Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What’s The Difference?
Every marketer knows that email is a key component to any of your campaign efforts.
No professional worth his salt would dream of drawing up a marketing campaign without this all-important tool.
So what’s all the buzz lately about email marketing being outdated and what is the up and coming trend of marketing automation all about anyway?
The differences, similarities and most important, convergence of these two topics can have a major impact on the way you look at and utilize your marketing tools.
Take three minutes to read through to the end of this article, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about this paramount technology that is revolutionizing the way companies across the globe are doing business today.
Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: Aren’t They The Same Thing?
The astute marketer likes to keep his (or her) finger on the pulse for new trends. Innovative ideas and smarter methods for achieving the end goal, which is why you’ve probably heard of marketing automation.
From the offset, it sounds pretty much like email marketing (and you are already doing pretty well on that front, if you do say so yourself!).
So your initial reaction to this concept is ‘No thanks, I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.’
Marketing automation is the big leagues of email marketing. Email Automation takes a good concept and makes it better by automating, standardizing and, ironically, customizing the methods of communication between you and your customers/leads.
So, while email marketing and marketing automation both stem from the same desire to reach out to your database, the means and results are as divergent as night and day. Some of the more impressive features that automation touts include:
- Determining which stage of the buying process a lead is holding at in order to customize the marketing campaign accordingly
- Creating and sending more catered web forms and landing pages
- Delivering relevant white papers with useful information
- Meeting the leads on the channel they are most frequently engaged on
- Measuring the impact of marketing initiatives, A/B testing etc.
- Monitoring internet activity and identifying anonymous website traffic
- Integrating with CMS and databases
Pretty cool, huh?
Basically, marketing automation is a technology that builds upon your existing email marketing and does it one better. Your marketing team already has their hands full. Taking on a new technology isn’t ideal for them or the upper management.
So who is marketing automation good for? This might help you decide. Is your company:
- Having trouble driving sales from email marketing alone?
- Frustrated because lead nurturing takes too long?
- Sales team overloaded with unhelpful leads?
- Unsure of where your marketing efforts are going?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, marketing automation can be the solution for you.
Read on to find out what the differences are between email marketing and marketing management and what this new advancement can do for you.
With email marketing, you have the ability to reach a large audience at one time. Using services such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and Vertical Response, you can send messages automatically and track open rates and click through as well. While this kind of marketing is solid, it leaves much room for improvement.
Some insufficiencies include:
- Single channel communication
- One direction communication
- Time consuming (manual labor, delivering premature or unqualified leads)
- Less engaging because there is not enough information to for targeting
- Not scalable
- Incalculable (so you can’t see how well it’s doing for you/what needs improvement)
With today’s consumer market, purchases aren’t generally done on the spot. Instead, a product or service is researched heavily before someone would even think about whipping out their wallet. Consumers will ask their friends, see what comments people have left about the item/company. Then, they’ll do a price and feature comparison and glean as much information as possible before committing to the purchase. With so much time between an initial show of interest and the actual closing of a sale, it’s easy to lose leads somewhere along the way. This is where marketing automation really shines. Sending a single email, carrying a generic message, targeting a mass audience is ill-equipped to address the current status, issue or question that the lead is presently holding at. That’s where marketing automation comes in.
Unlike email marketing, marketing automation utilizes real time, constantly-changing cues taken from the lead’s own behavior. This information helps you guide your potential customers along the sales funnel, helping them through the buying process at each stage, so they arrive at the end results of purchasing from you (instead of a competitor).
Wondering how this miracle marketer works? Take a look.
Imagine for a moment that you could see inside your customer’s head. Every doubt would be met with the relevant information to alleviate it; every question would be answered with helpful suggestions or links to bolster their decision. You could effortlessly navigate this lead to the end goal of solving the problem he/she is experiencing. No doubt, it would be pretty amazing. Now take an even further leap of fancy and picture being able to do this type of hand-picked, tailor-made customized marketing for each one of your potential buyers. Mind blown? That’s marketing automation in a nutshell.
Email Automation. Combining for success.
Since the information is coming from the user’s activities, the interaction can be more tailored to fit their current needs, moods or behaviors. And, because the interaction is reactive, customers are receiving multiple communications based on their actions.
We know, it sounds too good to be true, which is why we have a breakdown of some of the practical application tools and functions that marketing automation can provide. Take a look at some game-changing features you can access:
Instead of sending a single email with a single message, you can set up a multi-tier email queue that will deliver a more advanced or relevant message as the lead travels along the sales funnel.
Facebook ads are a veritable goldmine for companies whose niche audience is using the social network. But what if your customers are socializing elsewhere? Marketing automation allows you to find out exactly where your leads are “hanging out” and engage them in conversation on their turf, ensuring that they’re more likely to see your messages (not to mention they’ll be more comfortable reading them as well.) This can be social media, SMS, email or other forums.
Lead Scoring & Analyzing
Email automation accurately shows you open and clickthrough rates. This is limited knowledge at best, giving you little to go on in terms of the quality and journey that this lead has taken. Through a more comprehensive set of analytics tools, marketing automation allows you to see the strength of a lead throughout the entire buying process. The system will also score your leads, giving the sales department a clear idea of which leads are more worthwhile to pursue.
Utilizing more exhaustive tools and more information at their disposal, marketing automation software cleans your data more efficiently than human error can allow for. This includes common issues like duplicates, insufficient data and outdated or irrelevant leads.
Bottom line, this system allows you to nurture your leads like never before. In a world where customization and personalization are becoming the new “go-to” phrase for anything that businesses associate with success, tailoring your marketing campaign to fit the individual leads you are targeting is not just a gold mine, it’s the only way to survive.
Reaching Multiple Niches
Because everything is automated and run by machines, your company can target multiple audiences, utilizing the right campaign for each one, instead of reverting back to one email blast for everyone.
Campaign Trial & Error
See which campaigns are successful and which aren’t, so you can focus more attention and budget on the successful ones, allowing you to bring in even more revenue.
So what about email marketing? Is it quickly developing into a has-been technology to be tossed aside? Far from it. While not the only channel, email is the primary method that marketing automation utilizes to deliver your targeted communications for your prospective buyers. Marketing automation doesn’t disqualify email marketing, it turbocharges it!
Are You Ready to Power Up With Email Automation?
Are there any negatives to email automation? Sure. As with any new solution, the costs of automation are higher than the standard email service providers. Businesses who aren’t making enough to cover the budget might not be in a place to implement this type of change yet. Instead, work with what you have currently. Keep email automation at the top of your purchasing list for when you have overcome the dry spell.
On the other hand, considering the fact that this software will increase revenue and decrease spending, it is a sensible buy even if you are on the fence. This is especially true of small businesses that are short in manpower to manage the growth of their company manually. In industries where time is money, you are certainly gaining more from implementing email automation in sheer hours and manpower saved than the dollars and cents spent to install it.
Now that you know about email automation, it’s time to really see what this technology can do. Give Optinize a chance to merge your existing CRM, replace your current monitoring tool, cleanse your database and turbocharge your business with the latest breakthrough in marketing genius.