Almost every business uses email marketing to build and maintain relationships with prospects and customers. If you’re already using email marketing to reach out to a targeted audience and sustain a connection with the people who are most likely to buy your products or services, it may be time to take it to the next level. Marketing automation software tracks visitor activity throughout your domain so that you can encourage prospects to continue down your sales funnel.
Email marketing software
Email marketing software is relatively straightforward. You can use it to send marketing content to users who have signed up for newsletters, courses or promotions. With email marketing software, you can amass customer information in different lists, using each list to send out emails that are targeted to that specific market.
For example, you may offer a free e-course in exchange for email information. Everyone who signs up for the e-course receives a link to the program modules, of course. However, you can continue to manually email that segment to follow up after they have completed the course. Perhaps you offer a paid extension of the course that they would like to buy, or maybe you’ll ask them to complete a survey to help you tailor your products and services to their needs.
An email marketing program also lets you track opens and clicks from the emails. You can see the number of recipients who have opened the email. You can also monitor which links within the email garnered the most attention.
Marketing automation software
Although a marketing automation program also sends targeted emails to your customers and prospects, it can track all of your visitors’ interactions with your company, sending them automated marketing campaigns accordingly. You can send mass emails to your leads based on the funnel through which you received them.
With a marketing automation tool, you can create a chain of emails that are automatically delivered after someone clicks on a trigger on your website. If prospects sign up for your e-course, they may receive emails for the next year. You don’t have to do anything other than set up the chain of events. In addition, a marketing automation solution lets you track how often your leads return to your website, what pages they view while they’re visiting and what links they click on.
If you have customer relationship management software, or CRM, you can integrate it with your marketing automation software. This allows you to pull segmented leads into your marketing automation tool from that platform. You can also send valid leads back to your sales team to secure the deal.
Email marketing vs. marketing automation
Selecting between email marketing or marketing automation software can be daunting and confusing, but don’t let it be.
If you have a small, one-dimensional business, you may not need a tool with multifunctional capability. A massage therapist may send out an email once a week with advice about how to stay calm and focused during a stressful day. Twice a month, the massage therapist may send out a coupon or promotional offer. This can be taken care of through an email marketing system.
An online retailer that offers beachwear and accessories for women and children may want to segment the group of prospects based on demographics and preferences, however. For example, a visitor in her 20s who is looking for a swimsuit to wear on spring break won’t necessarily be interested in content pertaining to moms who want to find rashguards for their kids. Research shows that email campaigns that include targeted, relevant information increase conversions compared with blanket promotional emails.
Emailmonday reports that approximately half of companies are using marketing automation. If your company manages multiple sales funnels and leads with different browsing and buying styles, you may prefer to use a marketing automation tool. If you expect to expand your customer base or product line down the road, getting used to using a marketing automation solution now will make scaling your marketing efforts streamlined and simple. Email marketing can take time, especially when prospects come back to your website multiple times before they buy. Keeping them engaged with a marketing automation tool can help you secure those leads and turn them into loyal clients.