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How To Tell The Difference Between Marketing Automation and Email Marketing

If you’re confused about the difference between “email marketing” and “marketing automation”, you’re not alone. Even seasoned marketers may struggle to sift through the marketing speak to find the tool that provides real value. This jargon can make it seem like the lines between marketing automation and email marketing are blurred, when in reality, the distinction can be fairly simple.

Entire books have been written on the subject, so we’re going to stay high-level. Read on to learn three key lessons:

  • The simple way to tell the difference between marketing automation and email marketing
  • Why you might want to choose marketing automation instead of email marketing
  • Four ways you can better engage your audience with a marketing automation strategy

The Simple Way to Tell the Difference Between Marketing Automation and Email Marketing

Let’s start with the definitions:

  • Email marketing is a tool that helps send mass email, track replies and report on them.
  • Marketing automation is a solution that allows you to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

So email marketing is a part of marketing automation. Email marketing is a tool, while marketing automation is a comprehensive strategy. With email marketing, you only control email sending. With marketing automation, you can automate the process of interacting with prospects and customers through all channels, including email.

Why Choose Marketing Automation Over Email Marketing?

So why is it better to use a comprehensive strategy like marketing automation instead of just straightforward email marketing? For many people, using only email marketing is like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle with only a few of the pieces.

Do you:

  • Find your salespeople complaining about the quality of leads your marketing team is delivering?
  • Sell different products (or services) to different demographics?
  • Need an easier way to create and send targeted, multi-touch email campaigns?
  • Want to automate and customize communications based on customer behavior and titles?
  • Want to know which of your marketing campaigns are the most effective AND justify additional resources?

If you answered yes to any of those, email marketing alone won’t cut it for you. Let’s dive into a few key features that help justify marketing automation.

Four ways you can better engage your audience with a marketing automation strategy

Lead Segmentation
For businesses with multiple products or services, it’s a reasonable assumption that not all buyers need or want the same thing. A software provider for small businesses selling separate solutions for both accounting and human resources has different product lines to consider. Now, imagine that entire equation again with the understanding that multiple audiences might be interested in the this range of services.

These accounting or HR tools could be suitable for anything from law firms to restaurants, and while the functionality of the product might not change much, the messaging to each group would be quite distinct. With more products and more audiences in play, marketers need to differentiate these groups to determine first who they’re engaging with to help inform decisions around how to engage with them.

Personalization
With a better understanding of who prospects are and what matters to them, with the right automation tools, marketers can set up campaigns that recommend additional content they’re likely to care about to create a personalized experience for each client and prospect.

While email is one avenue through which this content could be delivered, one also has the option of better personalizing the on-page experience with visual or textual calls to action for each user. If a blog on a particular topic appeals to a reader, then perhaps they’d be interested in a downloadable e-book exploring
the topic in greater depth that would serve as a lead-capture device.

Customer Success:

In order to display content to where our prospects were in the buying cycle, we used Pardot’s dynamic content builder on the CollegePlus website. For example, the message and call to action in our bottom welcome bar changed based on what stage the prospect was in. It was easy to set up in Pardot and our marketing team saw an increase in conversion rates after implementation.
Allie Cappitelli | CollegePlus

List Creation & Workflow Management
As you gather more data on your prospects, you’ll likely use the information captured to create lists around these personas and better market to them individually.

These lists can be used for all sorts of highly targeted activity, ranging from identifying which customers have engaged in a past campaign on a particular topic, to targeting users by geographic area for local events. Once in a list, Pardot will allow you to create workflows, sequences, and drips to hyper-specific sections of your audience, ensuring they won’t be drowned in information and can focus on what’s most relevant to them.

Lead Scoring
With countless users engaging with the site in myriad ways, the potential for automation isn’t limited to creating unique promotions and laser-focused messaging, but helps bridge the gap between marketing and sales by helping folks tell you when they’re ready to buy.

In the hands of a savvy sales team, imagine the power of knowing the second a user who has been an avid reader of your blog and whitepapers decides to review the pricing page. Lead scoring systems assign points to a contact based on how they’ve engaged with you. As they continue to open emails, and visit pages of varying depth you can monitor their decision-making process and know it’s time to strike when they reach a particular threshold, rather than bombard them too soon or miss them too late.

This approach helped Pardot customer, Mediacurrent, increase their qualified leads by 129% YOY.

While marketing automation has a lot more value, it may seem daunting. The good news is that, at Pardot, our Customer Success Group is there for you at every corner. Even if you fully implement only one of the additional features that marketing automation offers, you’ll see a return on both time saved and new, high-quality leads. And isn’t that what every marketer wants?

Email Marketing – Pardot

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A Helpful Guide To Beginners In Social Media Marketing

To make yourself known, be somewhere where everybody can see you. One of the best ways to be “seen” today is on a social media site. These sites are popular and make a great addition to your marketing plan. These sites can easily make or break you. The following are some good social media marketing ideas to boost your chances of success.

Make creative and interesting titles. When headlines or titles draw readers in to the point that they want to read more, you are more likely to entice more people to where you want them to go.

Take the time to respond to the feedback from your customers. If you are interested in building a successful business, your customers have valuable information to share. The problem most companies have is that they are all ears and no response. When customers know you are responding to their needs via their feedback, they will want to continue doing business.

Use a variety of media to stimulate your potential customers when social media marketing. Having pictures, video, and games can increase the appeal of your page a great deal to those who make their way to it. Everyone has a different way they prefer to take in information, and using variety will allow you to reach them all.

Do not post irrelevant and trivial posts on your social media profiles. Always keep your posts professional and relevant. No one cares that you got a new cell phone, or that you are standing in line at the movies. These trivial posts should be reserved for your own personal profile, not your business profile.

Do not hesitate to request help when it comes to social media marketing. This sector has experienced a growth boom and it is not difficult to locate assistance from those more experienced than you in the field of social media strategies. This can be costly, but will be well worth the expense in the long run.

Post links to other blog posts and have bloggers feature your content on their website. This will work if you return the favor and if bloggers see your blog as a good way to get publicity. Make sure there is no conflict of interest between you and the blogger who is going to feature you.

Create a RSS feed for your updates and give your readers the opportunity to subscribe to it. This will allow them to see your posts when they log into their Google account or right on their computer desktop if they use an RSS widget. Depending on your target audience, you will get more or less success with an RSS feed.

You can have your Twitter posts appear on your Facebook wall as well. Perhaps writing different posts might be best since your audience on Twitter might slightly differ from your Facebook friends, and Twitter is about writing extremely short posts. However, this allows you to update both websites very easily.

While having various ads on social media sites, you should definitely have a few special deals for your business. This will give your potential buyers incentive to click on your ad. By having specials on your ads, and only on these ads, the customers feel slightly more obligated to go there and see what your business has to offer.

If you’re familiar with all the various kinds of ads on most social media sites, they usually have eye catching images. It is smart to use intriguing pictures, because potential buyers will be lured in by what they see in your ads. After the advertisement has grabbed their attention, they will be more inclined to visit your site for more information.

To help you make the most of your social media marketing campaign, ensure your always posting fresh and exciting content. Social media users check their profiles very regularly and will have an appetite for new content if it is intriguing and relevant to them. By captivating these potential customers, you can increase your sales tremendously.

When looking into building a Facebook page for your company, research how similar companies are using their pages on the social network. Take note of what you think they’re doing right, and avoid the things you think they’re doing wrong. Design your page to be as unique as possible while, at the same time, appealing to a wide audience.

If you utilize social media websites in order to promote your business, you should refrain from submitting new content more than two or three times per day. Customers start to get annoyed if they get constant company updates throughout the day. Post no more than three snippets of information that you want your customers to know, and do not post anything else for the rest of the day.

Fill out as much information as you can about your company on your Facebook page. Don’t make it feel impersonal; put that little extra effort and write a small bio and upload a company logo and pictures from your company that pertain to meetings, parties, promotions etc. Help future customers understand what your company is all about so that it doesn’t seem to be just a logo on the web.

Twitter is a great way to market your company on the world wide web. However, make sure that you don’t just throw out information without saying “please” and “thank you”. Manners are very important so customers don’t feel that you are being pushy or disrespectful. Be polite when talking about your company and giving out information.

Blogging is a great example of social media marketing. Make sure that you take advantage of owning a blog to market your products and services to consumers. Post regularly on your blog so you can get exciting information out to the world, but also to remind people that you exist and so does your blog. People tend to forget about blogs that aren’t often updated as they lose interest and move on.

When you use these tips to advertise on social media, you’ll quickly realize how effective they are for drumming up new business and keeping existing customers happy. If you are a social media novice, it will not take long for you to see the value in these ideas, as social media websites stand among the most useful methods of generating awareness among new potential customers. They can also strengthen your bond with existing ones.