When (and When Not) to Automate

When (and When Not) to Automate

Nov 17, 2021 | By Sarah Simmerman

Marketing Automation is likely a term you hear thrown about. But what is marketing automation, and how should you be using it?

Simply stated, Marketing Automation is the use of software to automatically send out emails to nurture your database of leads.

When set up correctly, marketing automation can help increase sales, increase engagement with your leads, and help your team become more productive. If done poorly, it can cause frustration with your customers and team and decrease engagement of your database.

When to Automate

Automation is not meant to be a replacement for human interaction but can enhance the experience. 

In an average market, you should focus on creating an automation program for your non-responsive or “cold” leads. After a lead has gone through the entire online sales specialist process, then they can move into a marketing workflow or process. The goal would be to re-engage the lead and have them take action that would put them back in contact with an online sales specialist.

Most automated processes you see are based around a time delay. For example, you register on a website and receive weekly emails for the next 3 months. If you have a marketing platform, you can also introduce processes based on other triggers. This allows you to create a personalized experience based on behaviors and actions. So, if one of your leads views a specific community page on your website, they could receive an email with a featured floorplan or quick move-in homes in the community.

Ideally, you will have enough data in your CRM or Marketing Platform that will allow you to segment your leads in order to send them relevant information. You could segment by the community of interest, city of interest, or even their motivation for moving. When choosing your content, make sure you are sending things that will enhance the customer’s experience.

As a temporary solution, adding automation to the online sales specialist process can help relieve an overworked team.Automated emails are not a good substitute for personal contactand communication, but adding a few automated emails along with key personal touchpoints can allow your team to handle more leads while you onboard a new team member or navigate through a higher-than-normal lead volume.

When Not to Automate

Do not try to replace human interaction with an automated process. It does not matter how well crafted your messages are, it’s easy for consumers to tell the difference between a marketing email and an email created just for them.Buying and building a home is an emotionally driven purchase, your homebuyers deserve and expect personalized attention.

I would also hold off on creating an automated program until your lead database is organized and cleaned up, and you have sufficient information for segmentation. You should prioritize cleaning up your database before dedicating time to a complicated automated process.

Before getting started with behavior-based automation, make sure you can dedicate the time to identify your processes and triggers to minimize overlap. The initial setup of these processes can be time-consuming, so be sure to prioritize processes that will have the most impact on your bottom line.

As a marketer, you are responsible for making sure the content you are sending out is relevant and timely and that you are not abusing your power by over-emailing your leads. You are responsible for maintaining a clean and organized database, so people are not enrolled in multiple processes at a time.

Sarah Simmerman
Senior Marketing Strategist

Sarah Simmerman

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