Marketing Automation Overload

This issue, Andrew Davis serves up some unsolicited advice to anyone relying too heavily on marketing automation tools.

Dear Marketing Automators,

Stop sending me automated email sequences that feel like they’re written by a robot or cut and pasted from a template you found on HubSpot.

Like you, I’m mesmerized by automation flow charts. I cherish if/then branches and automated tags. I’ve identified more customer segments in my CRM than Ben & Jerry’s has ice cream flavors (and they have 40, I’m told.)

But good grief, if your customers, clients, prospects, or subscribers can tell that you’re using a marketing automation tool, you’re missing the point of marketing automation.

I get it. Automation tools eliminate repetitive marketing tasks and interactions. However, in an effort to reduce redundancies in your work, you’ve removed the very thing that made these interpersonal communication tools like email and chat so effective in the first place: you!

My most successful automation sequence starts with a straightforward email: “Hey Mark, I was just thinking about you this morning. How’s it going? – Drew”

That’s it. It’s simple. It’s open-ended. It’s short. But, most importantly, it’s social. Sometimes, a simple open-ended question can reignite a dialog that leads to a sale, a referral, an objection, or a new opportunity.

So take a few minutes to review your least successful automated sequence. Ask yourself: Would I take the time to type out every word in this email and send it to a prospect? If the answer is no, you’re just automating for the sake of automation.

Here’s the deal: If you send me your revised email sequence and I can’t tell it was automated, I’ll sign up for your free trial, download your white paper, or engage your sales team. Otherwise, I’ll report it as spam. (OH NO!)

What do you say? Do we have a deal?

Whether you wanted it or not,
Andrew Davis

Author: Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to The Today Show. He's worked for The Muppets in New York and marketed for tiny startups as well as Fortune 500 brands. In 2001, he co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he changed the way publishers think and how brands market their products. For more than a decade, as Tippingpoint’s chief strategy officer, Andrew rallied his team to change the way content creators think, authentic talent is nurtured, and companies market their products. Today, he’s traveling the globe sharing his insight, experience, stories, and optimistic ideals through his wildly fascinating speaking engagements, guest lectures and workshops. His most recent book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships hit shelves in September 2012. Andrew is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow Andrew on Twitter @TPLDrew.

Subscribe to CCO