What's the difference between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation?

Matt Fenn on Email marketing, Marketing automation,


It can be difficult to understand the the real differences between these two types of marketing software.

After all, marketing automation uses email marketing and email marketing software has automation features. This makes the situation particularly confusing!

I'm going to walk through the differences and benefits of each so that you can see how the two differ. And when and why you might want to step up from email marketing to marketing automation.



56% of companies currently use an email marketing provider and are 75% or more likely to be purchasers of marketing automation software over the next year.
VentureBeat



Email marketing

Most people have a good idea of what email marketing is and as marketers we understand its power.

With a formidable reputation for cost effectiveness and the promise of maintaining a direct and personal relationship with every contact. Email marketing is a part of most marketing toolsets.

The basic process of email marketing involves sending email broadcast campaigns to lists of contacts, usually with new content, product updates, offers and other marketing communications.

This is particularly useful because when many people first come into contact with a company they are interested in they might not be ready to purchase but want to give permission to stay in touch.

At the same time, from our perspective as marketers, getting a website visitor to convert into a contact by giving us their email address is great because the majority of website visitors never return. So this way we get a chance to keep that person engaged with us until they are ready to buy.

So email marketing provides us with a low cost way of maintaining our relationship with our leads over time.

This is amazingly useful.

And email marketing systems have evolved over time to allow us to personalise our conversations with each contact.

We can use their names and other important information to personalise the content of our emails. We do this because people respond to content that is personalised and relevant to them.

In fact, the more personalised and the more relevant the communication is the better.



Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages.
Epsilon Email Institute



And this is where traditional email marketing begins to reach it's limits.

After all it's a mechanism to deliver lots of emails to lots of people. As a piece of software it doesn't understand much about your individual contact or their previous interactions at all.

To combat this email marketing software providers have begun to add on some automation features which allow us to send emails that respond to a contacts unique activity such as:

  • Timed campaign sequences known as autoresponders (or drip campaigns).
  • Emails triggered by visiting a tracked website page.
  • Emails triggered by actions from previous emails.

So while you can do some marketing automation with an email marketing system, it's important to understand that marketing automation is a little different.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is designed first and foremost to move your contacts through nurturing 'stages' to help you better personalise each of your interactions.

In fact marketing automation is ALL about personalisation.

When using marketing automation it's good practice to create an overall plan, defining who exactly your customer types are with buyer personas. Then planning out a customer journey that moves those buyers through automated steps over time.

The purpose of marketing automation is to create a multi stage sales funnel that will alter the communications sent automatically, exactly at the right time for each of your contacts.

In order to do this marketing automation software has a set of functionality that works alongside the email marketing aspect:

  • Landing pages and conversion forms
  • Website visitor tracking and identification
  • Lead sales stage management
  • A centralised CRM marketing database
  • Automations and workflows
  • Marketing analytics and reporting
  • Third party system integrations

These components work together to create contacts and build up qualifying information, whilst updating the contact's unique messaging and sales stage.

As well as automating lead nurturing, notifications are sent to sales team members alerting them of qualified prospect activity such as website visits (down to specific pages) and email opens etc.



Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. Automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue.
DMA



Start using marketing automation today

Interested in using marketing automation? Jumplead is a great tool for quickly and easily implementing marketing automation. Start turning your website visitors into customers. Try Jumplead today!

Your marketing control centre

A good way to think about marketing automation is as a control centre that allows you to plan out ideal customer journeys.

For example:

Helen arrives at your website after clicking through from a guest blog post about your new social media sharing service on a referring website. She's interested but busy so she subscribes to your newsletter.

This creates Helen's profile in the system, pulls in her social media profiles and links up her website activity. She is added to the 'Subscriber' stage.

Emails sent out to contacts in the 'Subscriber' stage include offers for general content designed for people at earlier buying stages.

The next day she can't quite remember the name of your company, but get's an email a few days later with an offer for a free 'Social Media 101 Ebook' which she downloads.

Helen's activity is added to her profile, her lead score goes up, and the download triggers an automation that moves Helen to a 'Marketing Qualified' stage. And starts an educational email nurture sequence that is personalised from Steve to Helen and includes a social media marketing tip every other week for eight weeks.

When Helen receives the 'Facebook secrets you wish you knew' email she clicks through to the website and reads the full article.

Reading the article triggers an automation that tags her as having a particular interest in Facebook and stops the original email sequence from Steve, and starts a Facebook specific sequence from Alice, your Facebook expert.

Being tagged as having an interest in Facebook also means that Helen will be included in the Facebook segment of the contact database. So she'll get notified of the upcoming Facebook webinar.

As it happened Helen registered for the Facebook webinar and from the 'Thank you' email she chose to book a consultation, which moved her into the 'Sales Qualified' stage and of course notified the sales team.

As you can see from the above example, the use of stages allows us to understand at a glance where any contact is in the nurturing process. So you can create tactical offers to help move on contacts that are getting stuck in a stage.

Sales insights and enablement

A marketing automation system offers insights to sales teams as to the preferences and activity history of individual contacts.

In our example above Helen might have qualified herself as being interested in the Facebook marketing service, but a look at her history might show she was also looking at the agency and reselling pages. A great opportunity for cross selling.

Cost and complexity

Marketing automation systems are traditionally more costly and complex than email marketing systems. This is due to the fact that they contain more features and because they are traditionally priced for large enterprise level businesses.

Email systems generally have a free tier for a basic service and then scale up from $20 per month. Whereas marketing automation traditionally starts at $200 per month at the low end and $3,000 per month for standard plans.

However, there are now services such as Jumplead Marketing Automation which has a free tier and then scales up from $49 per month. Making it affordable for any business.

So which is best?

Which is best will depend upon where you are with your marketing right now, and what your aspirations are for future growth.

It's important to identify the system that will help you achieve your marketing strategy and not limit your capabilities. But at the same time not be too complex for you to use effectively.

It can be difficult to understand the the real differences between these two types of marketing software.

After all, marketing automation uses email marketing and email marketing software has automation features. This makes the situation particularly confusing!

I'm going to walk through the differences and benefits of each so that you can see how the two differ. And when and why you might want to step up from email marketing to marketing automation.



56% of companies currently use an email marketing provider and are 75% or more likely to be purchasers of marketing automation software over the next year.
VentureBeat



Email marketing

Most people have a good idea of what email marketing is and as marketers we understand its power.

With a formidable reputation for cost effectiveness and the promise of maintaining a direct and personal relationship with every contact. Email marketing is a part of most marketing toolsets.

The basic process of email marketing involves sending email broadcast campaigns to lists of contacts, usually with new content, product updates, offers and other marketing communications.

This is particularly useful because when many people first come into contact with a company they are interested in they might not be ready to purchase but want to give permission to stay in touch.

At the same time, from our perspective as marketers, getting a website visitor to convert into a contact by giving us their email address is great because the majority of website visitors never return. So this way we get a chance to keep that person engaged with us until they are ready to buy.

So email marketing provides us with a low cost way of maintaining our relationship with our leads over time.

This is amazingly useful.

And email marketing systems have evolved over time to allow us to personalise our conversations with each contact.

We can use their names and other important information to personalise the content of our emails. We do this because people respond to content that is personalised and relevant to them.

In fact, the more personalised and the more relevant the communication is the better.



Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages.
Epsilon Email Institute



And this is where traditional email marketing begins to reach it's limits.

After all it's a mechanism to deliver lots of emails to lots of people. As a piece of software it doesn't understand much about your individual contact or their previous interactions at all.

To combat this email marketing software providers have begun to add on some automation features which allow us to send emails that respond to a contacts unique activity such as:

  • Timed campaign sequences known as autoresponders (or drip campaigns).
  • Emails triggered by visiting a tracked website page.
  • Emails triggered by actions from previous emails.

So while you can do some marketing automation with an email marketing system, it's important to understand that marketing automation is a little different.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is designed first and foremost to move your contacts through nurturing 'stages' to help you better personalise each of your interactions.

In fact marketing automation is ALL about personalisation.

When using marketing automation it's good practice to create an overall plan, defining who exactly your customer types are with buyer personas. Then planning out a customer journey that moves those buyers through automated steps over time.

The purpose of marketing automation is to create a multi stage sales funnel that will alter the communications sent automatically, exactly at the right time for each of your contacts.

In order to do this marketing automation software has a set of functionality that works alongside the email marketing aspect:

  • Landing pages and conversion forms
  • Website visitor tracking and identification
  • Lead sales stage management
  • A centralised CRM marketing database
  • Automations and workflows
  • Marketing analytics and reporting
  • Third party system integrations

These components work together to create contacts and build up qualifying information, whilst updating the contact's unique messaging and sales stage.

As well as automating lead nurturing, notifications are sent to sales team members alerting them of qualified prospect activity such as website visits (down to specific pages) and email opens etc.



Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. Automated email campaigns account for 21% of email marketing revenue.
DMA



Start using marketing automation today

Interested in using marketing automation? Jumplead is a great tool for quickly and easily implementing marketing automation. Start turning your website visitors into customers. Try Jumplead today!

Your marketing control centre

A good way to think about marketing automation is as a control centre that allows you to plan out ideal customer journeys.

For example:

Helen arrives at your website after clicking through from a guest blog post about your new social media sharing service on a referring website. She's interested but busy so she subscribes to your newsletter.

This creates Helen's profile in the system, pulls in her social media profiles and links up her website activity. She is added to the 'Subscriber' stage.

Emails sent out to contacts in the 'Subscriber' stage include offers for general content designed for people at earlier buying stages.

The next day she can't quite remember the name of your company, but get's an email a few days later with an offer for a free 'Social Media 101 Ebook' which she downloads.

Helen's activity is added to her profile, her lead score goes up, and the download triggers an automation that moves Helen to a 'Marketing Qualified' stage. And starts an educational email nurture sequence that is personalised from Steve to Helen and includes a social media marketing tip every other week for eight weeks.

When Helen receives the 'Facebook secrets you wish you knew' email she clicks through to the website and reads the full article.

Reading the article triggers an automation that tags her as having a particular interest in Facebook and stops the original email sequence from Steve, and starts a Facebook specific sequence from Alice, your Facebook expert.

Being tagged as having an interest in Facebook also means that Helen will be included in the Facebook segment of the contact database. So she'll get notified of the upcoming Facebook webinar.

As it happened Helen registered for the Facebook webinar and from the 'Thank you' email she chose to book a consultation, which moved her into the 'Sales Qualified' stage and of course notified the sales team.

As you can see from the above example, the use of stages allows us to understand at a glance where any contact is in the nurturing process. So you can create tactical offers to help move on contacts that are getting stuck in a stage.

Sales insights and enablement

A marketing automation system offers insights to sales teams as to the preferences and activity history of individual contacts.

In our example above Helen might have qualified herself as being interested in the Facebook marketing service, but a look at her history might show she was also looking at the agency and reselling pages. A great opportunity for cross selling.

Cost and complexity

Marketing automation systems are traditionally more costly and complex than email marketing systems. This is due to the fact that they contain more features and because they are traditionally priced for large enterprise level businesses.

Email systems generally have a free tier for a basic service and then scale up from $20 per month. Whereas marketing automation traditionally starts at $200 per month at the low end and $3,000 per month for standard plans.

However, there are now services such as Jumplead Marketing Automation which has a free tier and then scales up from $49 per month. Making it affordable for any business.

So which is best?

Which is best will depend upon where you are with your marketing right now, and what your aspirations are for future growth.

It's important to identify the system that will help you achieve your marketing strategy and not limit your capabilities. But at the same time not be too complex for you to use effectively.

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