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4 common mistakes made when it comes to email automation

Written by Will Troup

24 | 11 | 19

Chatbots  |  
4 minute read

The first (and maybe the most vital) mistake which a lot of people tend to make when it comes to email automation is not performing tests. Testing is a key part of marketing, but it’s particularly important when it comes to automation.

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Let’s chat about this in a little more detail…

1. You haven’t run any email automation tests

HubSpot is awesome at allowing you to test different elements of your marketing content. You should be regularly running A/B tests to ensure that the emails you’re sending out are having some sort of effect on your customers.

There are many occasions where marketers set their automated emails live and then just let them run for months on end without making any changes. The A/B testing tool is brilliant because it allows you to switch up loads of different elements of your marketing emails.

These include: 

  • Email subject lines.
  • Who the email is sent from. 
  • The content within the email.
  • The CTA which features on the email.

However, when it comes to running tests, you should only test one variable at a time. For example, if you feel as though your CTA isn’t in a prominent position and it needs moving, only focus on this element of the email.

Running tests isn’t always the most exciting part of the job, but it’s really, really important that you remember to do it when it comes to email automation. We’ve put together a blog which explains how to set up an A/B test in HubSpot for yourself.

2. Your emails sound spammy

Spam is like stubbing your toe - painful and annoying. Everyone knows that sending spam is something which your company needs to avoid doing at all costs. Yet, it’s one of the most common mistakes that marketers make when it comes to email automation.

Because email automation decreases the amount of time and energy which you would usually spend on a campaign, it’s much easier to get ahead of yourselves and blast out loads of different types of content to your customers. 

However, in the modern world, relevancy is key. People want to receive content which they can resonate with. If they are bombarded with content which has no meaning, it’s very easy to just hit the unsubscribe button and block out all of your company’s communications.

Email automation is all about sending relevant, personalised emails to the right people at the right time. Don’t send emails out frequently if they have no substance. The impact can be huge on your business' reputation.

3. You’ve forgotten to run health checks and segment your contact base

Always take the time to review your customer data. It could be the difference between failure and success. If you’re sending automated emails to stagnant lists, it’s highly likely that your performance figures are going to be low.

Also, if you don’t regularly check contact records and mailing lists, there’s a chance some of your contacts could be entering overlapping workflows. I don’t know what’s worse - receiving spam or emails or receiving an email more than once? Probably the latter! 

Segmentation is pivotal when it comes to email automation. It allows you to send personalised, targeted content to the people who matter the most. However, statistics found that only 42% of email marketers are actually sending targeted emails.

These statistics are pretty crazy when you consider the fact that recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. The fact of the matter is, we all need to be using segmentation.

4. You haven’t set out any goals

Before you start any email automation campaign, you should always set out some clear goals which you hope to achieve during or once the campaign has taken place. This will help you measure success and continually improve over time. 

For example, if you’ve set a goal to achieve a 15% click-through rate on your next email automation campaign and you fall short by 8%, you know that something has gone wrong somewhere down the line. 

This should urge you to go away and evaluate the campaign depth. By doing this, you’ll then be able to formulate a plan and ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes in your next campaign. 

One of the most popular frameworks which companies use when setting goals is the SMART framework. We recently put together a blog which discusses each characteristic in detail and explains how you can leverage the framework yourself moving forward.

So, let’s sum things up...

Whenever it comes to email automation, you should always remember to send tests. This will ensure that any potential mistakes are caught before you go ahead and send out the final version of your email.

Avoid sounding spammy. Nobody likes spam and it can have a really damaging effect on the performance of your emails. Health checks of your database are important too. Your campaign isn’t going to do well if you’re sending emails to the wrong people.

Finally, spend time setting goals. What do you want to achieve from running an email automation campaign? The clearer your goals, the more chance you have of seeing success further down the line.

Although email automation is an important area of HubSpot, it’s just one part of the overall success puzzle. You need to ensure that every area of your account is looking as healthy as possible.

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