Marketing Automation

What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation Helps You:

  • Automate your marketing process
  • Test email campaigns
  • Generate significant ROI
  • Improve lead nurturing
  • Increase customer retention

Automate your marketing process

What is marketing automation? Marketing automation is almost exactly what it sounds like: automating the marketing process via emails, alerts and targeted messaging campaigns. Typically, marketing automation can be envisioned as a series of workflow actions that guide leads towards conversion — all without any intervention on the marketers part.

For example, here’s a simple funnel. Let’s say a user hits your landing page and downloads an e-book. You then fire off a thank you page that then thanks your user for downloading.

By using their information, this triggers your marketing automation software to send out a targeted email to that lead about a webinar you’re hosting (again, the keyword is targeted email). The lead signs up and watches the webinar and proceeds to put your product in their cart. Now you have a consistent contact for your CRM. But trouble strikes! Your lead abandons their shopping cart items. So what do you do? Your system automatically fires off a $5 off coupon in order to get them to convert. They make the sale, and your numbers go up.

Test email campaigns

Email is the bread and butter of a marketing automation funnel. But no two customers are exactly alike, and your email shouldn’t be either. Though it’s nigh impossible to send custom emails to everyone, most MA software allows for A/B testing to help you better segment and target the right lead.

A/B testing (sometimes called split testing or bucket testing) is where you compare two or more things against one another to determine which one performs better. So, with A/B testing, users will often take small segments of their customer pool and fire off two different emails in order to gauge interest. Usually, this means checking open rates and link clicks.

Testing the impact of your automated emails means a higher ROI since you already know whether or not they’re going to be valuable to the customer and return profits to your pocket.

Generate significant ROI

Automated marketing software is touted for its effectiveness and significant return on investment. And while it won’t work for everyone (because your business has unique needs), MA software can be adapted to meet most customers’ needs.

How does it generate significant ROI though? Well, when you have a list of loyal subscribers, MA software does all the work of marketing for you — a kind of “set it and forget it” approach to your marketing process. It can turn an inactive list of subscribers into an active, converting and diligent list, freeing your team up to work on additional projects.

Improve lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is an essential part of the buyer’s journey. When you nurture a lead, you drip effective, useful and personalized content out in a way that encourages leads to stay engaged up until the point of conversion.

You can probably see how automation software can play a role in this, right? When you’ve got a curated list of customers, you can send out scheduled content and hit your leads at the right time in their buyer’s journey.

Lead nurturing can take an ordinary lead and turn them into highly qualified leads through a few methods:

  • Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • E-learning content

All sent automatically and without user intervention.

Increase customer retention

Customers don’t like being forgotten. One primary use of marketing automation is building and maintaining contact with user lists, ensuring past customers become repeat customers. Users of MA software can schedule weekly or monthly offers to their user lists, enticing them to convert again. After all, the best customers are your existing customers.

FAQs

Is My Business Ready for MA Software?

MA software is a game-changer for a lot of businesses. The power of constant and consistent contact has been shown time and time again to be successful, but not all companies are at a stage where they’re ready for MA software. If your business has

  • Large, inactive emailing lists
  • An overworked marketing department
  • Room in the budget
  • Little to no repeat customers

then your business might be ready for marketing automation.

When Should I Invest in Marketing Automation?

If you’ve got a steady stream of content coming down the pipe that you want to communicate to users, then you might want to start thinking about a new software purchase. There are a few additional factors to think about:

  • Are you tracking your leads?
  • Do you have a steady stream of content?
  • Are your leads highly qualified?
  • Is your content plan mapped out to the buyer’s journey?

Can Marketing Automation Lose Customers?

YES. Marketing automation can be good, or it can be bad, and I think we all know what bad marketing automation looks like: it’s constant, spammy emails that damage your brand’s reputation. It’s bombarding your site visitors with CTAs and signup windows. It’s not taking into account the direct needs of your clients and customers, and blasting out generic emails.

Good automation takes into account the needs and wants of your customers from a number of different sources, and provides consistent value to them. The most effective marketing automation doesn’t just rely on email either. It takes advantage of a number of different communication channels to reach leads.

How Do I Select a Marketing Automation Software?

When you’re picking a marketing automation platform, there’s plenty of things to consider. First and foremost: your organization’s needs. No company has the same exact needs as the other, so there is no easy solution. Luckily, we’ve created a tool that can help you shortlist your requirements, and you might do well to consult our marketing automation requirements article to get a general idea of your needs and wants. Once you’ve got your requirements down, you’ll have to start an RFP — and that’s a process in of itself. Luckily we’ve also got a guide for putting together a marketing automation RFP.

Marketing Automation Resources for Software Selection

Recent Articles

Confidence Comes from Data

Marketing automation software selection is complex and beset with problems for both IT buyers and solution providers. We do three things to make it fast and simple:

FREE Software Selection Platform

Our platform provides best-practices, including requirements templates & vendor comparisons, to help you make the right decisions for your unique needs, in a fraction of the time. Try it FREE.

Aggregated Reviews

We have collected every software review available online, crunched every last word using our proprietary Sentiment Analysis algorithms, all so we can tell you how a software product is viewed in its marketplace, retrospectively.

Professional Analysis

We relentlessly collect and analyze data about software, then compile and share it so every company in has the same access to the information. The information we gain is then used in our Software Selection platform to help you find the right software.

Your Guides

Our industry journalists proudly distill the helpful information you read on SelectHub, always on the mission to share what matters to you can make your best decisions independently.

Marketing automation articles are written and edited by:

Mariah Hansen

Lead Editor

As the lead editor at SelectHub, Mariah edits and manages content for more than 40 different software categories, as well as writing for a couple of them herself.

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Jason Keller

Market Research Associate

Jason Keller is a Market Research Associate at SelectHub who writes content on Business Analytics Tools, Big Data Tools, Facility Management Software, Marketing Automation Software, Field Service Software and Endpoint Security Software.

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Thought Leaders

SelectHub has sought out and invited thought leaders to contribute to our marketing automation industry articles and resources. These thought leaders ensure we deliver quality content with the most accurate information, focusing on what matters most. No thought leader is compensated for their contributions, but shares our belief that information should be democratized so everyone can make the best decision.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee

B2B Marketing Strategist and CEO

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc., who helps companies with complex sales

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Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler

Co-Founder and Creative Director, Velocity Partners

Doug Kessler is co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, the London- and New York-based B2B content marketing agency (a Content Marketing Institute Agency of the Year).

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Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

Co-Founder and CMO, Orbit Media

Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person digital agency in Chicago.

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Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg

Co-Founder, BuyerLegends

Bryan Eisenberg the co-founder of BuyerLegends and is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal & New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action”, “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?”, “Always Be Testing” and “Buyer Legends:

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Best Email Marketing Software for Marketers in 2020

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Let’s say it’s a crisp Monday morning. You’re a marketing professional, and like any marketer worth their salt, you’ve got caffeine jolting through your veins from your last five coffees, and you’re busier than ever working out new ways to use your marketing automation software to reach your customers. With so many customers you’d like to remarket to, you’re scratching your head and already reaching for that sixth cup of coffee (bad habit; you swore you’d cut down last week). But as the roasty, delicate notes of a fresh cup of South American Black Gold serenade your tastebuds, you’re still coming up empty on new ways to keep customers engaged. Enter your email marketing software.

Jason KellerBest Email Marketing Software for Marketers in 2020
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The Ultimate Marketing Automation Software Comparison Guide

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Are you ready to arrive in the promised land that marketing automation software boasts of? Ready to transform your organization’s marketing and sales abilities into superhuman powers? Then let’s do a proper marketing automation comparison!

In this ultimate marketing automation software comparison guide, we’ll do a deep dive into the world of marketing automation. So let’s get started.

Jason KellerThe Ultimate Marketing Automation Software Comparison Guide
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What is a Customer Data Platform and How Does It Relate to Marketing Automation?

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Customer data platforms, or CDPs, are words you might have heard thrown around in discussions regarding marketing automation software. And we know that marketing (especially its automated cousin) is flush with data already. Yet, so much of that data remains worlds apart and disconnected from other strategic points of information. That’s where CDPs step in. We’ll take a dive into an emerging technology and examine how these new data platforms assist marketers and marketing automation as a whole.

Jason KellerWhat is a Customer Data Platform and How Does It Relate to Marketing Automation?
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6 Key Needs of Actual Marketing Automation Buyers

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Marketing automation software has become an integral component of marketing budgets. According to an Email Monday report, 49 percent of businesses — including 55 percent of B2Bs — have adopted marketing automation. Additionally, Marketo found that 91 percent of successful users believe that marketing automation is “very important” to the success of their marketing efforts.

Alex Jaumann6 Key Needs of Actual Marketing Automation Buyers
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Understanding the Marketing Automation Landscape In 2020

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From chatbots to big data, the marketing automation landscape looks more diverse and crowded every year. That’s why having a marketing automation strategy is less of a perk and now more of a requirement when it comes to owning a business. Customers come to your business through a multitude of channels.

Tracking individual behaviors and engagement on each of these channels poses an enormous challenge, which is why the majority of companies are turning to marketing automation software to collect, interpret and respond to consumer data in a way that encourages consistent movement through the sales funnel.

Jason KellerUnderstanding the Marketing Automation Landscape In 2020
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Marketo vs Eloqua vs Hubspot: Which Marketing Automation Software is the Winner?

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As many vendor experts would point out, marketing automation is more than just “guided email”. It’s a complex, supportive system of lifecycle marketing assistance. Marketing automation brings together things like keyword handling, lead generation and email marketing customization with other components that help shepherd customers toward conversion, and bring more power to internal sales and management teams.

SelectHubMarketo vs Eloqua vs Hubspot: Which Marketing Automation Software is the Winner?
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Best Enterprise Email Marketing Platforms

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One of the most powerful tools in marketing automation software‘s tool belt is email marketing. Creating fun, informative and engaging email campaigns is one of an inbound marketer’s most effective methods for gathering leads and retaining customers. As such, a dynamic email service provider is key to the success of your email marketing. But which is the best enterprise email marketing software?

Bergen AdairBest Enterprise Email Marketing Platforms
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HubSpot vs Infusionsoft: Which Product Is The Winner in 2020?

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If you’re trying to compare HubSpot vs Infusionsoft by Keap — two heavyweights in the realm of marketing automation software  — then you certainly don’t want to go it alone. Powerful marketing automation tools like these two pretty pieces of software, naturally, do a lot of things in one package. So we’ve crunched the numbers, ran the tests, and pitted these two apps against one another so you can make the best, independent decision for your business. And if you need a bit of help? We’ve also got you covered with the link down below.

Jason KellerHubSpot vs Infusionsoft: Which Product Is The Winner in 2020?
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HubSpot vs Marketo: Which Software is The Winner For Your Business?

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There is perhaps no greater matchup in the world of marketing automation software than HubSpot vs Marketo. Any reasonable person might look at this question — comparing two of the most well-known marketing automation platforms — and shrink away. Because how could you compare the inbound marketing titan that is HubSpot to Adobe’s darling Marketo? Well, not only do we have an intuitive comparison report (found at the button below), but we’re also arming you with this guide, written from the heart, with love.

Jason KellerHubSpot vs Marketo: Which Software is The Winner For Your Business?
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Demand Generation vs Lead Generation: A Comprehensive Comparison of the Difference Between Them

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Demand generation vs lead generation — they’re not as opposed as the “vs” might have you think. Demand generation and lead generation are like peanut butter and jelly in the marketing and marketing automation world. They’re different (and tasty), but work well in tandem with one another, just like their legume and grape-based counterparts. And in the ever-changing industry of digital marketing and marketing automation software, these two concepts represent pillars of stability.

Jason KellerDemand Generation vs Lead Generation: A Comprehensive Comparison of the Difference Between Them
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What is a Customer Data Platform and How Does It Relate to Marketing Automation?

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Customer data platforms, or CDPs, are words you might have heard thrown around in discussions regarding marketing automation software. And we know that marketing (especially its automated cousin) is flush with data already. Yet, so much of that data remains worlds apart and disconnected from other strategic points of information. That’s where CDPs step in. We’ll take a dive into an emerging technology and examine how these new data platforms assist marketers and marketing automation as a whole.

Jason KellerWhat is a Customer Data Platform and How Does It Relate to Marketing Automation?
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How to Create a Marketing Automation RFP

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The year was 1991 and marching through a busy office full of cubicles and pagers would never entail overhearing the words “marketing automation RFP.” This was, of course, because there was no marketing automation software to speak of. It was all done by hand. Then 1992 came along, and Unica — the world’s first piece of marketing automation software — was released. An entire industry seemingly changed overnight.

Jason KellerHow to Create a Marketing Automation RFP
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Pardot vs HubSpot: Which Marketing Automation Tool is the Winner in 2019?

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If all marketing automation tools aim to do the same thing, they’re probably pretty similar, right? Why does it matter which one you buy? We’re here to explain the strengths, weaknesses and features of two popular platforms side-by-side (Pardot vs HubSpot) to help you make the right decision for your business.

HubSpot and Pardot are two of our top-rated CRM systems for good reason. They utilize marketing automation to attract buyers to your website via targeted inbound marketing. We’ve made sure to check the functionality, depth and range of both to ensure we’re highlighting the best of the best. Let’s see how these two compare when it comes to the most important features in our Pardot vs. HubSpot comparison:

Bergen AdairPardot vs HubSpot: Which Marketing Automation Tool is the Winner in 2019?
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Marketing Automation Requirements and Software Features List

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Marketers are kind of like the cool kids on the block — they always know what’s hip, they know all the right people, and they know what people want.  They’d be the first to tell you about exciting new trends like marketing automation software. From small businesses to large enterprises, marketing automation is becoming a core element of marketing operations. When used correctly, it is responsible for significant improvements in marketing and sales processes across multiple channels.

Bergen AdairMarketing Automation Requirements and Software Features List
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Marketing Automation Requirements & Features Checklist

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Marketers are kind of like the cool kids on the block — they always know what’s hip, they know all the right people, and they know what people want.  They’d be the first to tell you about exciting new trends like marketing automation software. From small businesses to large enterprises, marketing automation is becoming a core element of marketing operations. When used correctly, it is responsible for significant improvements in marketing and sales processes across multiple channels.

Bergen AdairMarketing Automation Requirements & Features Checklist
read more

Enterprise Marketing Automation vs Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

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Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, and tons of resources are dedicated to carrying out this function. Many of the tasks in marketing are repetitive and predictable regardless of the size of the business operations. These tasks may include basic functions such as scheduling email messages and social media posts, organizing the contacts directory and managing content. A feedback system and the ability to track customers’ activities as they move through the marketing funnel are some of the functions that have been automated to generate data that can be analyzed to measure the impact of marketing strategies.

SelectHubEnterprise Marketing Automation vs Marketing Automation for Small Businesses
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11 Vital Workflows to Upgrade Your Email Marketing Automation Process

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What current condition is your email marketing setup in? Do you have a steady stream of content being delivered to your subscriber’s inboxes, or are your contacts gathering dust on a hard drive somewhere? If you’re not using email automation software, or you’re reading this, the answer is probably the latter.

Gloria Kopp11 Vital Workflows to Upgrade Your Email Marketing Automation Process
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Marketing Automation Market Size and Growth Forecast

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According to a recent report from Research and Markets, the global marketing automation industry is set to grow by a sizable 9% over the next five years. This is no small leap, and it’s expected to take the market to a value of $6.929 million. The expansion is being driven, at least in part, by an increasing demand for automated customer retention processes.

SelectHubMarketing Automation Market Size and Growth Forecast
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