The 3 Most Common Mistakes Businesses Make with Marketing Automation and How to Fix Them


You’re living the dream. After months (or even years) of trying to get approval to purchase a legitimate marketing automation platform, you’re finally off to the races.

Fully featured marketing automation platform? Check.

Contacts added to database? Check.

Emails designed and ready to deploy? Check.

That’s great news. After all, you’ve worked hard to get things to this stage of the game. But there’s only one problem – you want to be sure you’re not making any of the classic marketing automation mistakes you’ve seen other businesses make.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. What follows are the 3 most common mistakes businesses make with marketing automation. More importantly, we’ve also provided information on how to fix these mistakes.

Let’s dive in, shall we?


Marketing automation mistake #1: being intimidated by the technology

When you were a kid and opened up your birthday gifts, there was the moment of anticipation (opening the gift) before the moment of fear (when you realized the gift required some assembly before you could play with it).

But after you took the time to assemble the gift, you realized that the effort was worth the trouble. After all, a PlayStation or a bicycle won’t work unless you put the pieces together.


Solution: take it one step at a time

The solution to the birthday gift problem is the same solution you’ll use for the marketing automation problem. That is, break things down into their component parts.

If you feel overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles a good marketing automation platform has, remember that you can start with the basics (e.g. loading in your contacts, setting up your forms, creating your first email) before you move on to the more advanced things (e.g., scoring leads, tagging leads, running split tests).

The bottom line is don’t be intimidated by the technology. If you’re dealing with one of the better players in the space (like, ahem, GetResponse), then everything will already be organized in a Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 fashion.


Marketing automation mistake #2: not taking full advantage of the platform

Remember the last time you bought a software application like Excel, Photoshop, PowerPoint or Outlook? If you’re like most people, doing the basics was pretty simple, but going beyond the basics was … a pain in the rear end.

That said, if you plowed through and kept at it, it was worth it. Every minute you put into learning the software on the front end saved you thousands or hundreds of thousands of minutes on the back end.

The same holds true for marketing automation. Getting started can be pretty simple (see above), but taking things to the next level can seem a little overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be – just check out the solution mentioned below.


Solution: carve out 30 minutes a day to learn a new feature

The reason some people don’t take full advantage of marketing automation is because they try to learn everything all at once. That would be a daunting task for anyone. Instead, try carving out 30 minutes each morning (preferably before everyone else arrives) to deepen your knowledge and skill in using the platform. By doing so, you can learn one new feature a day. Over time, you’ll be an expert and will be able to take full advantage of the platform.


marketing automation mistakes


Marketing automation mistake #3: challenging commonly held beliefs

Here’s something I learned based on my own experience. For years, I’ve been using red “submit” buttons on my campaigns because everybody knows that the color red catches people’s eyes and improves the click through rate. Right?

On a whim, I decided to change the color of my submit button to dark blue to see just how much worse the blue button would perform. You can imagine my surprise when the blue button outperformed the red button by 20%. This, despite years and years of data that said red buttons will always outperform any other color.

Who knew?


Solution: test your way to success

It’s easy (for me, anyway) to fall into the trap of trusting commonly held beliefs. If you hear something enough times, you start believing it, whether the data applies to you or not.

So … and I can hardly believe I’m saying this … don’t trust the data. Or, more specifically, don’t trust other people’s data. Instead, run your own tests. After all, your target market might respond differently to your tests than other people’s target markets.

Your thoughts?

What are some of the more common mistakes you’ve seen in marketing automation? Do tell – let us know in the comments section below.

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