The number one concern businesses have in regard to automated marketing is that it will lack a human touch. Fortunately, these systems are sophisticated enough that leads will never have the impression that they’re talking to a robot.

There are still a few things you can do, however, to go the extra mile. Here’s how you can make your automated marketing efforts more personalized and individualized:

Focus on one journey

The best way to approach automated marketing is to focus on making one instance of the customer journey as authentic and fluid as possible. Once you get that right, you can apply it to your other leads.

This HubSpot article sheds some light on the process. According to the article, by getting one journey right, you can scale it to your entire marketing list:

“The best way to get started is to focus on one journey. You can pick something as simple as registering for a webinar and map out all of the possible decisions someone could make, as well as your ideal responses…. Once you map it out, you can scale it, which is where the magic happens. Instead of just being able to hand-hold a few people with your personal touch, with automation you can help thousands or tens of thousands.”

As it is, many businesses get distracted and lose focus. Instead of perfecting one customer journey, they focus on making their messages generic enough to apply to any of their leads. This is counter-productive and brings sub-optimal results.

Ask prospects what they want

One way to target prospects is to simply ask them what they want once you get their contact information. According to this Forbes article, this will help you individualize their experience:

“The first email a new subscriber should see (after the confirmation email) should ask them why they signed up for your brand’s email list. Do this and pay attention to the answer, and you’ll know how you should segment your new subscriber. This allows you to individualize their experience, resulting in a longer and deeper relationship.”

It helps to know whether a certain subscriber is interested in long-form content, videos, discounts, or company updates. At the beginning of the sales funnel, you just have to opt leads out of the unwanted emails. The goal is to get in touch with the prospect as often as possible without annoying him to the point where he unsubscribes.

Segment your leads

As soon as you have enough customer data, you should segment your leads. This way, you can send targeted messages to different groups who share similar characteristics.

Demographics are usually the first way marketers segment their prospects. Beyond that, you can look at a lead’s position in the sales funnel, buying history, and overall engagement in your marketing campaign.

Retarget prospects

Another way to individualize an experience is to retarget prospects who have already checked your business out. This is a common practice with pay-per-click advertising, where businesses target leads who have visited their site at least once before.

You can even set up retargeting campaigns on Facebook. The unique thing about this practice is that the ads can indicate that the user has already visited your page. Thus, prospects have the impression that you’re talking directly to them, as opposed to the rest of the masses.

Lack of a human touch is usually an unfounded concern when it comes to automated marketing. You’re unlikely to ever send an irrelevant or clunky sounding message to a prospective customer. But since brands are constantly raising the bar in regard to their personalized marketing campaigns, your business is expected to do the same. You can add more of a human touch to your efforts by following the tips above.