What is email marketing?
Email marketing is the practice of using email to promote your business. It is used to cultivate relationships with potential customers, keep current customers informed and updated on your brand, offer coupons to encourage customer loyalty, and more!
It is a direct form of marketing, similar to marketing through snail mail, but email marketing is much more efficient for your wallet and for the environment since it’s totally paperless!
Some people think email marketing is outdated, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Email marketing has been utilized since shortly after the birth of the Internet. It has evolved considerably since then and is still an incredibly useful marketing tool. In fact, many entrepreneurs argue that email marketing is more important now than ever before. There’s a good reason 85% of U.S. retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics!
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:
- Sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Sending emails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately.
- Adding advertisements to emails sent by other companies to their customers.
In its most basic sense, email marketing is the use of email to promote products or services. But a better email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers or clients. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, and more. It is essentially direct mail done electronically instead of through the postal service.
This kind of marketing can be used to build relationships with customers or drive them away.
Email marketing has several key advantages over traditional mail marketing, including the following:
- An exact return on investment can be tracked and has proven to be high when done properly. Email marketing is often reported as second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic.
- Advertisers can reach substantial numbers of email subscribers who have opted in to receive email communications on subjects of interest to them.
- Over half of all Internet users check or send email on a typical day.
- Email allows marketers to reach out to consumers with personalized, relevant, dynamic messages.
- Transactional emails allow businesses to respond automatically to important consumer events like purchases or shop-cart abandonment.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.
With marketing automation, businesses can target customers with automated messages across email, web, social, and text. Messages are sent automatically, according to sets of instructions called workflows. Workflows may be defined by templates, custom-built from scratch, or modified mid-campaign to achieve better results.
Marketing and sales departments use marketing automation to automate online marketing campaigns and sales activities to both increase revenue and maximise efficiency. When automation is used effectively to handle repetitive tasks, employees are free to tackle higher-order problems, and human error is reduced.
Marketing automation helps with lead generation, nurturing, and scoring, as well as with measuring overall ROI on campaigns. The time- and cost-saving effects of automation increase as an organisation grows in size and complexity. Good marketing automation systems are designed to scale alongside your business.
What does marketing automation do?
In its most basic form, marketing automation is a set of tools designed to streamline and simplify some of the most time-consuming responsibilities of the modern marketing and sales roles. From automating the lead qualification process to creating a hub for digital campaign creation, automation is all about simplifying a business world that is growing far too complex, much too quickly.
Marketing automation lets you implement a digital marketing strategy without having to manually press “send” on each and every email, message, campaign, or post you create. Good automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and customer behaviour. Once your campaign rolls out, you can focus on other tasks, then analyse and tweak your marketing plan as results start coming in. An automated marketing strategy can save time and resources, driving revenue and ROI while you focus on growing your business.
5 Key Differences between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
- Email Behaviour Tracking vs. Web Behaviour Tracking
Many of the differences between email marketing and marketing automation stem from what data the platforms collect. Email marketing tools track a recipient’s behaviour within your email campaign. Did the prospect or customer open your email? Did they click a link? Which link and how many times? And you get aggregate data, so you can see what percentage of people did what with your email, and what percentage did nothing.
With marketing automation, you get that email data plus much more. A lead’s behaviour can be tracked everywhere they interact with your company on the web. After they clicked that link, did they go to a landing page on your site? What did they do next? Did they open an infographic? Download an eBook? Watch a webinar? Having the full picture of a lead’s journey through your funnel lets you plan more targeted campaigns based on observed behaviour.
- Single Path vs. Adaptive, Customer-Centered Messaging
Email marketing requires a significant investment of time on the front end – from the creation of emails, to list segmentation, and post-delivery analytics. When you’ve built a campaign, a basic email marketing program typically sends emails out to everyone on your list, and then it’s done (This is sometimes called “batch and blast”). Depending on the sophistication of the email marketing tool, you might be able to send the same email to different segments of your list, with dynamic content applying itself so that people in different segments get slightly different messages or offers.
Marketing automation also requires lots of hands-on work up front, but you get more for your effort. You still have to create your emails, plan your campaigns and segment your list, but you can build automated programs with more choices and options. Drip campaigns send a series of messages out over time; and you can set them up to go out to people automatically as people engage with your website.
Nurture campaigns are a type of drip campaign that sends different follow-up communications based how a prospect interacts with your messages. The platform will manage your leads automatically, based on their data profiles and digital body language. Meanwhile, real-time analytics track engagement metrics and qualification level (assuming you’ve set up lead scoring). Here’s the irony: because of these automation tools, it’s much easier to create dynamic campaigns that follow the actions of individual leads, instead of a single, homogenous list. These feel more personal to the recipient. Such adaptive campaigns help the marketer make the customer the center of the campaign experience.
- Static Information vs. Dynamic Lead Scoring
Another difference is that marketing automation allows you to do lead scoring. Email marketing tools know only the information about your leads that you provide, which is often just contact information. This means you aren’t going to gather a lot of ground-breaking insights unless you use a separate analytics tool. And that will mean managing another tool, and consolidating data from multiple tools to gain a single picture.
Marketing automation, with all the data it collects, can score your leads’ intent based on their firmographics data and behavioural cues.
For example, if your best customers are companies of a certain size, you can create a form that asks “what size is your company” and give the good answer a high score. If you know that people who watch one of your webinars are likelier to convert, you can score the action of watching that webinar. The net result is better leads generating higher scores, letting you more easily identify prospects likely to convert to closed/won deals. This allows you to tailor campaigns based on that intelligent scoring information, and to quickly, automagically, pass those leads to sales when they’re ready for a conversation.
- Revenue Assumption vs. Revenue Attribution
When you send a lead an email through an email service provider, you can tell if the lead clicked on a link with a call to action to purchase. Separately, you can use your CRM to see whether that lead became a customer. But just because a customer opens an email and later makes a purchase doesn’t mean they made a purchase because of the email alone. They may have engaged with a dozen additional touch points and assets on your site. It’s no small wonder that 78 percent of marketers struggle to measure content ROI.
With marketing automation, you can track the full journey a lead takes and (usually) see the exact path to purchase, including any subsequent actions taken outside of email. Instead of making assumptions about purchase behaviour, you can map it. That lets you see which actions and assets actually drive conversions and sales, and which are a waste of time.
- Simple Automation vs. Intelligent Follow-Up
Most modern email marketing tools offer some kind of automation component, but the capabilities depend on the platform. In simple systems, this could mean scheduling email blasts in advance for specific dates. In more advanced marketing automation systems, you also get transactional triggers, the ability to apply segmentation rules, sending by time zone, and the capability to create nurturing programs with if/then logic built in.
Some marketing automation systems facilitate account-based marketing, in which marketers can coordinate and manage their communications with multiple stakeholders inside the same company.
Marketing automation systems take automation to the next level with intelligent action based on behavioural analysis. Depending on lead behaviour, the system can optimize the timing of contact, the message shared, and even create suggestions for offline contact such as phone calls or direct mail.
Both email service providers and marketing automation systems can be useful tools for any marketer to start conversations and make connections with the people in their lead base. The choice between which type of tool is right for your business depends on how much you want (or need) to accomplish with your leads before they make it to the sales team.
If your sales cycle is simple and your leads don’t need a lot of attention – maybe one or two touches, such as a newsletter or a few promotional blasts – an email marketing solution might be exactly right for your needs, and a marketing automation platform may prove too advanced (and expensive).
If, on the other hand, you’re ready to start nurturing, scoring, and qualifying leads based on their engagement with your brand, marketing automation is worth the investment. In most cases, the decision will depend on the scope of your product offering, the speed of your customer journey, the extent of your content marketing, and the quantity and diversity of your leads.
This article was brought to by Adstuck which itself is an email marketing and automated marketing service provider.
Adstuck: Adstuck is a digital marketing practice agency working from all over the world with four locations India, Singapore, Estonia and US. Its mission is to provide instant access to a talented workforce to enterprise. They have 491 clients and worked over 700 projects, with 30 fortunes 500 firms.
Adstuck provide services in:
- Improving marketing results
- Creating social media marketing strategy
- Proper assessments of current trends
- Market research
- Campaign creation
- Email marketing
- Automation marketing
- Growing market share
- Launching new product or enter new market.
It is a strong and leading digital media marketing service provider which can help you with cost cutting, plan execution, perfect reporting, strategy making, data collecting, and response collection from consumers. It handles all the aspects of your business. They don’t focus only on new on emerging brands who wants entail success and distribution in the market but also on brands that have successfully established the customer retail space, and need some assistance in managing their business.