In recent years, market automation has witnessed a rapid rate of adoption as companies seek to reduce costs and maximize efficiency when it comes to developing and launching their marketing campaigns. However, before rushing to get your hands on the latest MAPs (Marketing Automation Platforms), it is first worth taking a pause to appreciate the fact that MAPs, as with any advanced tools, can be prone to technical issues – oftentimes bringing with it some really catastrophic results. In this article, we have compiled together 4 downright frightening email automation fails.
1. Auto-Reply Gaffes
This is Tim, from [EXAMPLE] company. One of our advisors has recommended your agency for outsourcing our B2B lead generation. This can be a big opportunity for your business. We are a Fortune 500 company and are willing to sign a contract with your agency of a value of $1 million following a project trail. It would be incredible if you guys are more open to discussing more on this prospect.
Thank you for your email. None of our representatives are available right now. We will get back to you the moment one becomes available.
Thank again for contacting ABC lead generation services.
Auto-reply gaffes like these are what make businesses quickly lose potential clients. There are certain marketing touchpoints where a human aspect is essential, such as when engaging with prospects. While on the surface, the above example may not look technically wrong, it is important to understand that when it comes to successful lead conversations, experience matters. And this is especially true in the B2B sector when client expectations and standards tend to much higher.
People like to be valued, and if the first response they get from you is a generic automated email, then it is unlikely that they would want to engage further. Unless yours is a massive brand like Google or Facebook, your customer will always have alternatives to turn to. Giving a stellar first impression is key to winning customers, and that can only be done through direct engagement.
2. Email Spam
Almost every one of us can relate to the experience of having our message mistakenly sent twice or more times. Just as with typos, it seems like a sin that no reader easily forgives. Now imagine making a mistake like that on a message not sent to a single person but thousands. But, wait there more – each of these recipients are existing customers of the company you work at.
You have worked the entire week formulating that email campaign, and you were confident the conversions it would bring would land you your next promotion. But, due to some technical error, the automation platform kept sending a particular email on repeat. You realize this too late and by then, the recipients have been bombarded with the same message over a hundred times.
In a rush to get in with the trend, quite a few companies make the mistake of adopting automation tools into their marketing strategies without properly testing them or training their employee in their use first. This, of course, can lead to disastrous outcomes such as this later on. As a best practice, email campaigns shouldn’t be altogether completely automated but contain an adequate level of human input as well.
3. Hi [First Name] [Last Name]
A prime example of personalization gone wrong with email automation. Pretty much all of us have experienced opening an email with a modified name tag or a tag for other personalization fields such as company name, industry, or order placement.
These outcomes largely stem from having no human oversight over the data being used to automate personalization. Inaccurately filled personalization fields from leads or them containing characters that the automation tool does not recognize can lead to such results.
In some cases, occasional mishaps like these tend to not be too costly. However, in others, it can certainly make or break your business – just imagine the implications of sending a “[First Name] [Last Name]” email to the CEO of a company that is interested in becoming your business customer.
4. Lead Wasting
A good portion of your leads may tend to be inbound – that is, they are the first to initiate contact. Obviously, they do so with the intent to know more about your business, product, or services. Because they are willing to engage in conversation, it provides you with a prime opening to potentially acquire customers.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies instead waste the opportunity, sending automated responses that prompt no further interest or engagement from the lead. Or worse, sending those ‘no-reply’ automated emails that completely cut any window for further engagement.
Unless you value your competitor’s success more than your own company’s, it makes little sense to cut off people who are coming to you to be your customers. Have human representatives always at hand to engage with such leads, encouraging them to go further down the sales funnel.
Many marketers have wrongly come to assume that using automation tools means that they can run their marketing campaigns completely on autopilot. If anything, they are here to augment rather than replace real human input. Any email marketing campaign lacking the human component is often bound to turn into a complete failure.