Marketing automation is a powerful tool. With proper strategy and planning, marketing automation allows companies to automatically nurture leads based on user attributes and behavior. That’s why marketing automation is way more powerful than email marketing platforms.

Like all tools, marketing automation is only as good as the person wielding it. However, more than other tools, marketing automation can result in awkward experiences, which are made all the more comically disastrous due to how customer-facing they are. After all, marketing automation is supposed to make the user feel like they’re receiving something personalized, and often these fails have the opposite effect.

Below are some of the marketing automation fails that have shown up over the past few months so that you can learn from them as cautionary tales. And yes, maybe have a good chuckle at their expense as well.

FAIL #1) Placeholder Copy

What’s Wrong:
Someone wrote “(DELETE ME AND INSERT YOUR SPECIAL OFFER(S) HERE)” in the copy with the intent of coming back to fill in the details, but somehow, someone missed this reminder to themselves before scheduling the email to send.

Lesson Learned:
Always read and proof your emails two to three times before scheduling the send. If you have placeholder text in there, obviously you need to make sure that’s removed before you send it out.

TL;DR
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

FAIL #2) Not-So-Dynamic Field

What’s Wrong:
%%company%% was supposed to be a dynamic field that inserted the name of the company of the recipient. Either the wrong shortcode was used, or there was not a company name populated for the recipient.

Lesson Learned:
If you use a dynamic field, make sure you use it correctly. Always set up the dynamic field to have a backup value in case there’s no data to populate it. So, for this example, the backup value should have been something like “your company” or “your business.”

TL;DR
Use backup values for dynamic fields — for reals.

FAIL #3) Let’s Partner Up (Partner)

What’s Wrong:
There’s no stand out fail in this email that you can outright notice. The sender of this email is offering the recipient agency free lunch in exchange for their time at looking at a demo of the sender’s product. It sounded like an intriguing offer until the agency realized that the sender was attempting to sell the agency on a particular product — for which the agency was already a customer.

Lesson Learned:
Make sure your marketing automation platform and customer relationship management (CRM) software are talking to each other, and your CRM is kept up to date. If the sender’s CRM had marked the agency as a current customer and the drip campaign was set up to remove existing customers, the agency would have never received this bungled email invitation.

TL;DR
Suppress your customer list lest you want your current customers to be pissed.

FAIL #4) Hi [name]

What’s Wrong:
This is a classic marketing automation fail and, unfortunately, way too common. It sure makes someone feel special when you can’t even get their name right. Dynamic fields are not everyone’s strong suit — if you’re not sure how to use them, it’s probably best not to, or to at least bring in someone who does.

Lesson Learned:
It’s the same issue as #2. If you use a dynamic field, you have to add a backup value in case the field isn’t populated. So for example, if there was no value for “first name” you need a backup value like inserting just “Hi,”

TL;DR
You’re the only one to blame for “Hi [name]”

FAIL #5) Hi Adam, What If I tell you?

What’s Wrong:
Wow. It’s obvious no one proofread this. It’s barely English.

Lesson Learned:
Always have someone proofread your emails before they go out. If you don’t, not only will your message not be effective, it will hurt your reputation more than if you simply didn’t send a message at all.

TL;DR
Porfreeed yer eemales or yer cusstummerz wil tourn stalez.

Contact TheeDesign to Ensure Marketing Automation Wins

Your marketing automation platform and strategy doesn’t need to be a pain to set up. TheeDesign’s marketing automation masterminds have the skills and experience to get your automation program off of the ground. Get started with marketing automation by calling 919-341-8901 or messaging our digital experts today.