Can You Put Your Email Marketing on Autopilot?

by | Jul 23, 2014

Have you ever fallen for the scheme of ambitious marketers who say you can “set it and forget it” with marketing automation? That’s OK, you don’t have to raise your hand.

There are many, many benefits of marketing with email campaigns that have been automated within your CRM and email marketing platform. No doubt about that. But the concept of setting everything up and then ignoring it from that point forward is a false myth. It is no truer than the myth that airplane pilots just sit on the plane while it flies itself. It is simply not true.

Marketing Automation

In a National Geographic article about airplane autopilot systems, they talk about the misconceptions of the automated control systems aboard the planes. These systems monitor aspects of flight like heading, altitude, course, speed, engine power and more. The pilot crew actually uses these tools to fly through the automation. While piloting a plane is easier with these tools, flying heavily depends on human interaction.

Parallel to the airplane autopilot, your marketing automation tools facilitate your marketing efforts in a way that is more efficient and measurable than if you did not have the digital tools.

Monitor the Dashboards

With all the technology automating the flight process, still “more than 99 percent of landings are performed manually” according to the National Geographic article. While there are tools for the plane to land automatically, they are only used in extremely low visibility. It is always preferable to have human hands on the controls.

With email marketing, you can set up your email campaigns to be delivered automatically without any dashboards to keep you informed, but it would be a big mistake. If the campaign was clearly defined and perfectly executed using automation tools, it could go well for a while.

Eventually, the customer landscape changes and your emails need to adapt. Your CRM dashboards are designed to give you enough advance notice about how your customers are responding to give you time to make adjustments. A delay in response can cost you a great deal of money and time.

Measure the Outcome You Want

Having lots of dashboard metrics is a waste if they are not carefully targeted based on your goals for outcomes. Focus on what your email marketing is supposed to provide to the company and determine what needs to be measured for knowing your track toward those goals.

Data-driven goals can be adjusted because you have the hard facts in your reporting system. Each review of those metrics will show progress toward the specific outcomes you want. You will see where there is a gap between your target and the actual results. The metrics will prompt you to begin plugging those gaps with solutions that matter to your goal outcomes.

At the heart of any successful email marketing effort is identifying and responding to the needs of customers. More than any other management tool, robust metrics from your own CRM dashboards will help you quantify your success.