Email marketing is an easy, steady way to keep in touch with prospects and develop strong relationships with customers. It’s been a highly effective tool for every type of business, big or small, for many years up until now. However, there’s a new type of tool in town and it’s called marketing automation, which has many wondering…what exactly is the difference between a regular ‘ole email service and marketing automation? And how do you know if your company is ready to make the switch?

Before making any decisions, it’s important to note a couple of differences. While both accomplish the same goal: to keep in touch with prospects and customers, email service providers will provide you with the ability to send mass eblasts and track open rates. If you see your company growing, marketing automation might make more sense, where you will be able to set multi-step email campaigns, auto-trigger emails, score leads, view in-depth analytics, and overall keep your emails more strategic and targeted.

Here are some challenges that a growing business may come across with the limitations of an email service provider (ESP). Manual Email Campaigns = Time Consuming Emails

Emails have a reputation for being highly time consuming. There’s a lot of manual labor involved in crafting and drafting the perfect email and making sure it gets sent to the right lists at the right time. With marketing automation, you’re able to create emails ahead of time and connect them together to create mult-state email campaigns that trigger at certain times throughout the customer buying cycle.

Lead Scoring for Sales Teams

One feature to note about marketing automation that is not offered with an ESP is lead scoring. Marketing automation platforms come with lead scoring functionality that automatically ranks a lead based on the email campaigns and/or web pages he or she has visited or engaged in about your business; the higher the lead score, the more likely that lead will become a customer. This helps sales reps, this makes their job easier by focusing their energy on leads that are actually ready to buy.

Keep Track of Customer Engagement

It can be hard to create an email campaign you know will be engaging for every single person on your email list – it’s actually nearly impossible! Sending an email campaign once or twice a month and not having any idea where each customer stands in the buying cycle can prevent you from seeing success with your campaigns. Marketing automation allows you to be more strategic with what you send and whom you send it to. You have the ability to segment your database of customers by lead score and make sure the right message gets sent to the right type of lead to keep them engaged through each step of the buying cycle.

See Your ROI

Every business wants to be able to see their marketing efforts contribute to their bottom line. It’s also important for companies and organizations to be able to see where they can improve their strategy and tactics. If you are only relying on email service programs to track your success, you may have a difficult time. Marketing automation gives you the functionality to track efforts and provides you with in-depth analytics of what website page a customer is visiting, what links they’re clicking on, and what emails they’re opening. This provides you with more detailed customer insights to approach the customer in the right way. Plus, marketing automation programs sync up with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep your customer database organized.

Is Your Company Ready for Marketing Automation?

So the question remains, is your business or organization ready for marketing automation? Take a look at these guidelines to see if marketing automation is right for you:

  • If your marketing team or department simply doesn’t have the time or resources to manually create several different email campaigns every month.
  • You sell different types or products or services that cater to different demographics.
  • You do not have one type of customer you target to.
  • Email marketing is not the only way you are driving sales.
  • You want to know how effective your marketing campaigns are and where you can improve.
  • Your sales teams are getting frustrated with interacting with “dead end” customers who are not ready to buy.
  • You are interested in sending different messages to different audiences.
  • You’re not sure if you should spend more money or less money towards your marketing efforts.

Marketing Automation Services

Make marketing automation work for you and your sales and marketing team. Begin capturing more qualified leads and nurturing current customer relationships for your company. Small Screen Producer is partnered with Sharp Spring to provide our clients with easy marketing automation and real results!