human touch to automation marketing

Automated Marketing: How To Make It Look Human

If you are a marketer working for a business that is thriving, I am sure that you are using some format of automation in your marketing.  You are looking to engage and target a lot of users and doing that individually is unrealistic to be honest. 

But, here’s the tricky part. 

Although you use automated marketing, you don’t want to look automated.

Everybody who uses the internet (4.54 billion people as of January 2020) is constantly inundated with ads, newsletters and more. It’s almost as if the ads know what we’re thinking. You think it, you get an ad for it (you know it’s true). Everybody is out here promoting something. You can’t escape it.

Just take a look at your own email account. Clothing brands, ticket booking sites, online shops, makeup brands and many more companies are vying for your attention. Most people just skim through their email promotions until…

…something catches their eye.

Most of the time, it’s because the subject line or the content is highly personalized. That’s where you, as a marketer, have a chance to hit bullseye. Adding a human touch to your marketing strategies can make a world of a difference, as opposed to generating content that looks and sounds robotic. 

So how do you strike the perfect balance between automation and the ‘human’ touch? Here are some ways.

Include the name

Simple but hugely effective. Netflix often sends emails, urging users to complete a half-watched series, or to inform them about a new tv show they might enjoy. 

This is what you should not put in the email subject line:

New shows added

This is what you should put in the email subject line:

Hey {User’s name}, we’ve just added a TV show you might like!

See the difference? When you see your name popping up in your email, you will notice and open it. Whereas, the bland ‘New shows added’ sounds like a boring event that nobody is excited about. You can use this technique in welcome emails, push notifications and SMS marketing too.

Add emojis

Originally, emojis were created to increase ease of communication in the early days of mobile internet. The icons, which have undergone a massive transformation over the years, have done that and so much more. Now, emojis are synonymous with human emotion. People are choosing to use emojis over actually typing their feelings in chats. Emotions have become compact and instantly understood. So why not use them in your marketing as well? Try adding relevant emojis to your push notifications and watch your open rate soar. 

This is how Netflix is doing it in email marketing:

🔔 Reminder: Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution is now on Netflix

…and this is how Nykaa, a makeup and fashion brand, is using the colorful festival of Holi to promote their stuff:

Now Open: The Holi Store 🌈

Emojis also give you a chance to stand out among all the other promotional emails by adding a pop of color to grab attention. So go ahead and get on the emoji train!

Personalized discount code

Want to give your customer a pleasant surprise? Give them a discount code via SMS, email or push notification with their name in it. For example, a person whose name is Ashley, could have a code like ASH30 (which is valid for 30 days, hence the 30). Putting a name in a code gives a complete personalized feel and appears as if only that particular user got the code. If this is accompanied with text like: ‘A special discount just for you’ it can prove to be a game changer for you.

Ask a Question

Questions have always (always!) worked to get some engagement. No wonder Instagram added multiple question-based features in Instagram Stories! Utilizing this point in your marketing can make an impact. Try asking questions which your users might instinctively want to answer.

For example, for a fashion brand, a question like this might receive email opens –

‘Don’t know what to wear for date night?’

Or for a cab service like Uber, something like this might work –

‘Wanna go on a long drive tonight?’

These subject lines are essentially attempting to be friendly and human. It could pass off as something that your friend has sent you. I say ‘these might work’ because what works differs from company to company. You need to constantly keep A/B testing and find what works the best for you.

Sign off emails with a name

Conclude your automated emails with your name so that the consumer feels like they are talking to a human. It makes them feel that there is a face behind this brand and that they can trust it. Remember, trust is a huge factor. Seeing names and/or photos of the person they are getting emails from can give them reassurance – which might lead to a sale!

Summing up

Apart from all the above points, it’s equally important to draft your content in the most personal way possible. Netflix writes to me – ‘Don’t forget to finish Love is Blind. Let’s find out what happens next…keep watching.’

With the use of the words ‘Let’s find out’, it seems like Netflix is right here with me all through my binge watching journeys. Netflix….is….my f-friend.

Jokes apart – Netflix gets it. Be like Netflix.

So, fellow marketers, go ahead and humanize your automation right away. Good luck!

Me? Oh, I’ll just go back to watching Love is Blind and find out what happens next….😉

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