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f you have been reading my blogs or just doing a bit of research, you are likely wondering what the difference is between email automation and marketing automation. Furthermore, you might be asking yourself, “When do I use them, why should I use them and what types of businesses can use them?”  Just so you don’t get all tangled up, let’s first discuss the basic differences between the two online digital marketing tools.

Email Automation

This is intertwined into email marketing of which most of us have been using for the last decade as a push marketing tool. It’s kinda the cat’s meow because it’s used to email messages out to our customers and clients. The next level of email marketing is email automation which has been happening over the past several years. It’s now available to the small business owners, (not just the “big boys”.) This automated email system allows single or multiple emails to be triggered, timed and personalized to reach specific people based on their activities. A great example is a series of timed on-boarding emails triggered by a new customer purchase sending a welcome, more product information and a few user tips.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation system is simply the combination and integration of a cloud based sales CRM (customer relationship management) and email automation. As sales and marketing teams merge together these days (finally!) this powerful and”purrrfect” combination streamlines and improves both buying and selling processes. Buyers are now more informed and feel less pressure thus improving the buying experience. Salespeople can spend more time with clients face to face while the email automation is working behind the scenes preparing potential buyers with solid product and services education. It also helps with the setting up the selling process.

So what type of businesses use these tools?

Email automation can be used for both B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) type of businesses. However, marketing automation from my experience, is really designed for B2B companies with a sales team. (although I’m sure those selling software may disagree).  As an example, B2C businesses with online stores need email automation to encourage more buyers from abandoned shopping carts, specials and similar products to complete their purchases. A typical B2B company can use email automation with their triggered series of timed educational emails along with sign ups. Marketing automation in B2B improves lead generation and increases sales conversation rates.

Now that your questions have been answered, there’s one final important step: no matter what business type you have or the type marketing you choose, once you purchase these tools, they must be implemented. Not doing so would be a ‘cat’astrophe. After all, business is all about ROI. If you are going to invest in email and marketing automation, be prepare to lose a bit of time knowing that the initial loss will be your greatest gain.