Written by   |   Jul 14 2020   |   Read 3339 times

Many business owners and managers mistakenly take email marketing and marketing automation as the same thing. Although they both use email marketing, they both have different jobs and are not interchangeable. There is so much to gain from marketing automation that you cannot achieve with email marketing alone. Let's put these two emarketing categories into perspective to learn the differences and the best use cases of each.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing involves sending out the one email to a group of your contacts. You then get statistics about the people who opened your emails and who clicked your offers or links to find out additional information. This information helps you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Seasoned marketers can attest to the undeniable advantages of email marketing. It helps businesses to develop trust with prospects and grow relationships with current customers, leading to customer retention and loyalty. Furthermore, email marketing is a proven way of taking business conversations nearer to the customer. It's also less expensive than other popular marketing channels such as direct mail, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and print advertising.

Challenges of Email Marketing

On the other hand, email marketing comes with several limitations. By sending mass emails, all contacts receive the same thing. Irrelevant messages can be offensive to the recipients, and it can be more detrimental than beneficial to your marketing efforts. Some addressees can choose to unsubscribe from your email list or flag your emails as spam. Additionally, as your customer base changes over time, so do the needs of various customers. It would help if you had a central database of contacts that you can segment and sort for different campaigns. There's also a challenge in measuring the revenue that your email marketing efforts bring to your business. Though your email marketing provider can offer metrics like open and click-through rates (CTR), there isn't always a clear way to connect the data to ROI.

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation goes beyond sending emails and evaluating open rates and CTR. Marketing Automation utilises software tools and web-based services to automate and manage marketing tasks efficiently. Additionally, it also enables marketing teams to define where a potential buyer stands in the buying process. With an all-round view of the prospect, you can direct them to the next stage until conversion.

The essential features of a suitable marketing automation solution for your business include:

  • CRM integration
  • Landing page development
  • Consolidated marketing database
  • Lead management capability
  • Website visitor tracking
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Revenue and ROI reporting

Marketing automation systems vary in sophistication and price so your needs should dictate the features to focus on, and therefore the solution that fits your business.

Is Marketing Automation for You?

If you're not using marketing automation already, here are some pointers that you're ripe to make the switch:

  • Sales can't get qualified leads
  • Email marketing proves tedious
  • You want to weigh emarketing ROI
  • The buying process is sluggish
  • You want to send more targeted emails

Act! offers fully integrated Marketing Automation software with Act! Growth Suite. Available features of Act!'s Marketing Automation can vary by tier. For a full breakdown see the article What are the Act! Marketing Automation feature differences between the Growth Suite Tiers?

What Next?

Email marketing is about sending email blasts and reaching out to those who read them.  Marketing automation is a solution that offers all the benefits of email marketing along with tools to automate the process, garner qualified leads and drives sales with ease. Contact us to discuss which one best suits your small business needs.

Cate Dempsey

As Marketing Manager, Cate Dempsey plans & delivers marketing campaigns & content, including regular email newsletters, promotions, blog posts, and other customer communication.

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