In the world of marketing, people have looked for the easy way to automate marketing and sales, and with the onslaught of marketing automation software the ability to do so has become relatively easy. The reality is, it may work for some industries, but the way many businesses are approaching it is atrocious.
At its best, automating communications creates a distance between the human audience and the brand. At its worst, it offends the audience.
I’ve seen many cases over the last couple of years that lead me to believe there’s an aggressive sales team running rogue, not worrying if they offend someone. Can it result in sales? Probably. But ultimately it reflects on your brand and your ability to build a true relationship with your audience– making them want to come back to you time and again.
Let me share an example of what I’m talking about:
Subject: Please Return My Call
I have tried to reach you for the last 2 months after you visited our website and you have not returned my calls. I would like and expect a response to my multiple attempts to reach you. Are you not interested in saving money and finding a better solution?
Believe it or not, I’ve actually received emails that take this tone. The problem with this approach is that they are trying to pressure you into responding and that does nothing but inspire SPAM reports.
Humans are not predictable. We have emotions. The person who visited your site may be interested but not on your timeline. So don’t annoy the customer that marketing worked so hard to attract in the first place.
A better approach is to reach out and let them know that a person is there to help and set an expectation of communication and give them an out if they are not interested. People have a lot on their plates and may be inquiring about a project scheduled for next year. So don’t pressure them into thinking you are owed a response.
In short: the more we automate marketing, the more it will backfire.
The reason people work with a business is the people. And the reason they don’t do business with you is the people they’re dealing with. You can’t automate humans, so don’t automate your sales team to pressure your audience.
photo credit: domo arigato via photopin (license)