The Business Case for Evolving from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation

There are nearly 11 times more organizations using marketing automation now than in 2011.
SiriusDecisions , “B-to-B Marketing Automation Study” (2014)
Marketing Automation Users

In these days of lean staffs and often leaner budgets, few organizations are willing to change the software systems they use unless the benefits are compelling. The remarkable adoption rate indicated in the metric above demonstrates that marketers at a large number of organizations are weighing the benefits and concluding that moving from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation makes sense for their business.

Has this helped them?

To answer that question, we’ve curated some of the more telling metrics to help demonstrate that moving from Email Marketing to Marketing Automation has been delivering on its promise. In addition, we compare and contrast what each of these two systems actually do so that you have the clearest possible understanding of how these benefits are achieved and the extent to which evolving in this manner will benefit your organization.

First, the compelling business benefits – the following metrics are the result of surveys and studies undertaken by a range of entities across various industries and time frames. There is great credibility in the diversity of these studies, and that the clear conclusion from this data is that Marketing Automation has proven that it genuinely “moves the needle” for marketers:

63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation.
The Lenskold Group, “2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” (2013)
Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.
Aberdeen Group, “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)
78% of successful marketers say marketing automation systems are most responsible for improving revenue contribution.
The Lenskold Group, “2013 Lead-Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” (2013)
58% of top-performing companies; where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline, have adopted marketing automation.
Forrester Research, “2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” (2013)
Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates from initial response-to-MQL and a revenue growth rate that is 3.1% higher than non-users.
Aberdeen Group, “Marketing Lead Management Report” (2012)
68% of Best-in-Class companies are using lead scoring, compared to just 28% of Laggard firms.
Aberdeen Group, “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)

Companies that have adopted marketing automation perform well compared to companies that haven’t:

The Lenskold Group, “2013 Lead-Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” (2013)

79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than 2 years.
Gleanster, “Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Benchmark” (2013)
CMOs at top-performing companies say that the most important reason for implementing marketing automation is to increase revenue (79%) and get higher quality leads (76%).
Gleanster, “Q3 2013 Gleanster Marketing Automation Benchmark” (2013)

What exactly, then, is Marketing Automation providing that is making such a difference? We hope this comparison/contrast between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation is useful in helping you understand the capabilities that Marketing Automation would introduce to your organization.

Marketing Automation vs. Email Marketing – Three Fundamental Differences


Marketing Automation Knows More & Puts It to Use

Marketing Automation systems offer a powerful combination of capabilities – it draws upon a broader range of prospect/customer information sources than Email Marketing systems and it makes use of these superior insights to tailor messaging campaigns and content to each recipient on an individual basis.

First, Marketing Automation monitors not only email opens and clicks but also other important types of customer/prospect interaction such as visits to any and all of the different pages of your website, information collected in web forms, and the past actions of each recipient (white papers downloaded, videos watched, events registered for, webinars attended, social media activity, etc).

Then, Marketing Automation systems make use of this information to automatically include (or exclude) individuals from email campaigns. In addition, Marketing Automation can tailor the content of individual messages within campaigns to reflect each individual recipient’s interests and preferences.

The result is that each of your constituents receives more relevant content.


Marketing Automation Plays Well With Others

Marketing Automation systems are typically integrated with whichever other systems matter to you – perhaps your databases of record (CRM, AMS), your webinar and/or event registration systems, your fulfillment systems, eCommerce systems, etc..

This is important both immediately before a campaign is launched (when the Marketing Automation system pulls your most current information to update the SEND lists and personalize content appropriately) and after campaigns conclude (when the Marketing Automation system updates your other systems with campaign results so that Sales and other follow-up can immediately incorporate what’s been learned about a prospect or customer’s interests).

This information exchange removes individuals from campaigns when they accomplish the goal of the campaign (by registering for an event, for example, or downloading a white paper).

This enhanced integration eliminates the need for marketing staff to run reports and manually execute email campaigns, saving tremendous amounts of time while also ensuring that campaigns are not delayed or “fall between the cracks.”

The result is that Marketing Automation offers tremendous time-savings and efficiency. It makes use of your best and most current information, regardless of the system in which it resides, and contributes to your organizational understanding of each constituent by sharing campaign results with whichever systems you’ve chosen.


Marketing Automation Triggers Actions

Marketing Automation features vitally important triggering capability that adds “temporal personalization” to your efforts. Rather than email being sent only when a staff member runs a report and triggers an outbound campaign, Marketing Automation can trigger a single email or a series of emails to an individual recipient, and it will do this at exactly the date and time that is appropriate for this specific recipient. Many marketers focus on the time-saving aspect of this automation, but the improvement that this customized timing adds to your customer/prospect experience is the real benefit here.

The result is that this “set it and forget it” functionality ensures that each individual recipient receives your best and most relevant messaging at exactly the right time for them.

Features Matrix: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation

FeatureEmail MarketingMarketing Automation
Email Creation & Sending
Multi-Message Email Sequences
Mass Email Delivery
Basic Segmentation
Email Behavior Monitoring
A/B Testing
Reporting & Analytics
Website Behavior Monitoring
Social Behavior Monitoring
Behavior-Based Segmentation
Lead Scoring
Multi-Message Email Sequences (that change based on recipient actions)
Multi-Channel Campaign Tracking
Advanced CRM/Database Integration
Webinar/Event Registration System Integration
Landing Page Creation & Hosting (Inbound Marketing)

A Final Thought – when it comes time to select a Marketing Automation system, what key criteria do these studies show matter most?

The following two metrics are unanimous – ease of use is the most important criterion for most marketers today:

86% of marketers consider ‘ease of use’ as the most important criterion when evaluating automation tools.
Regalix, “The State of Marketing Automation” (2014)
The most important criteria for a marketing automation system for CMOs are ease-of-use (92%) and the ability to tie marketing performance to sales (72%).
Gleanster , “Q3 2013 Gleanster Marketing Automation Benchmark” (2013)

If the compelling business benefits of Marketing Automation sound as if they might apply to your organization, we’d love to show you how we built our flagship solution from the ground up to be completely full-featured and at the same time genuinely easy to use.