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7 deadly reasons why marketing automation fails

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This blog post is from the archived blog. In 2024, Convesio acquired Growmatik and re-launched it as ConvesioConvert. Learn more about ConvesioConvert.

After the rise of social networks over the past ten years, marketing automation platforms have grown enormously and became an inseparable part of most businesses. The use of marketing automation enables marketers to increase user engagement and generate more qualified leads while saving time and reducing marketing costs. But, have you ever asked yourself why some companies fail at this and experience awkward results instead of making huge profits? Really, is marketing automation a bad idea?

Let’s dig in and get to know the reasons that cause marketing automation to fail and also answer the questions above.

Is marketing automation a bad idea?

Digital marketing automation allows you to create a better user experience, run more effective types of marketing campaigns, align marketing and sales and finally improve sales productivity. How can that be a bad idea? Also, there’s so much more about marketing automation that companies love. This is especially true when they start to grow and have lots of inbound marketing strategies to implement.


The misconception that marketing automation might be a bad idea probably started in the first days of social media marketing, when some businesses tried to spread spam content across their marketing channels using automated third-party services. Some companies made the wrong moves using marketing automation platforms during that time, which resulted in the opposite effect and brought failure. So, my answer to this question – is a big NO if you know how to do it right! 

And if you don’t know the right way, don’t worry. We’re here to discuss how to avoid such mistakes.


7 deadly reasons that results in failure

There are different reasons why marketing automation doesn’t work and ends up deemed a costly affair. Here we’ll discuss the most deadly mistakes that businesses should steer clear of to avoid failure.

1. Forgetting the human touch

The main advantage of marketing automation is that it saves you time and work, allowing you to allocate your resources to more important projects. However, this efficiency shouldn’t mean that you keep the human element out of the loop when it comes to key marketing touchpoints.

We all admit marketing automation excels at jobs like scheduling emails, personalizing content and improving reach. But machines aren’t so good at taking over the person-to-person relationship building part of business just yet. Let the machines do the repetitive grunt work, and that will give you more time to connect with your community on a personal level.

2. Personalization mistakes

When it comes to communicating your message across your marketing channels, you should know that using the same content for every channel is a horrible mistake. But an even graver mistake I want to point out is when your dynamic keyword fails to appear correctly or you forget to edit the final copy just before sending it.

It would definitely be so embarrassing if your audience finds personalization errors in your emails. So, to avoid such situations, always send a test email before broadcast email campaigns. And make sure that your marketing automation supports a fallback scenario when some personalization values are missed! The following example is going to make the situation crystal clear your mind:

When you send the line below via an email campaign:

Hey {First_Name},

A user whose name is Andy should receive this:
Hey Andy, 

And if the {First_Name} value was missed, the user should certainly not receive the exact phrase you sent like this:

3. Segmentation mistakes

One key way to come up with personalized marketing strategies and serve the right content to the right people who are the most interested is segmentation. Automated customer segmentation usually uses demographics, geographic and behavioral factors to categorize your customers into smaller groups and engage them with more relevant messages. But what are the most common segmentation mistakes?

Here is a list of some examples of segmentation mistakes that may cause your marketing automation to fail:

  • You don’t purify irrelevant data before segmentation
  • You’re not using enough data for segmentation 
  • You don’t evaluate your segment performance periodically
  • You create your segments only based on the past behaviors
  • Your business goals and segments don’t line up
  • Your segmentation does not include the time factor 

Find more details here.

4. Inappropriate timing

Your timing is off if you are not transmitting your message based on the user’s lifecycle. By this I mean that your audience should pass through every stage of a sales funnel and receive your messages when they’re ready. It’s a terrible idea to send a thousand dollar product offer to your new leads right after their onboarding. You should first nurture them with informative content and prepare them to buy a product that solves their problem. And that’s when your purchasing offer makes sense. Then you can go for your customer retention strategies.

5. Lack of optimization for mobile devices

Statistical results from 2021 show 42% of emails are opened on mobile devices. That’s why you’d better ensure your emails are mobile optimized. This will likely prevent users from deleting emails due to incompatibilities with small screens.

As a tip, try to make your messaging more simple, create easy-to-click CTA buttons and avoid making users scroll too much on their mobile phones. Here is a good example from Twinings:

6. Not working on content marketing

One incredibly common mistake is going with poorly-written content. This is one of the most common reasons why automations fail. You can do all of the tech-savvy analytics work you want, but if your content isn’t worth reading you’ll miss out on a lot of potential converts. If your automations consistently underperform, it’s quite likely that the quality of your content is to blame.

With all this in mind, it’s unlikely that you’re still asking: Is marketing automation a bad idea?

7. Missing the analytics

Analytics is like a navigation guide that lets you test your hypotheses and make continuous improvements. This part of the process is all about quantifying the effects small changes have on your marketing efficacy, which makes it one of the most important steps in any online marketing strategy. Using an effective analytics tool will help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and optimize your campaigns.

Without measuring the right analytical metrics you cannot learn which of your marketing efforts were successful and which are not. So, you can’t scale your efficient marketing campaigns and you can forget about aggressive growth—which is one of the most common reasons why businesses tend to apply marketing automation. Actually, when there’s no clear insight to turn your business into a profitable company, marketing automation failure is certain.

How to overcome the pitfalls with Growmatik

Growmark is an all-in-one personalized marketing automation that provides you seamless features that make it easier to control the probable pitfalls.

For example, you have the Send test email option in your email builder to check every email campaign before sending, helping you avoid errors.

is marketing automation a bad idea - growmatik email builder - automation emails

Here you can optimize your designs for mobile devices easily using the mobile toggle option in the builder area:

is marketing automation a bad idea - growmatik email builder - responsive preview

Another unique feature that comes with Growmatik is the Blog element inside your email builder. You can use it to support your email marketing and send personalized blog posts to your customers at different stages. This feature allows you to include your blog posts inside your email content and personalize it based on the following options:

  • Recent 
  • Related 
  • Popular 
  • Specific
  • Category
is marketing automation a bad idea - growmatik email builder

Also, you have access to a wide range of behavioral and conditional targeting options to make meaningful segments out of your contacts. Even so, Growmatik automatically creates essential customer segments for e-commerce that will reduce human mistakes when targeting a special group of people.

is marketing automation a bad idea - Growmatik people page

One final good point about Growmatik is that you can always track actionable, scalable and comparative metrics with the Growmatik marketing analytics and evaluate your segments in automation rules reports. Moreover you can observe your sales alongside your marketing results, which gets you closer to your business goals.

is marketing automation a bad idea - Growmatik analytics

Final thought

In this article we reviewed 7 deadly mistakes that can cause  your marketing automations to fail. Of course there are more reasons that marketing automation might fail, but the most repetitive and deadly mistakes are the ones we mentioned. In general, since every marketing automation should be run by humans, checking for human error is the top priority on the list before going live on a marketing automation or campaign. Fortunately, Growmatik comes with the tools and features that can help you prevent such mistakes and ensure that your marketing automation campaigns perform excellently.

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