As advanced as marketing automation softwares have become, there is still room for error. Even large corporations make mistakes when it comes to automated emails and social media, which is why it’s important to look at what automation should do for your marketing strategy and where it has the potential to fall short.

Sending the Same Message to Everyone

This is a very common mistake that marketers often make with automated emails. Although it may seem like sending the same message to everyone will save you time, this practice will hinder your marketing efforts because the messages will be impersonal and not relevant to what your contacts are looking for.

Instead, take the time to segment your lists and send out emails that are pertinent to what your clients and prospects want or need to know. For example, you can segment your email list into age ranges, such as younger clients, those preparing for retirement, and those living in retirement. You can also split current clients and prospects into two different email lists and send promotional emails to the latter. It may take some experimenting, but separating your email lists is an effective way to use automated marketing.

Sending Out Emails at the Wrong Time

There is no hard or fast answer to when you should send emails out, because it depends on who you are sending to, your message, and what you want the email to accomplish. That being said, though, there are some best practices when thinking about the timing of your emails.

  • Send your emails during normal business hours (usually 9am-5pm).
  • Friday afternoons are usually slower, so don’t send time-sensitive emails then.
  • A lot of professionals check their email in the morning, right when they get into work.
  • Think about different time zones. If a lot of your clients are in your local area, you might not have to make a change. If the majority of your clients are all the way across the country, they may be three or four hours different than you. Think about this when sending.

There is no “tried and true” time to send emails, because every business and client is different. Like list segmentation, it may take some practice to establish the best time to send out emails to your clients. Experiment, look at your analytics, and don’t be afraid to frequently make changes.

Also remember: proofread, proofread, proofread! A second (or third) set of eyes is your best friend with emails. We suggest sending a test email to your team and having them look it over before you send it out to your clients. Some things to double check include spelling and grammar errors, dates, times, and names.

Relying on Bots on Social Media

Automated social media is a great tool, if used correctly. Scheduling software such as our social tool, Hootsuite, or Buffer allows marketers to schedule posts in advance. But, that doesn’t mean that automation can take the social aspect out of social media.

While you can, and should, use automation to schedule your social posts in advance and monitor your analytics, good marketers take the time to respond to their followers as often as needed. Because most of our subscribers are small businesses, this shouldn’t be too time- consuming. We suggest taking ten of fifteen minutes a day to go through your social platforms, including your Facebook Business page, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and respond to any comments or messages. These personal touches are things that automation can’t do on its own.

The Role of Automation

After diving into these times when automation falls short, it’s clear that technology can’t do everything. The best marketers understand what automation is and isn’t and how they can complement these tools with personalized content. For more information on the role that automation can play in your marketing strategy, check out our blog post.