Marketing automation is the future, and the future is now. According to the Gartner research, in 2020 retailers and e-commerce stores will be capable of automating nearly 85% of their customer relationship management.
That means that when your customers reach out to you to purchase something from your store, the input of your working force will be brought down to a bare minimum. However, even that bare minimum is a factor which can break or make a business. Especially since all of your marketing automation tactics may backfire if you don’t have a competent expert to develop your marketing strategy.
So what can go wrong? The entire setup process may turn out to be a somewhat complicated task even for the best of us. However, there are some common marketing automation mistakes which you should know about, if you’re looking to optimize your sales funnel and generate more revenue.
Let’s start with the obvious mistake, which is also, surprisingly, one of the most common ones as well.
1. No strategy (or at least no documented strategy)
A vital aspect for every company looking to thrive and expand on the market is a strategy. Astonishingly, in 2014, 34% of almost 500 B2B marketers surveyed by Marketo, admitted that they don’t have any written strategy whatsoever. While this “approach” to marketing may seem somewhat irresponsible, in reality – it is quite dangerous, if not even fatal for a business to ignore this imperative factor. In average, 50% of executives and decision makers are well aware that a business without a strategy cannot grow, according to a PwC research study. Moreover, as many as 54% of the same executives feel like their current plan could be better.
Solution: Hire an expert. There’s no other way around this problem. This is one of those investments that you can’t afford to neglect. A second opinion is always insightful, and even if you prefer to develop and implement your own strategies – an expert input can guide you in the right direction. A one-hour session with an expert consultant may help you to develop your plan for further exponential growth.
2. No customer segmentation
If you’re not segmenting your customer base, apparently you are missing out on lots of revenue that you could be making right now. Believe it or not, companies that use customer segmentation claim that this process helped them to speed up their closing cycle time by 49%. By segmenting your clients and dividing them into separate categories, you can focus your content marketing efforts and invest in content that will positively reach your highest quality leads. Furthermore, your customer service will be able to focus their time and efforts on your returning customers as well as on acquiring more returning business.
Solution: Personalized content sells, it is as simple as that! Approximately 65% of retailers notice a significant increase in their conversion rates and up to 53% of retailers believe that producing relevant and personalized content helps them in generating more returning business. All chances are that you already have a system which separates your returning customers from your one time buyers, and you are well aware that by establishing a relationship, your customers will feel better about doing business with you. Now it’s time to scale and automate this process through a marketing automation platform.
3. Over excessive thinking
It’s only natural that one can get a little bit overwhelmed when facing such a great variety of possibilities that a marketing automation platform provides. However, before you start contemplating about customer psychology, please be advised that you’re not the only one who thought that this tactic might be beneficial in acquiring new customers. In fact, marketing automation follows the 80/20 rule of marketing, meaning that the majority of your conversions will come from the initial 20% of your efforts.
Solution: You will certainly lose a lot of time in trying to reach a particular group of your customers. However, altering templates in the hope that they will drive more conversions can also backfire and cause your high quality leads to abandoning their purchase if they receive a piece of content that is simply not targeting them. So, by all means, follow your brand’s tone of voice, personalize your content, but try not to lose too much time thinking about innovative approaches that can’t guarantee positive results.
4. Lack of testing
Conversely, being stingy on testing can also present a factor that is keeping you from generating more revenue. Although there are a lot of misinformation online about the best practices in A/B testing, the basic ones should always be employed. Furthermore, if you are conducting tests without a proper audience – be prepared for some mixed and vague results. The general rule of thumb is to have at least 1,000 contacts when you are conducting split tests to make sure your effort will provide you with an insightful conclusion.
Solution: So, when sending an email, you should always have two separate campaigns to determine which one is performing better. When testing emails, test your subject line, your CTA, and even test different offers to find out which one is performing better. Remember to keep your focus since the simplicity of testing via marketing automation platform can be almost too exciting. So make sure that you are testing different versions of copies and offers that already deliver results.
5. No reporting system
In general, executives and decision makers invest in marketing automation because of the possibility of acquiring real-time insights. Ironically, most of them aren’t using the full potential of their reporting systems. Data management, lead nurturing, and analytics are the most popular features of a marketing automation platform, and as many as 52% of users believe that acquiring reports in a simple manner is the most valuable option that this type of PaaS application provides.
Solution: Integrations, mobile applications, automated reporting system – all of these can help you find out more about your customers, sales and overall performance of your business. Naturally, the time you take to respond to a lead may eventually lead to a sale lost. In average, only 37% of B2B companies respond to an inquiry within an hour. However, this quick response also comes with more sales won. If you leave enough time to your potential customers to evaluate other options, don’t be surprised when they decide not to do business with you.