Automation is a great tool, and due to technology, it is at the disposal of every business and individual who wants to try it. According to The 2021 state of business automation from Zapier, 88% of SMBs say automation helps them compete with larger companies and 65% of knowledge workers say they are less stressed at work due to automation.
And yet, the business world is not always welcoming when it comes to automation. Quite a few people out there fear the trend will make their job or product obsolete. On the other hand, some fear we’ll lose what makes us human, especially in a world where we allow technology to infiltrate spoken and written communication – a deeply human process.
But things are not as scary as they seem, once you broaden your knowledge on the matter. Once you understand what happens behind the curtain, it’s easy to see that, due to the so-called robots, we get to focus on the tasks that make us more human such as creativity and personalization.
Automation in Online Marketing
Let’s take online marketing – a segment where most forms of communication are present and where automation use is growing strong.
While it’s true that the world of marketing was always fueled by creativity and ingenuity, it’s only now that we see its true power. Whether we’re talking about written, audio, or visual communication, none of these would have been possible if the creatives had to dig through mountains of data themselves.
Plus, automation software is extremely helpful when it comes to personalization (the bread & butter of today’s marketing) and making sure your brand stays visible.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a fantastic channel for brand communication with customers and lead generation. However, besides post creation, almost everything else is an extremely tedious and time-consuming task.
Luckily, you can use automation software to schedule the sending, find the best possible leads, segment the campaign based on users’ preferences, and more. Plus, you can use special tools to automate growth hacking efforts on LinkedIn or other networks and use the time to build the best texts and visuals.
Emails are mostly based on written communication, which is why you need to pay a lot more attention to the right format, grammar, and expression. However, in order to be convincing and engage readers’ attention, you need to add a personal touch to each electronic letter you send out.
And this is where automation software can help by allowing you to work with dynamic variables that introduce unique attributes for each lead. These variables can be anything from the user’s first name to their favorite product on your website (if they have a wishlist).
Also, automation software can be used to create an emailing system that maintains communication with leads until they are ready to become customers.
How to Do Automation Just Right
When used correctly, automation allows us to focus on the tasks that require that special human touch. So if you’re currently on the fence, here are a few questions to serve as guidance when it comes to automating your communication processes:
How much communication should I automate?
To avoid sounding robotic, it’s best to automate the processes that support a well-designed campaign. This usually means the research phase (when you look for leads and contact information), the analysis period, and the first few messages, when the lead just gets to know the brand.
As things progress, it’s important to take over and make sure the lead feels heard and cared for.
Does my business allow putting communications on auto mode?
Of course, communication automation is not for everyone. Yet, it works well when you have to reach out to hundreds of people and let them know about your amazing offers or products. As a rule of thumb, whenever your creativity is stifled by routine, manual tasks, automation may be the right option.
Best Practices to Follow
The process of reaching out to prospects and leading them through the funnel until it ends in conversion is delicate, but you can make it less cumbersome with automation.
For instance, PUMA used a specialised software tool to optimize the email sending process based on each user’s time availability. This way, their email open rates increased by 10% and their team gets to focus more on content quality than guessing the right time to send an email.
On the same note, Sony uses an automated, trigger-based email system that sends out different personalized email templates based on users’ behavior on the site. As a result, the email open rate raised to 65%, and their click-through rate got to 12%!
Plus, brands that use automated intelligent chatbots, are perceived as being more responsive and easier to reach out to than the brands that don’t use such a system. This is because a chatbot is active 24/7 and can work with several customers at a time without requiring any breaks or waiting times.
In summary, software automation is not the evil that will take our humanity away! In fact, it’s the tool we need to bring human connections back in focus.