Marketing automation is not the same as some plain email campaigns, but is usually regarded as the powerful upgrade version of most email campaigns, and should always be integrated into the digital marketing funnel of your business. In some corporate situations, email marketing automation projects may take sometimes from 6 months to 1 year to fully prepare and develop before it is ready for use.
Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud, etc are the big guys in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and email marketing programs that may also provide automated email campaigns. The email programs that have the capabilities to do plain email marketing campaigns are Mailchimp, etc. The newer and more cost effective programs that can offer marketing automation include Sendinblue, Drip, Activecampaign, and a few more.
Marketing automation rely highly on a few elements. The first is the cookie based concept. This concept may leave it vulnerable when users have cookie switched off or cleaned, or make use of web browsers or devices that do not support cookies or have cookies turned off by default.
The second is for automation to work, it must have prior data or conditions that are met. Open rate of your email campaigns is not sufficient data for your program to take any meaningful actions that will benefit your users. It must be able to track some specific conditions, and then put this data in use. For example: Clicks in an email, pageviews on some specific web pages or landing pages, etc. Conversions can also be a condition that triggers any follow-up actions.
The third is email marketing and automation work best when they are integrated with CRM programs (whether it is partly or fully integrated).
To set up an email campaign, it usually involves simpler steps which may include creating an email, subject line, and adding a list to the program. For a marketing automation program to fully stretched out, it will involve more settings, required knowledge, and complex workflows. Tags, scores, goals, segments are only a few mini elements that any of your email campaigns may include before you can achieve your end goals.
Marketing automation when applied and executed in the right ways can actually reduce your bottom line cost to generate revenue. Advertising cost in most online platforms and media go up year over year. It is difficult to rely only on free traffic that may have worked well in the last few years. Email campaigns and automation are all about activating and re-activating the prospects in your database of contacts. Before you show them your next offers that may suit them, you will not know how much additional revenue in a year you can generate from them.