If you’ve owned your business for more than a week, you’ve probably seen countless pitches for products designed to make your life easier. Many of these products promise to free up your time by making things “automatic.” When you feel like you’re just barely keeping the basics together, it’s tempting to put ALL THE THINGS on autopilot.
You can automate your emails, your newsletters, your texts, your Facebook messages, your ad campaigns ….
It’s 2018 and we can automate anything, so why not???
Ok, take a step back here for a sec.?
I wrote a couple of posts recently about how I saved my business by moving away from emotional decision making – and that’s a really good point to revisit here. When you’re overwhelmed, it FEELS like a great idea to start outsourcing and automating anything you can.
But is X Automation Product truly the right choice for YOU – for YOUR company? ?
That’s what I’m hoping I can help you out with today! ?
Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind: Just because you CAN automate a marketing function doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
It’s hard to remember this when you’re watching a slick demo for a shiny, new product that promises you thousands of new clients and bazillions of dollars in sales. ??
So let’s look at some of the pros and cons of switching marketing functions over to autopilot.
Auto-Marketing Perks ?
The first tick in our pro column is obvious: you set it and forget it. Nice, right? In some situations, this is a huge benefit.
For example, one very popular product out there is ActiveCampaign. I personally use this service for Control Yours and there are tons of things I love about it. ActiveCampaign allows you to build an email automation sequence that targets your contacts with relevant content based on previous actions they’ve taken.
This means that you’re not blasting everyone in your contacts with emails that aren’t relevant and just end up being a nuisance. I love the personal touch that ActiveCampaign allows me to have and I’m sure my clients appreciate not being bombarded with random emails that don’t deliver any value. ?
A product like ActiveCampaign is a terrific tool when your customer base expands beyond your ability to respond to every email individually. If you’re just starting out, it might be overkill. But if you know that emails are getting lost in your inbox jungle?, it’s probably time to get organized and let a product like ActiveCampaign do the heavy lifting. ?
Auto-marketing isn’t all about emails though.
For example, our team can add features to your website that automatically track where your web traffic is coming from and which ads have the best sales conversion rate. You could track those functions manually, but it would be a lot of work! Why not let your website do it for you? If your current website doesn’t have this capability, let us know and we will get you started!
Auto-Marketing Hazards ⛔
Business owners feel pressured to buy into all the latest and greatest marketing tools out there, but sometimes that’s a BIG mistake.
If you’re seriously considering a marketing automation system, think about whether it makes sense for your current SCALE as a company.
If you’re a tiny startup with 100 customers, trying to automate everything probably doesn’t make sense at this point. In fact, it might be one of those unnecessary expenses that is dragging down your bottom line and not growing your company at all.
Any marketing strategy you implement needs to do two things: it must benefit your company and it must benefit your customers.
If a product will make your life easier, but hurt your customer’s experience, that’s not a good choice. If your customers are satisfied, but your company is struggling, that’s not good either.
Allow me to share a personal story here that’s slightly embarrassing, but illustrates the problem well.
You’re welcome. ?
Control Yours experimented with a marketing product called ManyChat which responds to Facebook Messages automatically. This seemed like a great idea, because all our Facebook followers could get instant responses from our team. However, we made the mistake of telling the program to respond to messages that included “Thank you” with a “You’re welcome!” response automatically.
This seemed like basic good manners, but can you see where we went wrong? People would message us with a question and sign off with, “Thank you!” to which ManyChat would promptly respond, “You’re welcome!” And never address the rest of their message or respond to their inquiry.
Oops. #fail ??
While our intentions were good (faster response time!) the actual execution didn’t serve our customers very well. It’s a story of marketing automation gone wrong. While ManyChat might be useful in some contexts, it wasn’t right for us. Lesson learned.
What’s good for your business AND your customers?
As always, this is YOUR company and there’s not a “one size fits all” marketing strategy out there. Rather than chasing down the newest marketing products, it’s always a good idea to keep the main thing, The Main Thing – providing an excellent product and outstanding customer service.
If automating your marketing serves those goals, go for it! But don’t feel pressured to jump in on a product, just because everyone else is doing it. We all remember what our moms told us about following the crowd, right? ?
Got questions about developing a marketing strategy that’s right for your company? Let’s talk! I’d love to chat with you about your business!