Okay, you’ve purchased your marketing automation system and have just finished going through the implementation process. Now you’re ready to start using your shiny new tool to automate your marketing tasks, send email blasts, measure your campaign effectiveness, and more. But first, let’s go through a few marketing automation “dos” and “don’ts” — you’ll want to be careful not to jump in too quickly and risk hurting any of your campaigns.

Before we get to all the great things you can and should be doing with your marketing automation system, let’s just get the “don’ts” out of the way:

  • Don’t be fooled into thinking that the more you pay, the better the system will be. While many of the more expensive systems probably do come with greater functionality, there’s certainly a platform within your price range with the capabilities that you need.
  • Don’t think that marketing automation will create content for you. Having these expectations will only lead to a rough reality check if you don’t have the preparation in place to support a marketing automation system from a content perspective.
  • Don’t see the robust email capabilities as an excuse to spam prospects or clients with unwanted emails. Most marketing automation platforms have checks in place to ensure that you’re CAN-SPAM compliant.
  • Don’t set and forget. You’ll get the most out of your efforts by measuring, revisiting, and readjusting your segmentations, automation rules, and other actions you’ve set up within the software. This also applies to social media — scheduling posts ahead of time can be a timesaver, but don’t forget that the primary purpose of social media marketing is interacting with your audience, so you still need to keep an eye on your channels.
  • Don’t execute your automation rules in real-time unless they are time sensitive autoresponders. If you have more than a page of rules that are set to run in real-time, you risk slowing down your entire system. A general rule of thumb is: if you don’t need the rule to run constantly, pause it or archive it.

Luckily, there are a lot more “dos” on the list than “do not’s.” Wondering what you should be doing with your new system? See our list below:

  • Do set realistic goals for yourself, like improving lead quality and increasing revenue. You should always have goals set for your campaigns before planning and launching them.
  • Do target and segment your prospects and leads. Take advantage of the rich data provided by marketing automation to create more focused campaigns.
  • Do encourage your sales and marketing teams to work together. Fortunately, your sales reps should be receiving higher quality leads from marketing, causing the marketing team to feel more appreciated and encouraging collaboration between the two teams.
  • Do keep your database clean. Over time, databases can get unruly without any management. Clean out your database a few times a year to prevent email bounces from prospects who have changed companies or updated their email addresses.
  • Do follow up promptly. The advantage of using a marketing automation system is that you get up-to-date notifications any time a lead does something on your site. So even if they initially told you they wouldn’t be interested in your product for another six months, you can contact them with relevant information if you see them poking around the pricing section before that six months is up.
  • Do use lead scoring and grading. Take advantage of the fact that you can not only see how much activity a prospect has engaged in on your site, but also how good of a fit they are for your company and product.

Keep these items in mind as you prepare to begin using your new marketing automation system. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do as you set off to create your first campaign can help you get the results you want without all the trial and error. Are there any other “do’s” and “don’ts” that you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Jenna Hanington

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