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I’m a big fan of marketing automation. If you want to grow your business – and do it quickly and efficiently – it’s practically a requirement. With the right tools and in the right context, you can completely eliminate manual effort from the equation, saving time and money while improving consistency and efficiency at the same time. Whether you want to maximize efficiency or just make sure your newsletter goes out on time, marketing automation tools can help you achieve your goal.
However, there are some important risks you will need to consider and avoid when using marketing automation.
Automate the wrong thing
One of the risks is automating the wrong thing or orchestrating your automation with a huge game error. Robots and computers are extremely good at doing what we tell them to do; the problem is that if we tell them to do something wrong or ineffective, they will dutifully follow our instructions.
If you create a template that doesn’t look professional, or write copy that isn’t compelling, no amount of automation will save your campaign. Too much automation can make it harder to spot flaws and errors in the marketing materials you send.
Related: Why You’re Using Drip Email Wrong (And What To Do Instead)
Using the wrong tools
There are a ton of marketing automation tools out there, and not all of them are equally helpful in helping your business save time and money. Problematic marketing automation tools typically fall into one of three categories:
- Insecure. If your marketing automation tool isn’t secure, you can’t use it with confidence. You don’t want your competitors spying on your strategies, or your customers’ personal information leaking. Therefore, security should be one of your top priorities.
- Unreliable. Some marketing automation apps are unreliable, offer finicky features, or don’t deliver on their core promises. If the app doesn’t work or does what it promises, it’s essentially useless to you.
- Disproportionately expensive. You may also come across marketing automation tools that work exceptionally well and are easy to use, but they may cost a lot more than they’re worth. If you end up paying too much for your marketing tools, the profitability of your entire campaign can decrease.
If you’re particularly unlucky, you might come across a tool that falls into more than one of these categories. Either way, it’s important to do your due diligence and choose your tools carefully.
Resembling a robot
Auto-generated text and automated emails can be great ways to save human effort and stay in touch with your customers. However, we also have to recognize that too much automation can make you look like a robot.
If all of your content is auto-generated and all you do is follow formulas and templates, customers will likely doubt your sincerity or misrepresent your messages. You cannot rely on automation to the point of compromising your creativity or originality.
Related: Being a Better Marketer Means Accepting Failure
Spam your customers
Marketing spam remains a problem. Most consumers receive dozens, if not hundreds, of marketing emails every day, and they constantly hear from companies they’ve vaguely expressed interest in at some point. Automation makes it easier to send thousands or even millions of messages to your contacts, but more volume isn’t always a good thing. If you send your content too frequently, or if you send people who aren’t interested in your brand, you could end up being flagged as spam, hurting your reputation and leading to lower sales.
Copying bad models
Efficiency is often a good thing, but it can sometimes lock us into a position that prevents us from innovating. Over time, your marketing automation efforts can give you a sense of complacency, that you are consistently able to reach your audience and achieve a certain result by following a certain formula. But if you follow this formula too closely or too consistently, you will never branch out or experiment. As a result, you may never see your full potential.
spend too much
A final problem faced by entrepreneurs and marketers everywhere is overspending. It’s common to covet new marketing apps and systems that promise to multiply your results. And in many cases, adding new apps and resources to your arsenal is a good thing. However, you could end up with a very depleted marketing budget at the end of your activities, with inflated monthly expenses that do not reflect the value you get from your automation tools.
With better knowledge of marketing automation software risks, you can use these awesome tools more effectively. Better spend, better tools, and better awareness will all lead to higher marketing ROI — and higher satisfaction among your prospects and customers.