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Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: Which One Should You Choose?

BySneha Chatterjee

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Whether you've been thinking to level up your email marketing game by integrating marketing automations with it, or are just unsure which one is the right choice for your business, you're in the right place.

The answer isn't simple. It totally depends on various factors, such as your marketing goals, the scale of your business, the purpose, or the nature of your upcoming campaigns. Everything needs to be taken into consideration before choosing one. So to help you with that, let's weigh in the two options individually.

Table of Contents

What is email marketing and when should you choose it?

Email marketing involves sending targeted emails to your customers and potential target group to promote products and services or maintain customer relationships.

It is a must-do for any business or entrepreneur, no matter the scale or the size of the subscriber base. But in general, it is best suited for smaller businesses, maybe early-stage start-ups, or solo entrepreneurs.

So when should you choose email marketing? There are multiple use cases where you should decide on email marketing. These include:

Building and nurturing customer relationships

Email marketing excels at building and nurturing relationships with your audience. It allows you to communicate directly with your subscribers, providing them with valuable content. For instance, if you run a blog, sending regular newsletters with your latest articles can keep your audience engaged and informed. It is also a great reminder that you are there.

Discounts and offers

Running a limited-time offer? Email marketing is perfect for delivering these messages straight to your customers' inboxes. You can create visually appealing emails with enticing calls to action that drive sales and conversions.

Targeted campaigns

Another use case of email marketing is that it allows you to segment your email list based on various criteria like demographics, behavior, or purchase history. This segmentation enables you to send highly targeted and personalized emails, increasing the chances of engagement and conversions.

Event invitations

When organizing an event or webinar, email marketing is an effective way to send out invitations, reminders, and post-event follow-ups. It helps you manage the entire event communication cycle efficiently.

Product updates and announcements

Keeping your customers informed about new products, features, or company news is crucial. Email Marketing provides a direct channel to announce updates and ensure your audience stays in the loop.

Now, let’s tread the broader, more complex realm of marketing automation best suited for advanced-stage scenarios. What do we mean by that, let’s check it out.

What is marketing automation and when should you choose it?

Assuming you have a scalable business with a decent subscriber base; a mid-size e-commerce firm with multiple SKUs. For you to keep shooting e-mails manually, every two weeks or so, would not suffice. Instead, you would need a more sophisticated system that does the job for you; right from the promotion stage to after-sale acknowledgments.

This is where marketing automation comes in handy. It can help automate all your repetitive marketing tasks, personalize customer journeys, and track and analyze your user behavior, all from a software dashboard.

Common scenarios when you can use marketing automation include:

Lead nurturing

Exceptionally well-suited for lead nurturing, marketing automation allows you to create automated workflows that deliver content to leads (potential customers) at the right time based on their actions and behavior. For instance, assume you are a publishing firm and a website visitor downloads an eBook from your website. This opens up a window of opportunity for you to set up a series of automated emails that offer additional value and eventually nudge the person toward making a purchase decision.

Behavior-triggered emails

Have you ever received an e-mail notification from Amazon that you have an item in your shopping cart or mail offering you alternatives to the product you were about to buy but for some reason you didn’t? That’s a triggered email to lure you back into continuing shopping.

Likewise, you too can send emails triggered by specific actions or behaviors of the customers. Let’s say, visitors have abandoned their shopping carts or left your website. In such cases, marketing automation can really help re-engage users with follow-up emails and recover potentially lost sales.

Scalability

As we mentioned earlier, for businesses looking to scale their marketing efforts across multiple channels, marketing automation can be a game-changer. Now you can handle a large volume of leads and customers without choking your bandwidth. With marketing automation, the manual effort goes down substantially, freeing up space to focus on other essential aspects of the campaign.

Lead scoring and segmentation

How do you know whether your email campaign was a hit or a miss? It’s simple, the amount of quality leads it generates. This is exactly what marketing automation can help you with. It enables you to assign scores to your newly generated leads based on their interactions with your brand. This scoring system can help you identify and prioritize high-value leads for more targeted marketing efforts, saving you money and time.

Still unsure which one’s for you?

Which one's right for you, depends on various factors which needs to be taken into consideration before you narrow down to one or the other.

If you're a business just starting out with your marketing efforts, integrating both can be daunting. And most probably, you don't even need both. You should start small with email marketing.

If you're an established business with a team ready to handle both together, and you need to get a bigger picture to understand customer behavior, it'll be better for you to integrate both together. Combining email marketing and marketing automation will allow you to nurture leads effectively, and improve customer retention— contributing to your business's growth and success.

In an ideal scenario you'll be using both. So let's take a look at how they complement each other.

1. Automated email sequences

By combining the two, you can create automated email sequences that start with a triggered action (marketing automation) and follow up with a series of personalized and engaging emails (email marketing). This can significantly improve your lead nurturing and conversion rates.

2. Targeted content delivery

While marketing automation enables you to segment your audience effectively, you can use this segmentation to send highly targeted email marketing campaigns. For example, you can send different offers to first-time customers and different ones to loyal repeat buyers. This way you keep all your customer engaged while acknowledging their presence. It goes a long way in creating a loyal customer base.

3. Improved customer retention

Who does not like being acknowledged and valued? Well, customers surely do. And this is what you can achieve by the terrific combination of email and marketing automation.

By automating certain customer retention strategies, you can keep your existing customers engaged and satisfied. You can either do this by setting up automated emails to request feedback, offer loyalty rewards, or provide helpful tips and tutorials. Anything works, as long as you make them feel valued!

4. Enhanced data analytics

Marketing automation tools such as Mailmodo come with robust analytics capabilities. Thus, integrating email marketing with marketing automation can help you gain deeper insights into your email campaigns' performance and make more data-driven decisions and improvements.

Takeaway

In a nutshell, we don't suggest you to limit yourself to what others are doing. Find what works best for you. Start small with email marketing. Choose a tool like Mailmodo which has all the features you'd need to run a successful email marketing campaign. And then embrace the power of synergy by combining email marketing and marketing automation to supercharge your marketing efforts when you're ready.

Mailmodo offers integrations with popular marketing automation tools like Hubspot and many more, to make your journey smooth whenever you decide to switch and use both.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.

  2. Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Get started for free.

  3. Check out our AI prompts library. If you need AI prompts for ChatGPT or Bing, here's a ready-made database we’ve built to help marketers succeed at prompt engineering. Get your AI prompts here.

  4. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Email marketing involves sending targeted emails to your customers and potential target group to promote products and services or maintain customer relationships.

Marketing automation helps automate all your repetitive marketing tasks, personalize customer journeys, and track and helps you analyze your user behavior, all from a software dashboard.

If you're a business just starting out with your marketing efforts, integrating both can be daunting. You should start small with email marketing.

If you're an established business with a team ready to handle both together, and you need to get a bigger picture to understand customer behavior, it'll be better for you to integrate both email marketing and marketing automations together.

What should you do next?

Thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

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Get smarter with our email resources

Explore our email marketing guides, ebooks and other resources to master email marketing.

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Do better email marketing with Mailmodo

Send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, etc. to boost email ROI.

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Talk to an email expert

Get a 30-min. free email consultation with a Mailmodo expert to optimize your email marketing.

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