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Automated Marketing: Spam or Sprinkles?

Whenever I start talking about automated marketing, I always hear the odd intake of breath from certain people in the audience.

The very word “automated” makes the whole process sound robotic and sausage-factory-like.

And yet, if you don’t automate part of your marketing process as a small business owner, it’s easy to run out of steam.  And of clients.

I recently joined in with a brief discussion on Twitter about automated tweets.  I suggested that when automated tweets were done “right”, they can be like sprinkles on top of your ice cream.  Adding a bit of crunch and sugar to sweeten the flow of communication (don’t I just love a good food analogy!!)

However, the other person totally disagreed and said that all automated tweets were spam in her opinion.

Because although it may make sense to automate a big part of your marketing, including tweets and facebook status updates, it can be seen by many of your clients as spam.

So what do you do?

Being present on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook all day and every day is not only wasting your time, it also takes you away from other marketing activities – such as face-to-face networking, article writing and PR – that have produced good results for you in the past.  It makes sense to automate certain tweets and updates.

Having to respond to everyone who signs up to your newsletter with a personal thank you will chain you to your email.  It makes sense to write one email and set your newsletter system to send it out automatically.

Marketing is an activity that implodes with success when systems and processes are put in place.  And setting up part of your marketing system to include automated emails, autoresponders, tweets and updates can make you much more productive and efficient as a business owner.

But over automate, produce templated copy, never be there to respond to personal replies or treat your clients like sheep – and automation will be considered to be spam.

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