Finance concept: circuit board with CRM
Marketing Content Strategy

My Marketing Automation Nightmare…and How it Can Happen to You

Before our marketing personalization strategy was established, I had a recurring nightmare in which one of our leads received an email that looked like this:

Example of a Terrible Email

Pathetic, I know.

Note the first name in all caps, the company name in a wonky format (Harvard Univ, The), the email being directed to someone in the food and beverage industry instead of education, etc.

When I get a prospecting email and my name is misspelled, or it’s capitalized incorrectly, or it was obviously sent to a zillion people, I’m immediately turned off.

It’s a common thought that adopting a marketing automation tool will cause personalization to suffer. Sure, you’ll be able to reach more leads more frequently, but is it worth losing that personalization? Big data used in conjunction with a powerful automation tool can help you be efficient without losing that personal touch.


Tokens allow you to pull information from a lead record into your email or landing page. For instance, if I use a first-name token, the first name that’s tied to that lead’s email address is pulled into the email that is sent to him or her.

Marketing Automation MishapIt bothers me when I receive an email that is obviously meant to establish an emotional connection and my name is incorrect or just plain sloppy. I delete these emails as soon as they hit my inbox.

It’s important to do a quick check for proper capitalization and accuracy of the names you’re sending emails to, as well as looking for any unwanted, special characters that can find their way into the lists you import into your database. This doesn’t take as much time as you may think. Tools such as CRMFusions’s PowerGRID allow you to edit virtually any field in your CRM, much like you would in an Excel spreadsheet.

And don’t just stop with names. Pull in other tokens to your email and get clever with personalization such as the company’s name, its lead owner, city, state, and more. One of my favorite things to do is use tokens in the From name or From address, so it appears as though the email is coming from the sales rep who owns the lead.

Landing Page Personalization

Personalization goes far beyond tokens. You can even construct your landing page to display different information based on the lead visiting your Web page. For instance, if the IP address comes from a location in China, you can have the page displayed in Mandarin. An IP address can even be tied to a certain company. Do your sales reps target Microsoft? Reconfigure the landing page to be tech-focused. This allows for endless possibilities that include targeting to certain industries, locations, annual revenues, organization sizes, and more.

Lead Segmentation

Consider breaking your lead database into segments. Do you target the education and health care industries? Emails to these two groups will be worded very differently. If your content marketing team creates a campaign that could apply to both, write two separate emails that will be sent to each target industry. A powerful marketing automation tool makes it easy to separate these segments so the two groups receive essentially the same messaging but with the precisely targeted lingo that they prefer.

Integration with CRM

When you hear the term “canned responses,” personalization probably doesn’t come to mind. But canned responses can save valuable time, and they encourage the sender to personalize the editable areas before sending an email. Canned responses, or template emails, can simply provide a format for the sender to follow. These emails can live in your CRM and have editable areas or paragraphs for your sales reps to edit before sending. Marketing can provide the format and the sales team can simply add a personal touch.

A sophisticated marketing automation tool is closely integrated with a CRM. Not only can your sales team send emails directly from the CRM, but your sales reps can also determine which pages the leads have visited. That allows your outreach to be even more personal.

It’s more important to connect with audiences on a personal level now than ever before. They want and expect you to.

Make sure you have personalized content on your site for leads in different industries—or leads who are just at different stages of the funnel—that can point them to emails and other assets. Learn more about how pairing your marketing automation strategy with your content marketing strategy will keep your readers coming back for more.

Don’t allow personalization to suffer just because you start using a marketing automation tool. Have a plan in place so your marketing operations team can sleep soundly.

Learn more about Skyword’s Content Marketing Platform, and how it can enhance your content marketing strategy.

Recommended for you