns, you need to make your assessments work for you. Knowledge is of the utmost importance when it is actionable. By taking your data, working on it and coming up with solutions for your use cases, you improve your response and processes. Optimizing is not something you can take or leave, it is essential for the health of your marketing strategy. How can Platformly help? Do you want to start automating your marketing tasks, but don’t know where to start? Platformly can help. We offer an automation builder that is powerful yet simple to use. If you’re not familiar with marketing automation and feel a bit lost, the templates are a great starting point. You can set up common tasks such as cart abandonment recovery, following up on demo calls, and many other events and triggers. This is how you do it. First of all, login to Platformly. Then, on the Automations tab, choose “My Automations”. To create a new automation, click on the “+” sign at the top right corner. Then, on the new modal, click on “New Simple Followup Automation”. Select a project from the drop-down menu, and click on “Build an Automation From a Template”. And here are the templates. In this example, we’ll just open the Cart Abandonment Recovery template. Now, we choose a Trigger: in this case, “Shopify abandonment event”. You can connect Platformly to Shopify quite easily using the native Shopify integration. Fill in the other fields according to your settings, and click on “Save Automation” at the top right. That’s it! Creating an automation using Platformly templates is very easy. You can also use the “Start an Automation From Scratch” option if you can’t find what you want in the templates. Once you are used to the templates and want something bespoke, you can use this option to create advanced automations. Wrapping Up If done correctly, marketing automation can make an enormous difference in your business. By automating tasks that do not need to be done manually, you free up time and money to create new strategies to increase your conversion rate and other main KPIs. If you avoid the mistakes we mentioned, you’re already heading in the right direction. And you? Are you taking advantage of marketing automation already? To make the best out of Platformly’s marketing automation toolkit, follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and keep an eye out for our blog posts for more helpful tips!