What is the Difference Between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation?
By Jon Miller, VP Content Marketing and Strategy
What is the difference between email marketing and marketing automation? And how do you know if your company is ready to make the switch? Here’s a quick primer on the key differences, and a handy-checklist to help you know when it’s time to graduate.
There are many differences between email marketing provider and a marketing automation platform. An Email Service Provider (ESP) provides functionality to send mass blasts and track open rates, but with marketing automation, you have access to powerful, strategic features like multi-step drip campaigns, lead scoring, and marketing program analytics.
Take a look at this feature comparison:
Email Marketing Alone Just Doesn’t Do it
If you are relying solely on email without automation, you are probably coming up against a few barriers. Here are some challenges you might be facing with email marketing alone, and how marketing automation can help:
Email Marketing is Time-Consuming
· Marketing automation removes the tedious manual work of crafting individual emails and allows you to focus on creating multi-stage, automated campaigns to nurture your leads and automatically respond to their actions while you get other work done.
Your Sales Teams Don’t Know Which Leads Are Worth Their Time
· Marketing automation allows you to automatically monitor and score your leads based on how they engage with campaigns or content, in addition to demographics or lead characteristics, so you can identify truly sales-ready leads to send to your sales team.
You Are Unable to Keep Leads Engaged Through Your Communications
· Marketing automation allows you to automatically nurture your leads. This means you can segment your database based on criteria most relevant to your business and lead them through your funnel using content and calls to action that are most relevant to each group, keeping them more engaged with your communications.
You Are Having Trouble Scaling Programs
· Marketing automation is a solution that can grow as your company’s needs grow. Instead of just building more and more email programs, you can run multiple types of campaigns, create lead nurturing programs, score your leads, and attribute revenue directly to each marketing program.
You Can’t Attribute Revenue to Your Email Marketing Efforts
· Instead of relying on CTR and OR for marketing success metrics, marketing automation allows you to clearly demonstrate which marketing programs – email or otherwise – are bringing in revenue, allowing you to make better decisions on which programs to run and which are most cost-effective.
Checklist: Top Signs You Need Marketing Automation
If you are still unsure whether it is time to graduate from your Email Service Provider, take a look at your organization and marketing practices. You should consider marketing automation if:
- Your customer buying process lasts longer than a week
- Sending emails alone does not seem to drive sales
- Your marketing team needs an easier way to create and send targeted, multi-touch email campaigns
- Your marketing department does not have enough time to do everything they need to do with their current resources
- You sell different products or services to different demographics
- You want to send different messages to different titles and industries
- Your sales people are complaining about the quality of leads your marketing team is delivering
- You want to know which of your marketing campaigns are the most effective
- You can’t tell if you should be spending more or less money on marketing
Still not sure? Check out our new whitepaper Graduating from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation for more insight.
Video: 10 Strategies For Content Marketing
This week, we’re going to dive into the archives and give you a presentation well worth watching if you didn’t see it the first time around. In this Dreamforce 2011 session, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, and Jon Miller, VP Marketing of Marketo, offer 10 timeless strategies for content marketing, events and marketing automation success.