3 Ways Marketing Automation Can Mess Up Perfectly Good Copy (and How to Fix Them)

3 Ways Marketing Automation Can Mess Up Perfectly Good Copy (and How to Fix Them)

Reader Comments (20)

  1. Computers and automation are good for some things. However, one thing computers will never do is replace the human approach toward the marketing message. Marketing through computer automation is more like having a world full of robotic marketers. IMHO, that will never happen. Human marketers need paying jobs to support the global economy. Computerized robotic marketers have no need for monetary payment.

  2. HI Nick,

    Yep, I’ve “been caught looking” – at your great post. I enjoy reading what you write, mostly because you break me free from the “just-blast-lots-of-folks” mentality that I still see in tons of copy, training material, offer emails, etc.

    Even my insurance agent has stopped blasting me – and I prepay that bill! Now she calls and we chat for a couple of minutes. And she stays cool if I let her know I’m busy.

    But I have a question – How does conversational copywriting replace the “4 U’s” in a headline? I’m not sure I can answer that question very well.

    • First, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of things like “The 4 U’s”. Feels like writing by numbers to me. That said, I see no conflict here if you want to apply the 4 U’s and be conversational at the same time. No conflict there at all.

  3. Great article, Nick! I’ve personally encountered so many marketing automation fails.

    One newsletter I’m subscribed to repeats my first name twice in all emails.

  4. This is wonderful, Nick.

    There are so many little details to watch for. If we start depending too much on the “auto” part and ignore the “responder” part of the word, our content will surely go stale. Despite all automation that makes life easier for a business, the human involvement cannot be ruled out.

  5. The “tone deaf” thing is a particular peeve of mine. Copywriters need to watch out for these, and help clients see that what’s “cute” or “playful” to some can come across as creepy or worse to customers.

    It’s not about playing it safe as much as about making completely sure you know how your message is landing with the audience you care about.

    • Indeed… Sometimes it feels like marketers pay way too much attention to the “Automation Optimization Handbook”. Demonstrating your ability to spy on me by saying “Caught you looking”, is not a smart use of automation. Instead of building trust, it burns it.

  6. Thank you, Nick. I wholeheartedly agree. I have been on both ends of this situation, especially when dealing with clients that only want to do automation.

    Like most things, I think you need to have a balance. When you don’t keep up and care about your clients, it reflects poorly on your entire brand. Keeping in the conversation on as many mediums as possible shows that you are there for more than just the money.

  7. Nick, I find it highly creepy that the lingerie company would say, “Caught you looking” in an email to anyone. I would have unsubscribed as well. They sound like a bunch of stalkers! They should follow your advice to read your copy to your grandmother. I’m sure that one wouldn’t have passed the grandma test! I think we are feeling stalked by the technology. If you take one look at a product on Amazon, ads for it follow you everywhere. Also, the endless sales funnels! There needs to be some human intervention in there somewhere. I find it very off-putting as a consumer. It is so intrusive! Great post!

  8. Copywriting is like humor, it always sounds better coming out of a human. In all serious automation can be a great help in marketing but people are starting to become over-reliant on it.

    When the same patterns emerge in marketing because of computer created or computer-aided content it looks creepy, like you said.


  9. Great insight, I think it is important to remember that content for people should always be written by people. Automation is a great tool, but at the end of the day that human touch is what makes the difference.

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