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Possible Causes of Marketing Automation “Failure”

Marketing Automation

How to Know What’s Gone Wrong

When marketers get their hands on marketing automation software, they’re usually very excited to get started. This enthusiasm, while quite wonderful, can also create problems down the road.

When you’re not getting the results you’d hoped for from your marketing automation campaign, it’s often hard to figure out why.

Hopefully, you’re collecting good data on your campaigns. So, let’s explore the different points of failure for marketing automation systems.

Not getting enough leads into the system

There are several possible explanations for not getting enough leads into your system:

  1. Bad data. Check your lists for accuracy and reliability. It may be that, if you are using direct marketing tactics, you’re simply using bad data. Focus on defining the primary need of your market that vyou can uniquely solve. Then, build a database consisting of prospects who have that specific need.
  2. Poorly written or inadequate lead generation copy. Whether you’re sending emails or direct mail, if your message isnt relevant and interesting to the reader, you won’t get any response. Run tests on different subject lines for your emails, and experiment with different messages until you find something that hits the mark.
  3. Poor lead to landing page match. If someone clicks on an ad, a link in an email, or a search engine result, they decide within five to seven seconds whether or not they are in the “right place”. The landing page must be an exact match to their search, inquiry or expectation, and that match has to happen immediately.
  4. Landing pages that suck. Most landing pages suck. They are too busy. The headline and lead don’t offer a clear benefit or reason to be there. The call to action is inappropriate for the visitors current place in the buying process. These are just a few of the problems that plague marketers.

Leads drop out, unsubscribe or stop opening emails

  1. Irrelevant, boring or pushy emails. It’s simple. If your emails are irrelevant, boring, or too pushy, your prospect will lose interest, or even become irritated. Try to make your messages relevant to both their immediate need AND their current position in the buying process.
  2. Bad email frequency. Send too many emails too quickly, and you’re making them work too hard. Send emails only once a week (or less often), and by the time they get the next message from you they’ve already moved on.
  3. Poor subject lines. Writing a good subject line is hard. It’s got to hit at least three of the four “U’s” of good subject lines and headings (Urgent, Ultra-specific, Unique, and Useful). That’s not easy to do, and there is (unfortunately) no magic formula. That’s why it’s good to split test (A/B testing) email subject lines.
  4. Bad timing. The worst time to send emails is Sunday night or early Monday morning. Avoid those days if you can. Other days? It’s all about experimenting because every market is different. If emails aren’t being opened on Wednesday, then try Thursday and see what happens.

Sales still complains about getting too many unqualified leads

  1. Try a different approach. Quite honestly, you’re infringing on their turf when you say you’re going to “nurture” leads. You’re not doing their job for them. You’re goal is to make them rich, not superfluous. And, the way you do that is to get them more highly qualified leads.
  2. Review your definition of “sales-ready” leads. It could be that you two are working from different definitions and goals. Clarify with sales the definition of a qualified lead, and instead of working in isolation to deliver the results, work WITH sales to clarify your methodology and process.
  3. Review your entire lead generation and nurture process. It’s quite likely that your lead generation message is reaching the wrong people. Or, you reach the right people, but your nurture process is not in synch with the prospect’s buying process. Either way, this is a good time to review everything with your top sales people to see where you’re off target.

One Comment

  1. Corey says:

    Re: Not getting enough leads into the system

    Bad data is a problem for some but don’t forget to review the technical aspects to prevent failures in your systems.

    Creating mechanisms that alert you when a system/workflow failures have occurred help you be proactive in reducing costly downtime and helps prevent bad data.

    Also, auditing the system’s data helps ensure the numbers add up and leads are not disappearing into an abyss.

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