From email marketing to marketing automation

From email marketing to marketing automation

9.9.2015 -

Email marketing is an effective marketing channel for many companies. If mass email marketing works reasonably well there’s usually little desire to make major changes – at least not all at once.

However, consumers are becoming more demanding than ever before. They want to receive more engaging content tailored specifically for them, useful communications (such as special offers) via the appropriate channels and, of course, at the right time. This is widely known and there has been much talk of marketing automation in recent years. The transition from email to personalized targeted advertising doesn’t happen overnight. It’s well worth assessing the situation soon rather than delaying the move for too long.

Is marketing automation only about scheduled emails?

Broadcast email is one of the frequently used activities in marketing automation. As a result many ask about the difference between marketing automation and email marketing. Is it possible to refine current email marketing to send targeted communications to different customer segments?

It is of course possible. In large businesses this is already being done and it allows them to experiment with data mining and extensive content production. This is good practice because processing customer data and producing even broader content are issues that arise in the transition to marketing automation.

But are your current email tools adequate? Many programs can be expanded. It’s also possible to build additional features into existing systems. It’s therefore crucial that any comparison of tools should mirror a company’s marketing and sales goals. There is no shortage of alternatives, with many solutions demanding major investments.

Other factors worth considering include available resources and the selection of marketing channels. Customer relationship life cycle is also an important concept. It’s essential to understand different customer groups and how the customer relationship changes over time. Companies must understand how a potential buyer becomes a new customer, who over time evolves to the level of a committed and loyal customer, until the customer account is once more in danger of slipping away. It’s essential to design appropriate and focused communications to influence customer behavior at each stage and to increase the number of loyal customers.

Marketing automation therefore isn’t only limited to email, but can also be used to combine digital marketing, social media campaigns, web analytics and CRM data.

Should companies then transition to marketing automation?

It’s recommended if the following apply:

Marketing automation promises to be a path to saving time and reaping outstanding results. One long-time marketer observed that conversions have improved, but the results required time and effort. Initially personalization may lead to results and profits consisting of many smaller streams. However, with time and effort those streams will become a flowing river.

The early stages of the project therefore require great patience and the desire to learn. However, concrete changes and improvements will soon become evident. It is safest to proceed slowly as long as the direction is right.

Lotta Koskela

Lotta Koskela

I’ve been in the field of digital marketing for over 12 years and had the opportunity to work with a number of strong brands. As a senior digital marketing consultant I help customers boost their online marketing programs and achieve results. It’s important to keep a clear head and keep your eye on the ball in the rapidly changing digital sector. Comprehensive development of the customer experience is a major challenge, but a very interesting one.

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