The Differences between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

The Differences between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

You’ve probably come across email marketing platforms and marketing automation platforms while researching various marketing tools and platforms. Both of these solutions typically include email marketing and marketing automation capabilities, making it difficult to determine their relative merits and whether you actually need them. We’re going to look at the differences between email marketing and marketing automation in this post, as well as how to choose between the two.

What is Email Marketing?

To begin, let’s look at email marketing platforms. Email marketing platforms enable you to amass a list of email subscribers and communicate with them on a regular basis. The following are two examples of typical email messages sent via email marketing platforms.

Autoresponders – Automated emails sent to subscribers of a particular email list.

Standard Campaigns – One-time emails sent to a subset of your email list or to a specific segment of your email list.

Standard campaigns can range from simple text-based emails to elaborate HTML newsletters. They enable you to communicate valuable information, news, and promotions to your audience via email.

What is Marketing Automation?

Platforms for marketing automation enable you to automate specific aspects of your marketing. This is accomplished through the use of triggers and email campaigns. The following are examples of marketing automation.

Shopping cart abandonment emails. When someone who has a registered account on your website or is a subscriber to your email list does not complete the standard checkout process, an email is sent to remind them to complete their purchase. Certain email marketing platforms can also perform this function.

Onboarding emails. When someone signs up for a free trial of a platform, a series of emails is sent to help that person become acquainted with the platform and become eager to upgrade to a paid subscription once the trial period expires. This can also be accomplished using traditional email marketing platforms by adding free trial users to a new email list and configuring a specific autoresponder series.

Follow-up emails. When someone visits a particular page on your website and is a member of your customer database or email list, an email is sent to follow up on the content they consumed. Certain email marketing platforms can also perform this function.

Click automation. When a recipient clicks a link within an email campaign you’ve sent, it triggers an email or series of emails you’ve created in response to the link the recipient clicked. Certain email marketing platforms can also perform this function.

Marketing automation has hundreds of applications, and depending on your platform, they extend beyond sending emails in response to a specific trigger. For instance, some platforms enable you to segment or tag users automatically based on their visits to specific pages on your website, clicks on specific links in your email, or other actions. This enables you to segment your email list and send future emails to the appropriate recipients.

Who Needs Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

While marketing automation is incredible, creating marketing automation systems can be challenging. This is primarily due to the fact that you must define your triggers and create a substantial amount of messaging from the start.

Most small businesses that want to send email messages to their subscribers and customers will begin with traditional email marketing platforms such as Aweber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Constant Contact. Along with being simpler to set up and use, they are significantly less expensive than comprehensive marketing automation systems.

Marketing automation is something to consider for ecommerce owners who want to remind their customers to make a purchase and marketers who want to create a hands-off system that generates revenue 24 hours a day. Platforms such as ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, and Infusionsoft combine marketing automation and email marketing capabilities, eliminating the need to choose between a marketing automation and an email marketing platform. Some also include ecommerce features and functionality, removing the need to manage an additional piece of software.


As you can see, there are a variety of excellent options for email marketing as well as marketing automation. The trick is to determine what you require now for your business and to consider additional options in the future!

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