Why You Need to Move Beyond Email Marketing and Embrace Marketing Automation

email-vs-marketing-automation

Email marketing has been and continues to be one of the most effective tactics marketers use to generate awareness, leads and new sales. But, email marketing through an email service provider (like Constant Contact) has its limitations. Marketing automation platforms (like SharpSpring) are more comprehensive systems that combine email marketing with other features, like lead scoring, lead nurturing, forms built for conversion, dynamic lists, landing pages, built-in and 3rd party CRM integrations, call tracking, analytics and end-to-end ROI reporting, to increase and optimize your marketing efforts.

“Marketers say that the biggest benefits of Automation are Saving time (74%), Increased customer engagement (68%), More timely communications (58%) and Increased opportunities including up-selling (58%).” – Adestra Marketer vs Machine (2015)

Most email services providers, like MailChimp, provide an awesome service.

But, if you’re looking to go beyond email marketing and run more sophisticated, effective digital marketing campaigns, increase leads and conversions and help your sales team close more deals, you should consider marketing automation.

Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) vs. Email Service Providers (ESP)

Below is a comparison of marketing automation platforms (MAP) vs. email service providers (ESP) such as MailChimp, ConstantContact and Vertical Response across three main categories:

Generating More Leads

  • Importing lists of contacts (ESP & MAP)
  • VisitorID for identifying anonymous web traffic (MAP)
  • Dynamic form fields for building complete contact profiles (MAP)
  • Third-party and native-form integration (MAP)
  • Simple CSS adoption to make your forms blend in (MAP)
  • Automatically connect on social media (MAP)
  • Qualify leads based on position in sales cycle (MAP)
  • Schedule an email to a single contact for future delivery (MAP)

As you can see, marketing automation provides today’s marketer features that, when used correctly, help companies generate more leads.

Consider these statistics as well:

Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience as much as a 451% increase in qualified leads. –The Annuitas Group

The primary benefit of marketing automation according to B2B marketers is the ability to generate more and better quality leads. –Pepper Global

Driving Sales

  • CRM integrations (ESP & MAP)
  • Easy-to-use email designer (ESP & MAP)
  • Notification sent to sales team of a leads online activity (MAP)
  • Automatically segment your leads based on their behavior (MAP)
  • Targeted messages for near one-on-one communication (MAP)
  • An illustrated timeline of all emails each contact received (MAP)
  • Increased engagement with segmented messages (MAP)

The main goal for virtually every company we work with, now and over the past 20 years, has been to drive more sales. Marketing automation can play a huge role in this, as the statistics below indicate:

B2B marketers who implement marketing automation software increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10%. –Forrester Research

Companies that excel in lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead. –Forrester Research

Proving ROI

  • Open rate and click through rate tracking (ESP & MAP)
  • Website behavior reports (MAP)
  • Identification of contact’s position in sales process (MAP)
  • Online and offline monitoring of leads activity (MAP)
  • Automatic return on investment calculations (MAP)

Proving ROI used to be much harder. Now, with the right marketing automation platform, you can.  Take a look at these insights to learn more:

Marketing automation is a crucial tool for a successful marketing strategy and when used correctly it will help marketing departments gather more leads, close sales, and prove true ROI. Sharpspring

And according to Ascend2,  “The best-in-class say the most useful metrics for measuring marketing automation performance, and meeting the very high expectations, are conversion rates and revenue generated.”

measuring-marketing-automation-performce
(Source: Ascend2)

Marketing Automation Trumps Email Service Providers

Email service providers offer an invaluable service; however, email marketing needs to be part of a larger strategy that leverages an integrated mix of the right tools, content and analytics to more effectively increase leads and sales. Selecting the right marketing automation platform is essential to your success.  The best place to start is research, reviews and getting a demo of what each platform can do. I recommend the following resources:

Capterra
http://www.capterra.com/marketing-automation-software/

Crowd Reviews
https://www.crowdreviews.com/best-marketing-automation-software

Trust Radius
https://www.trustradius.com/marketing-automation

 

James Kieffer

About James Kieffer

Hi, I'm James Kieffer, Principal of Kieffer Consulting, a digital marketing agency focused on helping companies respond to the challenges they face in today’s digital age. I work with organizations that are looking to transform their digital marketing efforts and achieve results. Each engagement starts with the same question: what’s success mean to you? I then set in motion a detailed set of proven principles and methods that help my clients achieve their goals and ROI.

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