Can marketing automation support employee wellbeing?

In the marketing world, we speak a lot about the business benefits of automation. For a business to invest in marketing automation software, its marketing team needs to prepare a compelling business case including figures and facts, such as:

  • the number of additional leads and revenue that will be made as a result.
  • manual hours saved and what this equates to in wages.
  • the reduced risk of data breaches and errors thanks to less manual data handling.

What’s typically missing from the picture though, is a review of how automation can impact marketing and sales teams on a more personal level. How it can help reduce repetitive tasks, enable them to work more efficiently and as a result, decrease stress and burnout.

In the midst of a global pandemic, supporting employees’ health and wellbeing is more important than ever. Yet, a study into Google’s search data unearthed a 24% spike in 2020 in searches online for terms such as ‘signs of burnout’, compared to the previous year. Generally, workplace burnout is on the rise.

A focus on employee wellbeing is therefore high on the radar for most businesses. And while burnout has many contributing factors, including those outside of the workplace, the more we can do within the working environment to alleviate this, the better.

Marketing automation vs. factors that lead to low wellbeing

Marketing automation software is not a replacement for marketers but its features can help reduce some of the normal stresses of daily working life. Here are just two examples:

1. Fast data segmentation vs. monotonous spreadsheet management

With the exception of a few, most of us don’t enjoy handling spreadsheets full of prospect or customer data in order to create segments that we can use in our email marketing. It’s time-consuming and frankly, boring. According to this study, boredom in the workplace can result in;

“individuals feeling over-worked or under-employed, and becoming distracted, stressed, or disillusioned. Staff who are bored also are less likely to engage with or focus on their work.”

We associate burnout with long hours, deadlines and high stress but in reality, monotonous work can contribute too. When you combine monotonous work with risk, such as data errors, it can be a recipe for disaster.

Marketing automation software, on the other hand, can make it incredibly easy to slice and dice marketing data in an instant and in a way that reduces the pressure on an individual to make sure that data is both completely correct and handled compliantly.

2. Automated email sequences vs. manual email workload

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of marketing automation software is having the ability to automate entire sequences of emails that trigger based on pre-set dates or prospect behaviours. This certainly beats having to spend hours manually setting up and sending multiple emails based on these same criteria.

Let’s say that we want to send an email to our prospect database and that whoever opens that email, then receives a second email, while those who click in either, receive a third. It sounds fairly straightforward but here’s the manual workload this results in for the staff member accountable:

  • Write 3 x email variations
  • Set up and send email #1 to all prospects
  • ‘X’ days later, extract a list of all those who opened email #1
  • Set up and send email #2 to openers
  • ‘X’ days later, extract a list of all those who clicked either email
  • Set up and send email #3 to those who clicked

This is a very condensed version of the workload, not taking into account the testing process and potential rendering and deliverability issues that could crop up too. Plus, it’s assuming the entire prospect database is receiving the same email version, with no segmentation or tailored messaging!

Meanwhile, a Mental Health in the Workplace report found that increased workload was by far the biggest cause of mental health issues in the workplace with almost four in ten naming it as the leading cause.

Should the above email sequence be automated, the workload for the staff member is drastically reduced so that once the initial set up is done, the rest happens on auto-pilot. The process will become:

  • Write 3 x email variations
  • Set up automated journey with rules for who receives which emails
  • Set up the 3 x emails and enable the automation

Even more so, for future email sequences of the same nature, the automation can simply be duplicated and tweaked.

These are just two of the many ways that marketing automation software can positively impact the daily working lives of employees and help support their wellbeing.

Ultimately, an investment in marketing automation software is a business decision with a myriad of benefits because increased wellbeing for staff means better performance for both them and the business.

Better wellbeing in the workplace tends to mean better productivity, less absenteeism, a happier and more engaged workforce, and ultimately, better staff retention. So, the next time you consider whether automation software is ‘worth it’ or prepare a business case to justify it, don’t forget to account for the impact it will have on your team’s daily working lives and wellbeing.

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