This sponsored post is produced by Marketo.
So, email marketing has been your steady go-to in order to communicate with prospects and maintain great relationships with current customers. It’s worked well enough till now. But what’s the difference between regular email marketing and marketing automation? And how do you know if your company is ready to make the switch? These are questions that get asked all of time by both small and large businesses. At some point, you may be ready to graduate from email marketing to marketing automation — and it’s important to understand the differences to make that important decision.
There are a lot of differences between an email marketing program and a marketing automation platform. An Email Service Provider will provide you the functionality to send mass blasts and track open rates. What’s important to consider is its scalability. If you company is growing — or you want it to grow — it may make sense to consider moving to marketing automation, which provides access to powerful features like multi-step campaigns, lead scoring, and analytics, all of which can make your email tactics much more strategic. If you are just relying on email marketing, you may be coming up against a few barriers, especially as you grow. Here are some challenges you might be facing with email marketing alone:
Email marketing is time consuming
There is usually limited functionality within an Email Service Provider to do any automation or fine tuning of your campaigns — you have to do a lot of manual work to make sure that your email blasts are hitting the right targets at the right time. With marketing automation, you can start to take out the manual work of crafting individual emails. This, in turn, lets you focus on creating multi-stage, automated campaigns to nurture your leads.
Your sales teams don’t know what leads to follow up with
Email marketing by itself does not have the functionality to deliver leads to your sales teams. After a blast, you’re tracking click through and open rate, and when your sales teams begin doing call downs after email blasts, they may not be getting desired results because those leads may not be ready to buy. For a sales rep, there is no bigger waste of time than chasing down a lead that isn’t ready to purchase or who isn’t even qualified. With marketing automation, you can often make sure that sales are only following up with leads who are ready to buy. Additionally marketing automation platforms can score your leads based on how they engage with campaigns or content. You can also score based on demographic or lead characteristics.
You are unable to keep leads engaged through your communications
You may have a huge database of leads, find yourself unable to leverage them and feel like you are having trouble keeping them engaged. You send out a couple of blasts per month, but you have no idea where they are in the buying cycle or if your content is really resonating. Because it takes so much time to create an email blast, how can you be strategic about your database sends? Marketing automation can help you employ lead nurturing, which allows you to segment out your database and lead them through your funnel by creating automated campaigns that will keep your leads engaged.
You are having trouble scaling
Relying on basic email marketing is very hard to scale if you are a growing company. The more leads you have in your database, or the more campaigns you want to run, the more time-consuming it becomes to create mass blasts. Marketing automation is a solution that can grow as your company grows. You can run multiple campaigns, create lead nurturing programs, score your leads, and attribute revenue directly to each marketing program.
You can’t attribute revenue to your email marketing efforts
You want to be able to show your executives how marketing contributes to the bottom line. You also want to know how you can improve your strategy and tactics each time you create a campaign. If you are just relying on email marketing, you are likely having a difficult time tying your programs to revenue. Marketing automation gives you functionality that tracks your efforts and provides you with in-depth analytics for each campaign. You can also sync up your marketing automation system to your CRM to provide even more detailed metrics.
Is marketing automation right for your organization?
If you are still unsure whether it is time to graduate from your Email Service Provider, take a look at your organization and marketing practices. Here are some good guidelines.
You should consider marketing automation if:
- Your customer buying process lasts longer than a week
- Sending emails alone does not seem to drive sales
- Your marketing team needs an easier way to create and send targeted, multi-touch email campaigns
- Your marketing department does not have enough time to do everything they need to do with their current resources
- You sell different products or services to different demographics
- You want to send different messages to different titles and industries
- Your sales people are complaining about the quality of leads your marketing team is delivering
- You want to know which of your marketing campaigns are the most effective
- You can’t tell if you should be spending more or less money on marketing
Still not sure? Check out this whitepaper Graduating from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation for more insight.
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