8 Most Common Marketing Automation Mistakes, and How to Fix Them

You have been studying marketing all your life (or for the last couple of years, months, or even weeks), and you are ready to launch your campaigns. You have chosen a Marketing Automation software, and you are ready to set up and start your marketing campaign.

Hold it right there!

Did you know that 49% of companies now are using Marketing Automation software? And that the marketing automation industry has grown exponentially in the last few years and is now worth $1.62 billion per year?

Shocking Numbers? Not really. What’s also not surprising is that since the marketing automation software has grown so large so quickly, some marketers are not adopting it correctly. They are investing resources into it and are not getting the results they need. But why?

Warning: A Not-so-Smooth transition from Marketing to Chess ahead!

I used to be a pretty good chess player, and one of my all-time favorites quotes that I learned while playing chess competitively is one by a French Player called Tartakower that says: “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.”

Learning from your mistakes is a great way to move ahead in chess and life in general, but learning from others mistake could be the easiest way to climb to the top.

This is why it’s essential you learn what the most common Marketing Automation mistakes you could make so you could avoid them and get the best result you can get are?. This way, you could skip all the ‘failed attempts’ part and get to the ‘get good results’ part right away.

So, sit back, relax, and let us discuss what the common traps marketers fall into when using marketing automation are, and how you can avoid these traps and get better results in the future.

  • Flying Blind

Purchasing the marketing automation software is the beginning of your journey. Using it is another part of the mission. But these two are not the only terms of the equation. You also need to have a strong strategy for your content.

If you start using the marketing automation software without a strong lead inbound strategy in place, you will not be able to attract enough qualified leads to your website, and as a result, the ROI of your marketing automation will stay low.


Develop a sound strategy before launching your campaign, or even better, before purchasing the email marketing automation software.

Focus on developing an inbound marketing strategy that’s aimed at grabbing the attention of potential customers. Have a clear idea of how you will be able to nurture your leads effectively and take them on a lovely customer journey that ends up with both of your being happy.

  • Everybody Gets an Email!

Okay, we are discussing two common issues here:

  • Contacting leads that don’t expect to be contacted by you
  • Irritating leads with too many emails

Let’s examine the first one: Contacting leads that don’t expect to be contacted by you

Purchasing email lists may sound like a good idea; you are taking a shortcut and getting thousands of email addresses that you can contact right away. You are reaching out to a broad audience, which undoubtedly will mean more success, right?

Not exactly.

See, we, as human beings, don’t like being contacted unsolicited. Some people even see it as an invasion of privacy when you send them an e-mail without them allowing it by giving you their emails. This means you could lose otherwise potential customers if you skip right to sending them emails without first grabbing their attention and asking them to give you their emails.

Generally, email lists have high churn rates, and this means your database will not have this long-term growth you are looking for.


How about instead of buying an email list – and this is a crazy idea but hear me out – you don’t!

Instead, you can invest some time and effort to optimize your website, so it ranks well in organic search then create content that can turn your website visitors into qualified leads. These efforts will be worth it when your audience discovers your content and you start generating higher-quality leads that can be turned into customers more effectively.


Now, let’s discuss the second part: Irritating leads with too many emails

According to a recent HubSpot Research, 78% of customers reported they unsubscribed from a brand because it was sending them too many emails.

Sending customers too many emails isn’t going to lead to more sales, it’s going to lead to more un-subscribers. This is even more annoying than unsolicited contacts. With the increase in the number of emails you send your leads, also comes a decrease in the quality of your e-mails. This is how things work.


Pace yourself, man! Send fewer – but better – emails.

Believe it or not, Quality over Quantity is also right here. Strategically sending fewer emails will lead to better results than just bombarding your leads with emails.

A lower volume of leads with higher engagement rates is a thousand times better than a massive database of leads that have zero interest in knowing what email is about. More top quality leads are harder to get, we know, but they are also far more likely to become customers.

  • The Right Audience, the Wrong Message!

Congratulations! You have an extensive database that has so many qualified leads, and you are sending them a ton of emails.

Unfortunately, you find out that you are still not getting the results you want. Why is that?

I will tell you why: Because you are not sending them the right emails!

If your emails are not customized to the receivers of your email, they will not find them useful, and so, they will not open them, and you will not get the required results.


Develop a Strategy and segment your email lists.

Your lead nurturing strategy should include email list segmentation. When you segment your email list, you are making sure that you are sending customized, specific emails to specific people who are more likely to find value in these emails.

According to another recent research that was conducted by the Direct Marketing Association in 2015, 77% of Marketing ROI came from targeted, segmented campaigns, and those alone generated 58% of all revenue. Despite those strong numbers, a reported 42% of marketers are using targeted messages in their campaigns.

The right email marketing automation software can make developing and executing an email list segmentation strategy much more comfortable, and this will lead to better results. You can find out the Best Marketing Automation software for your small business here.

The best way to guarantee higher engagement rates is to make sure that every email you send is not only personalized but that it also provides such value to your leads that they can’t click on your emails.

  • The Tip of the Iceberg: Automating Only your Email Marketing Strategy

Your Marketing automation software is capable of doing so much more than just sending out emails, and you should make better use of it. Most likely, you have many small tasks that need to be done throughout your workday. Each of these tasks takes little time maybe a couple of minutes even.

However, when you add these up, you will be surprised how much time you spend on all these seemingly ‘small’ tasks and discover how time-consuming they are. Tasks such as updating contact information and posting on social media can consume a large chunk of your day without you even realizing it.


Use your marketing automation software to its full potential

Your Marketing Automation solution probably has a lot of features that you are not using, and I am willing to bet that it can be used to automate many of those small and time-consuming tasks.

Take some time to learn more about your marketing automation solution and try to figure out how can you use it to make some processes more efficient. This way, you will be able to save time with marketing automation for more pressing tasks, such as improving your content strategy and lead generation and nurturing tactics.

  • Neglecting Testing and Optimization

It’s unfortunate that many marketers don’t consider optimization and testing as something that’s not as important when automation is used. This is truly bad and can bring not only bad results but disastrous ones.


Automate all you want, but always keep testing and optimizing!

As far as online Marketing goes, optimization and testing are of great importance as they can help you get the most out of your efforts. Testing your content, in particular, is vital for the success of your marketing efforts. It’s always a good idea to send out your content to a small number of subscribers and gauge their reactions before sending it out to all your leads.

Automation can get you good results, but continuous optimization and testing mean your business can stay successful for a long time.

  • KEVIN!: Forgetting About Existing Customers

Forgetting about existing customers is as bad as the family ignoring their son in the Home Alone movies. With so much going on with the new marketing automation software and all the features that come with it, you can get sucked into the hole of “reaching countless potential customers’’ while forgetting that you, you know, have existing customers that need your attention.

Remember how much time and energy went into building these crucial relationships with your now-customers? You went through so much trouble to gain their confidence. Losing these early adopters is a terrible sign for any business.


“Love the one you’re with”

While investing your time and effort in gaining new leads and trying to convert them into customers, why don’t you also spend some time and effort on your already-existing customers? You are probably in a place where you don’t need to spend that much time and energy on building these relationships anyway, so spending just the right amount of resources on keeping them happy should be a priority for you, too.

  • It’s our toy! – Only the Marketing People use the Marketing Automation Tool

As stated before, your marketing automation tool is incredibly useful, and this means it can help all your employees, and not only your marketing team.

Sharing your marketing automation efforts only within the marketing department for things such as email marketing and lead activities can impact your team’s bottom line.


Ask yourself: How can other teams use the software to automate other processes as well?

For example, your sales team can use the marketing automation tool to set up an alert for when their leads are checking out the website, or certain parts and pages of the sites. Or set up an alarm for when a lead fills out a form so that a sales rep can do a follow-up call.

Automating sales tasks and using the software to make processes for them easier as it’s used to make the processes of the marketing team easier can significantly help your business’s sales and marketing alignment, which will show in the success of your business.

  • Asking for too much information

Collecting as much information about your leads is good, but asking them for too much information is not. Some companies do something even worse; asking their leads for too much personal information. This is not only seen as a sort of invasion of privacy, but as some creepy even, and the leads can be easily frightened away by this kind of practice.


Again: Pace yourself!

Information is valuable, and every piece of information you get can become of help in further communications with your leads, but you don’t need to collect all this data in one setting, and there is specific information that you should try to get it somewhere else, or not get it at all.

Be wise, pace yourself, and don’t try to get all the information at one time. This will only scare your leads, and they might be frightened away.

We learn as we go. We face challenges, we make mistakes, we learn, and we move on.

What are the mistakes you’ve made, or challenges you’ve faced, with marketing automation? Tell us about it in the comments.

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