Email Marketing Vs. Marketing Automation [Explained]

Email Marketing Vs. Marketing Automation [Explained]
Email is an important component of any modern marketing strategy. But, email marketing on its own can only do so much. What it does, it does…fine. It’s limited, though.<br />Let me explain.If you wear glasses, you’llrecognize the situationI’m about to describe: You go to the eye doctor for the first time and get your glasses or contacts. You walk out...

Email is an important component of any modern marketing strategy. But, email marketing on its own can only do so much. What it does, it does…fine. It’s limited, though.

Let me explain.If you wear glasses, you’llrecognize the situationI’m about to describe: You go to the eye doctor for the first time and get your glasses or contacts. You walk out the door, and for the first time, you realize that the trees have leaves! (Or what yourmom’sfaceactually lookslike, orthat you have ten toes, not nine…whatever your experience, you know the feeling).

Trying to look at your members’ engagement using email marketing is like seeing the world without glasses. Put glasseson(AKAmarketing automation), and you can see the bark, the leaves, and the squirrel dropping acorns on your head. Truly, it’s a glorious sight.

Pro Tip: For maximum understanding of the differences, read on and be sure to watch our featured video.

The Ultimate Goal is Engagement

You most likely use email marketing to 1) communicate with your members, and 2) engage your members. Those are great goals.

While email marketing used to be thestandard, with advances in technology, it’s no longer the best or most efficient way to meet those goals.

Email marketing and the metrics that come with the platformare meant for “batchandblast” communications.You’re sending the same thing to the same people at the same time. In a sense, you’regazing out at the forest, but all you see is a group of blurry subscribers.Sure, you can personalize the emails by inserting their name, butthat’s about it.

Marketing automation, on the other hand, is a way to look comprehensively at your audience’sbehavior,from email to website to social media, and send them relevant content based on theirdemonstratedinterests.You’re seeing the leaves in all their detail and color.

Marketing Automation Gets RESULTS

In 2017,our clients’ email volume,sent through marketingautomation campaigns,increased 110 percentcomparedtothe previous year,soemail and marketing automationare closely aligned.

But here's where you see improvement:businesses who usemarketing automation to nurture prospects experience a451percentincreasein qualified leads.Andthere’s more where that came from:

  • The Florida Association of Insurance Agentsreported a201percentincreasein email engagementafter adopting marketing automation

Furthermore,87 percentof associations consider marketing automation an important component of their current strategy.


When you use marketing automation, you can hyper-segment your lists based on what subscribers are interested in – which shows great results in terms open and click rates.

Why Marketing Automation Wins

Because it’s harder than ever to get your members’ attention, you need to make sure you’re using the right tools for engagement. You need engagement tools that are responsive, reaching your audience at the time they’ll be most likely to open them.

1. Reach Your Audience with the Right Content

Email Marketing Creates Background Noise

Personalized experience is key to engagement. Although email marketing can track whether members clicked on certain links, it’s not going to build a profile for individuals or lead them into a new campaign based on their interests. You need insight into what your members want to read in order to send it to them. Otherwise, it’s like throwing a dart without your glasses on and hoping it hits the bulls-eye.

Marketing Automation Creates Relevancy

With marketing automation, you have the ability send relevant and personalized content, segment your audience, and deliver the content individual subscribers want and need. You’re not just popping their name into an email – you’re actually sending them content that they want to read. And how do you know that? Marketing automation is tracking their interests for you.

2. Take the Next Step

Email MarketingLeaves You Hanging

Email marketing can’t show you a full picture of what your members and prospects are doing/engaging-with. Sure, you know how many emails they opened and what they clicked on, but where did they go after that?

Marketing AutomationIsComprehensive

Marketing automation buildsnot only onemail interactions,butyou canalso see what pages members have visited on your website,ifand whenthey’ve shared/interacted/posted on your online community,and if you’ve integrated social media, you can see their interactions with you on there, as well.You’ll have the inside scoop into their web activity, as it relates to you, across platforms.

3. Understand Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing

Email Marketing Isn’t Quite Sure

I’m sure we can all agree that there are certain times we’re more likely to open our emails. But I’m sure we can’t agree on when that time is. That’s different for everyone, and it can depend on your schedule or type of work.With email marketing, yougenerally send your email marketing campaigns at once, unless you’re A/B testing. But your decisionsontimingare generally based onobservation, or research from other companies who study open times.

Marketing AutomationGives You Insights

That’s great if it’s all you have, but with marketing automation, you have a precise understanding for your particular audience for best send times, meaning that you’ll be sending them the right content whentheywant it.

4. Use Your Time and Effort Effectively

Email Marketing Makes YouDo the Heavy Lifting

When you’re putting together common campaigns like renewal, retention, event promotion, with an email marketing tool, it’s painstaking work. You have to check who has renewed already, who hasn’t. Who registered yet?Did you send a double email accidentally?And so on.It’s labor-heavy and you can’t provide as good customer service as you’d like.

Marketing Automation Works for You

With marketing automation, you can create multipleautomatedworkflowsat once. These campaigns canrepeat, andtalk to each other. For example, if you run an email membership renewal campaign, and the member renews, you can set it so that the member is taken out of the campaign instead of receiving “don’t forget to renew” emails that are no longer relevant. You can set up an annual renewal campaign that runs on its own, and then have it repeat every year, saving you time and money on that labor-intensive process.

5. Prioritize Your Outreach

Email MarketingDoesn’t Give YouGuidance

Let’s say a couple of nonmembers clicked on a link in your email about membership. You now know that both of them may be interested in membership. But you don’t know really anything more than that.

Marketing Automation Points You in the Right Direction

With marketing automation, you can use lead scoring to understand their levels of interest. Your software will rate certain actions by these email subscribers to show youhowinterested they actually are.

For example, if one subscriber clicked on the link about membership and then left the site completely, they’d get a few points from the software. If the other subscriber clicked the link about membership, went to another page on your site about the benefits of membership, then downloaded a brochure about your mentoring program, your software would rank them much higher.

The data fromboth of theseinteractions give you guidance on how to spend your time effectively, so you can pursue the person with higher interest.

Wonder No More About Lead Scoring

Marketing Automation Elevates Your Success

When you use marketing automation, you’re not giving up email marketing, you’re choosing a platform that incorporates email marketing and so much more. Your ROI is going to be much higher with marketing automation than email marketing because of what it can do.

By upgrading your email tool to a marketing automation platform, you'll be able to deliver more timely, relevant and personalized messages that align to your recipients' needs.

Does this make sense?Our video,Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation, gets deeper into the differences between these two platforms. Watch the video below.