Marketing automation and email marketing go hand in hand. In fact, they are used in the same sentence so often that they are sometimes thought of as one and the same. But despite seeming so synonymous, the two are actually quite different. While email marketing is an important component of a marketing automation solution, these powerful platforms go well beyond email marketing in terms of features and benefits. Here are nine ways you can use marketing automation beyond email marketing:
- Subscription management. Subscription management allows email subscribers to choose which emails they receive from an organization by allowing them to opt in to some types of messages while opting out of receiving others. For example, an individual may choose to receive your new product emails and monthly newsletter, but not your lunch and learn invitations. Without subscription management, email marketing is an all or nothing proposition. Your email recipients can either choose to receive all your organization’s messages or none of them. Today, consumers demand choices and personalized experiences, which means they would often rather opt out of all communications than receive messages that they feel don’t speak to who they are and what they want from your business.
- Nurture marketing. Nurture marketing, also known as drip marketing or campaign automation, is the act of sending a series of customized communications to a prospect or customer over a period of time based on their interactions. While nurture campaigns typically feature email, they can also include direct mail, SMS messaging, phone calls or any other “touch” a company makes with an individual. Automated nurture programs respond to actions taken by those being nurtured, thus creating a more personalized experience. Using various decision points set within a campaign automation, nurture marketing helps you respond to your leads’ and customers’ actions by sending messages that correspond to those actions. It helps people feel like people rather than just another name in a database.
- Landing pages and forms. Landing pages are web pages that stand alone from a company’s main website and are designed to accomplish a single objective, typically lead generation. Forms are often a part of landing pages in order to capture lead data when someone, for example, downloads an eBook, registers for a webinar or requests more information about a particular product or service. These two marketing automation features allow you to focus on one topic or piece of content and provide a means for collecting lead data. Landing pages create a cleaner experience than a web page by removing distractions like navigation bars and are highly focused on one call to action, which can greatly increase conversions.
- Surveys. Although surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways, online surveys are now the most common choice for companies and organizations seeking data and feedback from their audiences, and the method you will find within a marketing automation solution. Do you want to know what attendees thought about your company’s most recent webinar or their impressions of your new ecommerce website? Surveys can provide you with insights in these situations and countless others.
- Web intelligence. Web intelligence, also known as web tracking or web analytics, uses a tracking code inserted into web pages to provide insight into how that website is being used and record data about the traffic that accesses it. You can see which pages have been clicked on, how long a user spent on a certain page, how they got to your website and other valuable information. Based on data like site visits, page views, form captures, referring source, duration spent on site and more, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your marketing campaigns and strategies and adjust them, if needed, accordingly.
- Event management. Event integrations allow you to connect online event management systems with marketing automation platforms. These connectors can vary by marketing automation platforms. ClickDimensions, for example, offers connectors to GoToWebinar, WebEx, Eventbrite and Cvent. While many offline marketing channels continue to see declining interest and budgetary allocation from companies, events are bucking that trend. In-person and online events offer brands a powerful way to connect with their audiences and strengthen those relationships, while giving attendees the opportunity to be informed or entertained – or both.
- SMS messaging. SMS, or Short Message Service, can reach anyone with a mobile device that has text messaging capabilities. SMS messages can be sent in bulk or individually through some marketing automation platforms. SMS is one of the fastest marketing channels available today. With no spam or other email filters to contend with, messages arrive on mobile devices within a few seconds of when you hit send. And when they arrive, SMS messages enjoy rapid and high open rates, making them an especially good fit for time-sensitive information.
- Lead scoring. Lead scoring involves ranking leads on a scale based on how interested a prospect is in a company’s products or services, how likely they are to buy and how soon they will be ready to move from prospect to customer. Using a lead scoring model, prospects are assigned points based on the actions they take. So, a lead that downloads an eBook might earn 10 points, while one that visits your company’s pricing page earns 25 points. Lead scoring can help sales and marketing teams come together to agree upon the factors that make for a hot lead, and can follow up accordingly – whether with a sales call or by adding the lead to a nurture program.
- Social marketing. Social marketing tools within a marketing automation solution give you the ability to tap into the power and popularity of social media through features like social posting, social sharing and social discovery. These tools, though they will vary by platform, can help businesses make social an integrated part of marketing, sales and customer experience initiatives, and also report on those efforts. With nearly one-third of the world using social media regularly, according to eMarketer, social is an essential part of marketing for organizations of all kinds.