The Most Common Mistakes People Make with Marketing Automation (and How to Avoid Them)

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Marketing automation is one of the fast-growing trends in business today. Many companies are using it to reach wider audiences and generate more sales. According to research conducted in 2019, 75% of all companies use at least a form of marketing automation, and many more organizations plan to adopt it.

There is no sure-fire way to succeed with marketing automation. But then, there are common mistakes that people looking to use marketing automation make and fail to meet their goals. It is vital to understand these mistakes as a business owner looking to adopt marketing automation.

As an entrepreneur, it is vital to evaluate your marketing automation strategy. Evaluation should focus on checking whether you are making any of these common mistakes. This article compiles the top marketing automation mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Let’s get started.


  1. Starting Without A Plan

The first and biggest mistake many people make is failing to plan. You need to have an objective that you want to achieve with marketing automation to be successful. Failure to plan is destined to fail, which will mean a waste of resources invested in automating your marketing efforts.

For instance, you could be aiming to use marketing automation for lead generation. Or you could be planning to use it to improve customer service in your marketing department. With clear objectives, you focus more on the goals you want to achieve, increasing your chances of success.

Therefore, you should never fail to document a plan for your marketing automation strategy. Your strategy can have multiple objectives, each with a set of tactics to help you achieve it. You can also put the goals into short- and long-term categories so that you can pursue them better.


  1. Ignoring Customer Data

An ideal marketing strategy should focus on generating more leads and conversions for a business. Thus, you should ensure that your automation marketing strategy focuses more on your customer. It needs to fit into your ideal customer’s purchase journey, interests, and expectations.

Every business gathers customer data that helps in decision-making. Marketing automation is one of the business aspects in which a business needs to utilize customer data. However, many business owners ignore this data or misuse it, making it less valuable.

Ensure you focus on customer data when looking to implement marketing automation. The best thing about this is that you will be able to create relevant marketing campaigns. Besides, you will quickly increase open and click-through rates for your business if you use customer data correctly.


  1. Becoming a Spammer

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Automation can bring a lot of benefits to a business that uses it. However, many marketing professionals get tempted to misuse the power it gives them. Email marketing automation is one of the most abused aspects of marketing by employees in various organizations.

Email marketing automation makes it easy to send multiple emails with a single click. You can even schedule to send emails to hundreds of addresses at the time of your choice. Many people get excited, seeing that they can do that with less energy and time.

Then comes the temptation to send emails to random addresses unnecessarily. Giving in to this urge turns you into a spammer, and this can hurt your business reputation. You need to ensure you only send well-timed emails with accurate messages and to the right audience.


  1. Inefficient Use of Tools and Platforms

As mentioned earlier, there are different platforms that you can consider when looking to automate your marketing functions. Besides, there is a suite of tools that you need when implementing this strategy. It is vital to ensure that you are using a high-quality platform and set of tools.

You can check out an automation testing tutorial if you are not sure of the tools to use. Besides the tools, you can check out tutorials for standards and best practices of marketing automation. Tutorials help open your eyes to tips, tricks, and best practices so that you can get the most of your marketing automation strategy.

It is vital to maximizing the tools you use for marketing automation. One way to do this is by integrating them with other business systems. For instance, research shows that 89% of businesses with automated marketing strategies have integrated their automation tools with CRM systems.


  1. Picking the Wrong Software

There are different marketing automation platforms that you can choose from today. Every platform is different from the other in terms of size, scope, price, etc. Thus, a platform may work for a business and fail to work for another. Therefore, every business owner needs to pick a platform that will work for them.

Picking the wrong software can lead to money and time wastage. This is because the platform will not help you simplify things in any way. Thankfully, there are all-in-one marketing automation platforms that you can consider when looking to promote your business.

An excellent example of an all-in-one marketing automation platform is HubSpot. The only downside is that startups with meager resources may not afford it. However, there are still lots of alternatives that you can consider working on a budget.


  1. Selling, Not Nurturing

Another common mistake people make when they automate marketing is focusing much on selling. As a marketer, you need to tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly. Sending people too many promotional messages may end up irritating them, and you may not make a single sale from it.

Automation marketing tempts people to take a sales-led approach. The main challenge with this approach is that it doesn’t keep the customer’s needs in mind. Yet, the best way to sell to your customers is knowing the stage they are at on the purchase journey.

Understanding this helps you to create messages that resonate with your audience. For instance, all a customer who’s in the awareness stage needs is information. That’s what you need to provide to meet their needs at that stage. Knowing this will help you push the right messages to your audience.


  1. Sending Emails to the Wrong Audience

Many people also fail to define their audiences before starting to use marketing automation. If you have a massive email database, ensure that you personalize your messages. The speed with which automation works tempts people to send automated emails to their entire audiences.

It is always vital to personalize the messages you send to your audience. The best thing you can do is have an email list segmentation technique that will help you choose who receives a specific message. This will help you increase the open rate of your emails and, in the end, increase leads and sales.


  1. Forgetting to Be Human

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The main benefit people draw from automation is getting rid of manual processes. But then, there is a risk of losing the human touch when automating different functions. The best way to connect with your audience is to make sure that your messages and brand do not look too inorganic.

One way to do this is by personalizing every single message that you send to your audience. Keep in mind that you are communicating with humans and not robots. Therefore, focus on driving emotions through your messages. That will make it easier for people to connect with you and your brand.


  1. Focusing on Quantity, Not Quality

Other people also see marketing automation as a numbers game, which is wrong. The truth is that not everyone will convert from your business even if you promote them. Thus, the most rewarding way to implement marketing automation is to focus your efforts on your most valuable customers.

The good thing is that finding the customers who deserve your attention isn’t a problem. You can use deep learning to get a more in-depth look into customer behaviors. This will make it easy to rank them according to the potential value that they can bring to your business.

After finding your high-value customers, your next step should be focusing your efforts on them. You can, for instance, increase engagement with such customers to boost your conversion rate. Research shows that improving customer engagement can boost a business’s revenues by 22 percent.


  1. Creating Unappealing Content

Failing to create top-notch content is a mistake that marketers need to avoid by all means. Marketing automation without content that will appeal to your audience is useless. Thus, it would be best if you focused on ensuring that your emails have content that resonates with your audience.

You also need to avoid typos and errors of all nature in your content. Also, ensure that you craft specific content so that your audience takes the desired action promptly. Improving your copywriting skills can help you create more appealing content and help ensure marketing automation works for your business.


  1. Not Optimizing or Testing

Testing is essential for any company that uses software for different business aspects. It is vital to check whether software can work efficiently with existing business systems. Software testing is also about regularly checking software to ensure it runs efficiently and identifying the areas that need improvement.

The best thing about testing is that it enables you to make future predictions. You can quickly know what aspect of your market automation strategy needs optimizing. For instance, testing helps you understand how the software works on different devices, such as computers and smartphones.

Another thing that you can test in your marketing automation strategy is social media. A perfect example of what you need to check when testing social media is a CTA. You should confirm that the link provided in every CTA isn’t broken and leads users to the right page.


  1. Focusing on the Wrong Metrics

Many people often get excited when they see their marketing automation strategy perform well in certain aspects. For instance, a high email open rate can make someone excited. They would think their marketing automation strategy is working well and fail to focus on some vital metrics.

For example, a high email open rate doesn’t always mean more conversions. It would be best to look further into things like click-through rates to be sure that your strategy is working well. Thus, you need to have a more in-depth look to ensure that marketing automation is working for you.


  1. No Inbound Lead Generation Strategy

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Marketing automation also needs a good lead generation strategy to succeed. You may be using an excellent platform and set of tools but still, fail in marketing automation. This is because you need a solid content setup process to generate more leads for your business.

Thus, content is the primary tool you need to succeed in online advertising. It is even more vital to be careful with content when you have automated your marketing functions. This is because things happen so fast when automated, and you risk overlooking content quality.

A good lead generation strategy also takes care of your content needs. It helps you create content that resonates with your audience by answering their questions. 

In the end, a sound lead generation strategy increases the return on investment of your marketing automation strategy. It also impacts your conversions and overall business profitability and makes it easier to achieve your business goals. 



Marketing automation adds a lot of value to a business that uses it correctly. It can help a company save valuable time, manage data better, and increase its conversion rates. Businesses that want to develop personalized marketing strategies can also find marketing automation an excellent option.

As a business person, you can increase the efficiency of your marketing department by adopting automation. It is also one of the best ways to streamline your marketing efforts and increase your productivity. These are the top benefits of marketing automation that make it worth exploring.

But then, you also need to keep the common marketing automation mistakes mentioned above in mind. Making mistakes is part of the learning cycle, but some mistakes can be costly. Thankfully, you now know what to avoid on your way to adopting marketing automation for your business.


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