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  • Derrick Wong

Email Marketing Vs. Marketing Automation: A Complete Comparison 2020


Business owners are often confused when we talk about email marketing and marketing automation. These two terms are often used as an extension of one another but the distinction between them is quite important to understand.

Having clarity over email marketing and marketing automation will help you plan well and decide what online marketing strategies suit best for your cause. In this post, therefore, we talk about both these well-used marketing terms and provide an in-depth and insightful analysis of how they are different from one another. Let’s get started!

What is Email Marketing?

An email is one of the most primal forms of digital communication that is relevant even today. It is a primary channel to engage with your audience and can be coupled with tracking technologies to understand the recipient’s actions and further optimize the email marketing campaign. Email marketing is a small part of marketing automation since the processes involved in the effective execution of the strategy can be automated.

When Do You Need Email Marketing?

Email marketing can be done using email blasts, newsletters, seasonal promotions, win-back campaigns, and other types of campaigns. Most online marketing campaigns use email marketing in some form to get better connected with the target audience.

Although it is not one of the most effective digital marketing strategies, email marketing can help businesses stay in touch with their customers. Email marketing can help businesses that require to set up a simple sales cycle involving touchpoints before converting a potential customer. It is also a great strategy if you are in a limited supply of resources and strategies and you want to ensure a personalized customer experience.

Email marketing is definitely one of the least expensive marketing strategies businesses have access to. The software and platforms to create and execute email marketing strategies are also inexpensive. However, you get great results when you execute your email marketing campaign through marketing automation software. Let’s understand what marketing automation is all about.


What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is what businesses use to back their marketing strategies with data. Marketing automation software allows marketers and business owners to monitor the digital interactions and behavior of the target audience. The software collects the data and complete history of the marketing campaign, providing you a 360-degree coverage of everything associated with your digital presence.

Although email marketing is an outbound marketing strategy, marketing automation can be used for all kinds of marketing strategies - inbound or outbound. The idea is to create, execute, and improve marketing campaigns using marketing automation software. You can create landing pages, blog posts, social media marketing campaigns, optimize everything for search engines, and integrate all the campaigns to get collective data and results.

When Do You Need Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is necessary to run an efficient marketing campaign. You will need marketing automation on some level in your marketing program if you intend to run a high-quality and well-organized online marketing campaign.

It is perfectly fine to use marketing automation if you have a brand that needs a longer sales cycle. Having marketing automation on your side will ensure the required level of sophistication when it comes to tracking data. It is also necessary if you have to distribute content to different segments of an audience or have to cater to different personas.

Most importantly, marketing automation software can be used by a brand having multiple products. This becomes necessary if all the products being offered serve as an integrated solution to the audience’s challenges. Also, marketing automation will reduce the need for human resources and significantly reduce the cost of running an online marketing campaign.

Major Differences Between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

Now that you know the basic differences between email marketing and marketing automation, it’s time we dig deeper and find out other major differences between the two. Let’s get started!


1. Campaign Tracking

Campaign tracking and data collection are an important part of any online marketing program since you want to keep optimizing it for better results. While email marketing is concerned only with sending and receiving the message to and from the recipients, marketing automation will also track the recipient’s behavior within the email campaign.


2. Messaging

When distinguishing between the two, we are talking about the single path and adaptive messaging as well. Email marketing is not sophisticated but does take a lot of time and effort to create emails, segment the email list, and run post-delivery analytics. Marketing automation, on the other hand, does require a similar amount of effort only to get more results and data to work with. The adaptive and customer-centered messaging allows you to have follow-up communication as well.


3. Lead Scoring

While email marketing only works with the information you provide, marketing automation does everything you’ll need. It collects data, scores the leads based on intent and other behavioral characteristics of the audience you are working with. This intelligent scoring will often lead you to have better communication with the recipient.


4. Revenue Management

Email marketing involves revenue assumption since you will have to check your CRM to know if a lead is ready to convert. But, as we mentioned before, it is just an assumption based on whether or not a recipient has opened the email. Marketing automation, on the other hand, tracks the complete journey of the recipient and gives you information about the actions taken, allowing you to rely on data while making any assumption.


Wrapping Up

There you have it. Now that you know the differences between email marketing and marketing automation, you are in a better position to make a decision for your upcoming marketing campaign. Are you still looking for help to set up a marketing campaign? We know it can get quite confusing at times. Connect with us today!