What is the difference between email marketing and marketing automation?

And if your enterprise is engaged in conventional email marketing, do you need to consider moving to marketing automation to improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy?

Well, there are significant differences between email marketing and marketing automation systems. For example, a conventional email system will allow you to send mass email blasts and track open/click rates. It is as simple as that, and open and click rate data will tell you something about the recipient group, but not much.

And because traditional email campaigns are without any sophistication in terms of analytics or tracking, all segmentation of the data based on previous recipient activity has to be done manually, which can be time consuming and open to error.

Flying blind

If your recipients have been targeted from a commercially available email list then they are just recipients and never really potential customers, as you are very unlikely to learn anything else about them – other than they did or didn’t open your email.

This means that when your sales teams start making follow-up calls after an email blast, they are doing this completely blind and are probably calling people who are not yet ready to buy from them.

So what else can marketing automation bring to the party?

With marketing automation you send not one, but a series of emails each designed to offer the recipient further steps into the sales journey, and these steps are part of what is known as an MA programme or campaign.

The multiple email process within these programmes or campaigns is called nurturing. This nurturing process involves sending recipients a series of emails which offer them the opportunity to learn more about the products or services on offer by performing a specific next-step action.

Measuring recipient engagement


Learning about the products and services will include a highly structured and carefully guided journey through a series of steps, covering everything from downloading ‘assets’ such as white papers, or viewing videos to claiming a specific, related incentive.

Each one of these steps in the journey – and they will exist in multiple forms in each programme – will be scored against a matrix of recipient engagement quotients benchmarked against the offer, which will indicate the recipient’s level of interest.

This enhanced level of interest and engagement is measured and tracked across all channels within each programme – not just email – which gives a much clearer picture of recipient motivations and means we can score them more accurately and therefore target them more effectively.

This scoring process, and the analytics systems that drive it, are designed to ensure your email activities become much more strategic. This process will allow you to hand on accurately targeted high-scoring MA recipients to your sales colleagues as marketing qualified leads, knowing these recipients are warm and getting ready to buy from you.


For more blogs by the Novacom team, please visit the Novacom website: http://www.novacomcorporation.com/blog


Photography: Man versus Machine – Biology versus Technology by Sebastiaan ter Burg. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Secondary photography: \/ by Thomas Leuthard. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0