What Marketing Automation Is and Isn’t

When many hear the term ‘marketing automation’ they think of just automated email programs like MailChimp or Constant Contact but true marketing automation is so much more than just automated email sends.

The major marketing automation players will have other tools to help marketers better understand their customers and help nurture them along the customer journey.

Main Marketing Automation Features

Below are some things the main marketing automation solutions will provide.

Nurture Programs

In addition to one-off or batch email sends, a nurture program can incorporate multiple emails spaced a certain time apart. Nurture campaigns also include logic and decision steps than can send contacts down different routes depending on their behavior. This is an excellent way to ensure that that your contacts are receiving relevant content that can help them in their decision making process.


Personalization goes beyond just using a field merge in the subject line. You can have specific content display on a webpage based on fields in the contact database. For instance, say you are a digital marketing agency and you have a contact database full of  business owners, vice president’s of marketing, marketing directors, marketing managers and other marketing professionals. You could have content specific to the issues facing a business owner for those contacts with a title of ‘Owner’ or ‘CEO’ while having content about how your service can make a manager/director look good to the c-suite for those contacts. You can also put specific content in emails for certain contacts.

Lead Scoring

Sales and marketing can often butt heads when it comes to lead generation. Lead scoring is used to provide sales with the most sales ready leads. You can base a lead scoring model by giving certain criteria or actions points. When a contacts reach a target point level, they are passed on to sales for follow up.

CRM Integration

Having marketing automation and CRM in place is yet another layer of marketing and sales communication. Have a CRM and marketing automation integration allows you to see which contacts are purchasing as well as ROI on campaigns. This ensures that everyone in sales and marketing is on the same page.

Reporting / ROI

Any business owner or executive is going to want to see their investments pay off.  Being able to generate reports showing growth, velocity  and revenue will be a critical part of the system. You can generate reports based on campaigns, database growth, email engagement, website visits, form submissions and more.

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