Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation: What Are the Differences?


When it comes to growing your business, email marketing is a great option. It has a great return on investment. For every $1 spent on email marketing, your business makes $42 back.

Another popular choice for growing your business is through marketing automation. The terms marketing automation and email marketing are often used interchangeably. But they’re completely different approaches.

You don’t want to waste time and money investing in the wrong marketing strategy. Learn more about the approaches of email marketing vs marketing automation, and decide which is best for your business.

Keep reading to learn more!

Email Marketing vs Marketing Automation

The reason people confuse the two approaches is that there is a lot of overlap in their outcomes.

Both approaches involve maintaining and expanding your client base through regular communication. These communications might include:

  • alerts about new products and services
  • updates about your business
  • specials you’re running
  • anything else you want your clients to know about

A key difference in these approaches involves the management of these communications.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is favored by smaller businesses since it is the cheaper option of the two. It involves users signing up for a mailing list and an employee manually sending out emails and alerts.

Email marketing can be run independently or outsourced to a marketing firm. It is a powerful tool to build trust between the customer and the business.

Email targeting or targeted email marketing tailors the communications to different target audiences. There are separate mailing lists for potential partners and investors, clients and customers, and more. But email marketing is time-consuming, so it needs to be done properly for there to be a benefit.

One of the biggest email marketing tips is focusing on building your current audience base. You can do this by building a rapport with your subscribers, which leads to trust and increased engagement. Personalizing these communications also boosts relatability and increases the return on investment.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the use of technology and software to automatically manage communication. These communications typically happen across several platforms at once.

The benefit of this type of marketing is the ability to track success. It can guide your communication strategy because it generates data. The most important data it collects looks at engagement and how it relates to:

  • clicks and purchases
  • time of day, weeks, and months
  • percentage of total audience base

The data that marketing automation generates is stored in easily manageable systems. This makes it easy to run analyses and identify trends you can use to make your marketing even more successful.

Choosing Between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

When it comes to the choice of email marketing vs marketing automation, it’s important to know which will work best for you.

The benefit of email marketing is its personalization which builds trust and loyalty. The benefit of marketing automation is its easy management and data generation.

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