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Marketing Automation vs. Email Service Providers

Understand the differences between marketing automation and email providers like MailChimp and Constant Contact.

So you know that you want to send out personalized emails to a list however, you are confused about which type of software you should use. We have all heard of your common email service providers like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc., who provide services to marketers to send basic one-off and mass emails. However, services like these are completely different than marketing automation software and it’s important to understand some of the key differences.

It’s not possible to do marketing automation with email service providers (ESPs). ESPs send emails and offer modest analytics, whereas a marketing automation platform can track exactly where contacts have traveled through a website, score these behaviors, and automatically provide relevant, targeted content based on those behaviors. A marketing automation platform provides an end-to-end picture of the customer journey, from first interaction to conversion and beyond. Below are a list of the top four differences. You can list of all differences here.

1. Behavior-Based Emails

A marketing automation platform will send automated follow-up emails based on a lead’s activity, allowing you to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. This software can be set up to automatically segment your leads based on individual behavior to send these targeted, personalized communications.

Example: A lead visits a particular product page on your website three times, indicating that he or she is interested in making a purchase. At this point, the system sends the lead an email (which was pre-programmed to send upon the lead’s third visit to that page) offering a discount on that item, and he or she moves further down the pipeline.

2. Automatic Lead Qualification

As you acquire more leads, it can be overwhelming to keep track of which ones to prioritize. With lead scoring, you have the flexibility to rank and monitor your prospects automatically. The marketing automation software assigns points based on a customized scale representing a prospects perceived value, so you can now spend most of your time nurturing the hottest leads.

3. Sales Notifications

Marketing automation software can notify salespeople of leads’ activities, so they can be ready at any moment to turn a lead into a sale. Using lead scoring, once a lead reaches his or her designated minimum lead score, an alert can be sent to the sales team.

4. Marketing ROI calculations

Unlike email service providers, marketing automation software allows you to build campaigns to track the ROI of each marketing activity both online and offline. By adding all of your marketing campaigns into the software, you can easily know which campaign is successful and which you have to adjust the direction.

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