10 Feb Automation: When is it OK?
Automation is very common in today’s marketing world. It’s so common that we, the end-users, often feel so special whenever we receive a human-generated response. Automation tools are double-edged swords for marketers; on the one hand, it will save marketers a lot of time but on the other hand, when done wrongly, it’s a turn-off for many end-users.
There isn’t a perfect formula to figure out automation but if you put your automation efforts to these three tests, you’ll be ahead of the game:
Test 1: Expectation
When users subscribe to your newsletter, it is 100% acceptable to have an automated response sent to them. In fact, it is expected that your system automatically generates a response to inform others that they are now subscribed to your newsletter.
Pro Tip: Be very attentive when you send bulk emails, make sure your customization works well. It’s a big turn off to see an email starting with “Dear :<First Name>:”.
Test 2: Language & Persona
Here’s my personal twitter automated response when I get a new follower:
“Thanks for following! – Yes, this is automated but I hope to cross-path with you in Twitter-sphere soon!”
This response works because it is honest. Most of the time, users can tell an automated message apart from a personalized message. By owning up to my automation, I created an opportunity to pick up the conversation at a later time.
Test 3: Intent
What is the intention of your automation? It’s ok to use tools like IFTT “If This Then That” to crop photographs to distribute content. When automation helps efficiency, it is generally accepted.
However, automation impersonate a human response is NOT ok. This is especially true for social media because social media is all about personalization, authenticity, and transparency. Tools that promise you to like every photo with #Food will be sure to attract low-value followers, if any.
Let’s say your favorite artist, let’s say Beyonce, responded to your tweet with a smiley face emoji – you’d probably be so thrilled that you’ll screenshot it and tell your 5-10 closest friends. However, the moment you realize that it was Beyonce’s manager, or worse – an automation app, who is responding all along, you’ll forever doubt Beyonce’s content and walk away with a negative feeling.
Bottom line is: Don’t automate something that should be human.