Marketing Automation Can Be a Huge Risk

by Victor Lund on May 27, 2016

Marketing segmentationThis week I have gotten four open house notifications from a Realtor®. She is a friend of mine that has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors for an MLS 2,000 miles away from where I live. She sends me a monthly snapshot of what is happening in the housing market in her area, along with a note when she lists a new property. That is all good. But recently she caused me to hit the unsubscribe button by spamming me with an open house notification when I was clearly not a candidate to attend or buy.

Marketing automation is a seductive song, like the legend of the sirens who lured ships onto the rocks. A great feature of today’s marketing automation tools is that they are full of strong content. They include MLS data feeds, public record data feeds, Inrix Drive Time, maps, fly over, virtual tours, market data, branding, lifestyle attributes, and so on and so forth. The biggest challenge is knowing what to send to whom and when.

Segment Your Database

For most agents, 300 customers is about the number of people that you have in your CRM or marketing automation tool. If you are an agent who has been selling for more than six years, you are likely to have around 500 contacts and sell a house a month. Don’t ask me why, but the data shows that agents who are connecting on a regular basis to 300-500 people tend to make a pretty good living in real estate. #goals!

Today’s best solutions use a feature called “tags” to let you add attributes to your contacts, like city, neighborhood, kids, retired, business owner, fitness buff, arts enthusiast, dog lover, or whatever. These are the best systems because you can quickly sort your database according to those attributes and send more meaningful information through marketing automation. Never send the same thing to everyone unless you have high confidence that it will convey value to every person in your database.

Marketing Automation is for Show

A new approach to marketing automation is to consider it for show, not for productivity. You can create some very beautiful and engaging materials in a few clicks, and that is far more efficient than having an in-house marketing person build a custom piece or using Fiverr or 99designs to make something for you. Great marketing materials have never been easier to produce. But you cannot “select all” and hit “send.”

Keep Creating Content

Perhaps the biggest challenge to marketing automation is stock content. I agree that stock content should come packaged with all marketing automation services, but it should never be used. In today’s world where you can capture amazing photos and short video clips on your cell phone, there is no excuse for not building a content library in your automation platform. There is also no reason why you cannot rewrite the text to put it in your own voice.

 

The tao of marketing is to use marketing automation as one would fry a small fish–do it gently.

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