What Is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation enables marketers to go beyond scheduling one-off emails in email service providers (ESPs) and perform personalized outbound marketing at scale. Marketers can more easily implement targeted drip and nurture campaigns that are automatically triggered and launched whenever a lead or current customer completes an action or meets predetermined criteria.

Unlike ESPs, email marketing automation platforms equip marketers with the tools they need to meet customers wherever they’re at in the customer journey.

Segmentation features allow your team to group customers based on characteristics such as their industry, interests, and stage in the sales funnel in order to deliver targeted content that drives engagement and conversions.

What Are the Benefits of Implementing Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation empowers marketing teams to improve their outbound marketing while conserving time and resources that can be better put to use to enhance their digital marketing strategy across the board. In addition to providing teams with the time and flexibility to focus their efforts where they matter most, email marketing automation empowers you to:

Perform email marketing at scale

Email marketing automation enables marketers to eliminate much of the manual labor usually involved in setting up and launching emails through an ESP. Features such as segmentation and lead scoring allow you to automatically group customers as they progress through the customer journey and place them in targeted email nurture campaigns that will prepare them to speak with a member of your sales team.

Improve inbox placement and conversions

Delivering the right message at the right time allows marketers to drive results by improving their chances of landing their emails in the inbox and motivating recipients to engage. The right email marketing automation vendor can work with you to troubleshoot any email deliverability issues keeping you from landing your messages in the inbox in the first place.

Deliver the right message at the right time

Email marketing automation features such as behavior-triggered emails allow you to deliver relevant content as your customers move from one phase of the customer journey to the next. (If you are an Act-On customer, features such as Adaptive Sending improve your ability to engage customers at the most optimal time based on historical engagement data.)

Gain access to important insights

With email marketing automation, marketers can better track engagement to improve their efforts over time. A/B testing functionality allows you to analyze which subject lines, content, and calls to action (CTAs) resonate with your customers and inspire them to click, open, and read your messages.

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Who Uses Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation benefits marketers who work across a variety of industries at companies of all shapes and sizes. One of the biggest advantages of marketing automation is how it enables small marketing teams to do more with less, but it will have a significant impact at any organization — mom ‘n pop or Fortune 500.

In fact, marketing automation allows organizations with wider audiences and larger contact lists to better segment, target, and nurture customers to drive conversions and improve ROI. Marketing automation also empowers businesses of any size to streamline collaboration and communication between marketing and sales departments — and across the entire organization.

What Differentiates Marketing Automation Platforms From ESPs?

Another major advantage of email marketing automation platforms is that they empower marketing teams to do far more than just send batch-and-blast emails and provides them with the tools and resources they need to improve every aspect of their marketing strategy. Companies that upgrade from an ESP to an email marketing automation platform can expect to benefit from:

01

Improved Reporting

Companies who invest in marketing automation gain access to thorough reports with insights that help them enhance their email and digital marketing efforts and empower their sales team to have more impactful conversations.

02

CRM Integration

Marketing teams leveraging email marketing automation can expect to see improved marketing and sales alignment when they choose a platform that integrates with their CRM. Through capabilities such as lead scoring and website visitor tracking, sales professionals have the information they need to target the best prospects and have impactful conversations to convert them into customers.

03

Segmentation Capabilities

Automatic segmentation enables marketers to deliver a personalized email experience without the labor typically involved in manually exporting, analyzing, segmenting, and importing lists. Marketers can set up segmentation rules based on actions and characteristics that indicate to their platform when it’s time for a contact to be placed in a new customer segment — ensuring their prospects are always receiving communication appropriate to their industry, interests, and stage in the sales funnel.

04

More Time and Resources:

Email marketing automation is designed to reduce the time and effort involved in creating one-off emails. Instead, marketers can create behavior-triggered emails and campaigns that are automatically launched whenever a customer completes a form, registers for an event, or meets certain criteria.

How Does Email Marketing Automation Fuel Demand Generation and Improve Your Lead Nurturing Efforts?

Email marketing goes beyond getting your emails opened, delivered, and read. It’s a results-driven marketing channel with unlimited possibilities. When done right, email marketing can help you attract, nurture, and convert prospects into loyal customers and improve retention rates as well. 

The right email marketing automation platform can fuel your demand and lead nurturing efforts by: 

  • Enabling you to set up nurture campaigns to target customers across a variety of industries and interests
  • Equipping you with features, such as adaptive forms, that help you collect important user insights 
  • Integrating with your CRM, which allows you to create rules and criteria to automatically enter contacts into relevant drip campaigns and provide your marketing and sales teams more visibility into the entire customer journey 
  • Streamlining the sales cycle by improving your ability to efficiently guide customers through the buyer journey

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What Do You Need to Successfully Implement Email Marketing Automation?

Many marketers believe that investing in a new email marketing automation platform is all they need to turn around their marketing efforts and see results. Unfortunately, many fail to realize they lack the expertise to properly implement their new solution and that it may not have all the features they need to achieve their goals.

To successfully implement an email marketing automation platform, marketers should search for a solution that integrates well and allows them to fully leverage their MarTech stack. They should also consider ease of use and whether they have the resources and people in place to make the most out of their investment.

In addition to making sure that the technical side of things work, marketers should have a plan of how they plan to leverage their email marketing automation platform so they can hit the ground running and produce results sooner rather than later. They need to develop a marketing strategy that takes into account a variety of customer journeys, segments, etc. Since lack of expertise, resources, and strategy often keep companies from maximizing their investment, marketers should search for a vendor that provides them with the support and resources they need to refine their strategy, implement their platform, and leverage all of its capabilities to the max.

Companies that require extra assistance in identifying factors that have damaged their email reputation and establishing a strategy for long-term email marketing can benefit from working with expert deliverability consultants. The right email marketing automation vendor should have a team of experts who can offer assistance and work with you to develop a tailored plan that will help you fix a damaged email reputation and maintain a good email reputation while working toward achieving your marketing goals.

What Features Should I Look for in an Email Marketing Automation Platform?

Some marketers researching email marketing automation platforms assume they’re all created equal, but that’s not the case. Not only will choosing the wrong email marketing automation platform prevent you from achieving your marketing goals, but it will also drain significant resources with zero benefit — especially if you decide to go back to the drawing board and replace your initial vendor.

When evaluating email marketing automation platforms, you should consider whether it has the following features and capabilities:

A/B testing and reporting

Does the email marketing automation platform give you the tools you need to test, evaluate, and enhance your email marketing efforts?

Easy email creation and templates to help you get started

The look and content of your emails are extremely important to your success. The right marketing automation vendor should enable you to easily build eye-catching emails that inspire your recipients to keep scrolling, reading, click-through, and convert.

Seamless MarTech integration

Your email marketing automation platform should help you improve your marketing across the board, which means it should integrate well with your CRM, CMS, and any other tools you are currently using to execute your marketing efforts. Doing so will help you easily execute your marketing strategy and prevent any headaches involved in having to manually perform tasks due to poor integration.

Ease of use

The right marketing automation platform should free up time and resources for your marketing team. That means it should be easy enough for you to implement and use on your own without the help of an outside developer.

Tools to help you stay compliant

Every industry has to deal with its own rules and regulations and the right email marketing automation solution should have tools, such as forms and templates, to help you remain in compliance with new and existing compliance legislation.

Customer support

The right email marketing automation vendor should have the people and resources to help you make the most out of your investment. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your new email marketing automation vendor gives you access to the customer support, consulting services, and strategic guidance you need to maximize your investment and align your platform with your marketing strategy.

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What Is Adaptive Sending? How Can It Help Me Improve My Email Marketing Efforts?

Adaptive Sending is a feature unique to Act-On that uses machine learning to determine the best time to send your email messages to each individual based on previous behavior data — improving your chances of having your emails delivered, opened, and read. In a world where your ability to deliver targeted and relevant messaging is so crucial to your success, Adaptive Sending helps you stand out from the competition by adding another level of personalization to your marketing efforts.

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