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The Inbound Growth Blog covers all topics relating to an integrated marketing strategy. We write about inbound marketing, social media, integrated marketing strategies and the sales process.

Use A Human Touch In Your Marketing Automation (Video)

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Posted by John Beveridge on Jan 30, 2014 10:32:00 AM

hal_9000___2001_a_space_odyssey_by_pascal808-d57bhl7Does anyone remember HAL from Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Oddyssey? For those that don't, HAL was the computer on the space station that went bonkers. To give you historical context, the uber-villian of the technology world at the time lives in HAL's name (Use the next sequential letter for every letter in HAL's name = IBM.) That was when Google was still a sparkle in his daddy's eyes. But I digress. Have you seen marketing automation in your inbox and social media networks that sounds like it was written by HAL?

Don't be that guy - use marketing automation to be more helpful and human to your audience. Many companies use marketing automation (often without permission) to bombard unwanted messages indiscriminately to an annoyed audience. Rather than use marketing automation to harass, use it to provide more relevant content to leads that have opted in to your sales process. Your goal is to be the email in the inbox that gets opened, not unsubscribed. 

Here are 2 Top Tips to put the human touch into your marketing automation process (with videos that show how to execute them in HubSpot.)

Top Tip 1 - Don't annoy people who don't want to read your emails.

Many companies try achieve success with their email marketing campaigns by brute force and volume. They seem to feel that if they keep sending us daily emails shilling their wares, we'll eventually become customers. Au contraire, most of them end up annoying the audience to point that there's no hope that they will ever buy. In addition, as people report them as spam and use junk filters to tune them out, their sender score goes down, lowering the delivery rates of their email marketing.

Use marketing automation to be more human - if someone hasn't opened any of your emails after 5 sends, stop emailing them! You're just annoying them and hurting your brand reputation. 

Top Tip 2 - Segment your marketing automation lists to make your content more relevant.

One of the best ways to get people to read and click through your emails is to serve up content that addresses business issues that are relevant to them. One of the best ways to do that is to segment your leads into groupings by industry, position level, company size and other demographic factors. By segmenting your leads, you can move away from generic content and give them content that addresses their needs and pain points. For example, technology companies and professional services companies are two industries that my company targets. If I sent the CEO of an insurance agency an email that addresses how to grow a technology company, I look stupid and don't help her at all. However, if I sent her an email about how other insurance agencies are adjusting their growth strategies to Obamacare, she probably would read it. 


In some ways, the explosion in content marketing has made it difficult for companies to stand out amongst all the noise. In other ways, the competition for people's attention has spurred good marketing companies to step up their games and produce content their audience actually wants. The key to standing out is to create a human to human connection that attracts buyers to your brand. Don't ruin it with robotic marketing automation.

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Topics: Marketing Automation

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