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trish bertuzzi

Yet another organization that doesn't have the right lead process in place - blows my mind. Sometimes companies get so caught up in "following up on every lead" that they forget that not every inquiry is a lead. This salesperson is just doing what they were told... go get em tiger they came to our site...sad.

Marketing automation and lead scoring combined with the right process for the human touch are the keys to success. Some people get it, some don't and this one clearly doesn't.

Jill Konrath

You're absolutely right, Trish! Companies need to start looking at what they're doing from the recipient's point of view if they want to be successful with this.

Fred Dempster

I really do not like all the registration stuff - there was a great article [that I now can't find] that tells the web driven folks "Don't do this - 60xx% do not then download your stuff" - which is true, I don't. It goes on to say "If they are interested they will contact you." There is a low-key idea to simply send an email saying "Thanks for downloading, if you see further interest, contact us by xx means"

On the other hand, for places I do like to download from I like the concept of setting it up once and they recognize me thereafter or the email clicks through. IDG Connect is a good example.

I sign up for a lot of stuff - easier to review and delete emails vs. remembering all the places. Most/all of these places have the analytics to see where I've been and what I have downloaded.


That 9 question letter takes the cake.

Can you imagine what it would be like to actually have to talk with these people?

I bet it would be like trying to get a telemarketer off the phone.

The sad thing is this is more like the norm rather than the exception.

Jill Konrath

Fred -- Some companies do it right. I like what you said about IDG Connect. I have the same experience with HubSpot. I've downloaded tons of stuff from them and they know me. And, after two years, I'm actually becoming a customer shortly. So slowly nurturing people does pay off -- especially if they're downloading info that's not totally relevant to making a buying decision today.

Bruce -- Totally agree with you re: the 9 question letter. At that point, I felt totally stalked.

Tom Scearce


Thank you for sharing these examples. Wow - the automation-run-riot on display here looks like it was lifted from residential mortgage industry. Specifically the foreclosure segment. I'm sure the results are about as effective for ourcrm.com too.

I'm glad when I see posts calling attention to robo-selling fails like this one. I wrote about a similar scenario on my blog a couple of weeks ago. Really, it deserves the attention of ourcrm.com's CEO. Because it's creating automated headwinds for the sales team and for the brand. Dear CEO: why would we trust your PRODUCT if this is your PROCESS??



HA HA HA -- did yoy ever get the FREE book? It might be worth the cover price? Regardless, I believe such impersonal automated responses are ACTUALLY counter-productive Jill? YOur thoughts?

Jill Konrath

Bob -- Funny that you bring up the ebook. I haven't even looked at it yet. That's what happens when a company bugs me.

Tom -- You're right. It should be a CEO issue. How a company relates to you during their lead generation initiatives is indicative of how they'll treat you later.

Joe Zuccaro

Jill, great story.

Yes, Marketing Automation is a tool based on technology that makes our jobs "easier." But in the wrong, unenlightened hands, can fail miserably - just like any IT deployment.

And stories like this give some of the MA naysayers I know more fuel, which is frustrating.

The good news is that slowly but surely some marketing people are having the epiphany and are learning to transform into true "marketing technologists" as Scott Brinker likes to call the new path.

However, it will be painful for a lot of marketers with backgrounds in branding and PR, who don't truly understand systems analysis, work flow, analytics, and linquistics. And the problem is that many marketers don't even have a formal marketing education - they're from journalism, communcations, even English or ballet for that matter, so to make them think more like an IT person will be a challenge.

Fred Dempster

Argh! 1 day long enough for my stupid-pill to act... I used Google Chrome to auto-fill on an obscure white paper and have 3 emails and 2 phone messages from 2 different people.

I'll play with them tomorrow... I have MagicJack so no big cost...

Chris Zdunich

Jill, they're probably implementing the research that says within 34 minutes, "leads" dry up.

Ron Snyder

This is a great example of the use of tools gone awry. Too many auto-responders and not enough thought!

Before you implement a tool, you need to do some Customer Relationship Planning (CRP)! What is CRP? It is the solution to the problem Jill experienced. It means thinking it through from the buyer's perspective before you set up your auto-responders. It is what you need to do before you implement Marketing Automation!

Had they done this, they would have put a process in place to respond appropriately to Jill's "interest," including qualifying if she is interested.

It would have surfaced the thought that no one is willing to take the time to answer all those questions and divulge all that information unless they are really interested and getting something of equal value in return!

Customer Relationship Planning means thinking first then implementing neat tools.

Bill Murray

Wow. Inquiries are not (always) leads. And, if someone was hoping to see if you had a need to purchase something - they should have had the guts to pick up the phone. Trying to sell using email is a very bad idea.

Brandon Warner

Yes it has happened to me and I completely agree with you.

I think all companies who utilize automated email systems in their marketing strategy need to take a detailed learning lesson on "Inbound Marketing" which focuses on understanding the needs of the prospect at all phases of interaction and responding by giving them what they need at that time.

This will attract and pull the prospect to you more, which will increase your chances of fostering a valuable relationship for potential future business.

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