During our last conversation with a customer about marketing automation there was a question asked about the difference between such software and mailing systems. This issue has been raised by a person that has sent info on their newest offers by mail at more than one occasion. Can marketing automation have any additional benefits?
The deliberation on this problem should be started with outlining the similarities of these two solutions.
Mailing systems are a vital part of marketing automation system. They have in common the option to create message templates and perform actions on the texts.
Also both solutions enable you to send newsletters or follow-ups. When they are clicked it means given customer will be receiving them in a defined sequence.
Another common thing for mailing systems and marketing automation is the data collection. The list of users can be built via data import or by built-in contact form.
The first and most prominent difference is that systems for marketing automation evolved from mailing systems and they are step ahead when it’s about understanding client’s business needs. First of all, marketing automation software shows us what user did on our web site. All mailing system shows are data whether users clicked on links or not, it does not inform about any other actions. Truth be told, you can set up Google Analytics and know more about user’s steps, however it requires additional effort and costs.
Moreover, CRM is included within marketing automation which means we can store the data about user and assign the tasks to sales department. Usually, you can also integrate them easily with sales applications, e.g. Salesforce. Such solution effectively combines marketing, sales and call center activities. Such options are nowhere to be found in mailing systems.
Marketing automation software can evaluate users according to their activity levels (scoring). It also examines the actions. If given person has e.g. browsed the site with an offer, call center can be automatically notified about it, move the user in the sales funnel or send an invitation to a webinar. These systems allow to tag users with the help of so called tags. Information can be obtained by appropriately merging the mailing system with Analytics. However, they will not be as clear and their acquisition will require additional time and effort.
Mail correspondence is just one of the ways to communicate with the clients in marketing automation programs. They also use social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
To sum up, marketing automation software also includes mailing systems. Their functionality allows us to gather more information about users, better address their needs and interact better with the prospective customers.
Above all, it relieves the employees from the tedious work and integrates various programs with each other as well as marketing, sales, call center’s tasks. Hence, the name ‘automation’.
We can see then that systems of this kind offer broader spectrum of actions than mailing alone. Of course, accurate comparison of features depends on which systems we compare between each other.