What Is Marketing Automation? Tips to Help You Get Started

two women and a man standing around a table

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 19, 2020. It’s been updated as of the current publish date to reflect the most recent insights. 

How much time each week do you spend writing and sending emails, creating social media ads, and analyzing your marketing campaigns?

Do you know exactly which campaigns are bringing you the most return on investment?

You wear so many hats when running a business, but do you ever get the feeling that because you’re so busy, it’s difficult to take a moment to work out what can be automated and be one less thing you have to worry about?

It’s a bit of a Catch-22, isn’t it?

Automated emails alone outperform campaign emails across the board. Imagine what you’d achieve with 1558 percent higher conversion rates and 1361 percent higher revenue per recipient (RPR). 

Read on to discover: 

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is software you can use to automate various marketing activities—including email and SMS marketing, creating social media posts, and using paid advertising—to engage, nurture, convert, and delight customers.

Good marketing automation platforms go beyond email clicks and opens. They take into account what your subscribers are doing outside of emails, such as browsing certain products and pages on your website or interacting with you via social media.

You can use marketing automation across all stages of the buyer journey. Here are some examples to give you an idea:

Benefits of marketing automation

Let’s dive deeper into the other top benefits of marketing automation.

1 | Save time and improve efficiency

Once your marketing automations are set up, they require little effort on your part to maintain while making your processes miles more efficient.

This frees up the time you’d usually spend on day-to-day marketing tasks, which you can use instead to develop and improve your strategies.

Not only will you see more return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts and team, but you’ll also likely achieve your goals much faster than if you didn’t have any automation in place.

Just remember to test and fine-tune your workflows to keep them efficient.

2 | Improve customer relationships and their experiences

Automation also makes it quicker and easier to personalize your marketing efforts according to your customers’ behaviors, actions, interests, needs, and wants. 

By enabling you to send highly segmented, personalized communications exactly when your customers are most receptive to them, marketing automation removes friction from the customer journey, making it easier for your customers to buy, buy, and buy again.

Marketing automation systems can help you to analyze your communications beyond email clicks and opens, you’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers and subscribers.  

Finally, automatic post-purchase communications mean you can generate more reviews and customer feedback to support your acquisition strategies.

3 | Make more money

Automating your marketing means you can streamline the conversion and closure stages of the customer journey. 

You’ll be able to reduce your abandoned cart rates while automating promotions, upsells, cross-sells, offers, discounts, and sales to grow your revenue efficiently.

Not to mention, marketing automation software can also help you to boost your revenue even further by sending data-backed product recommendations to your subscribers to tempt them into clicking “buy.”

4 | Grow your business faster

What does increased efficiency, better customer relationships, and more sales mean? You’ll grow your business significantly faster with marketing automation than without it.

Recent studies show that a massive 80 percent of marketing automation software users saw an increase in the number of leads, while 77 percent also had an increase in conversions.1

Not too shabby for a bunch of marketing messages that go out by themselves!

Marketing automation considerations and how to get started

From growing your email list to segmenting your audience, there are a couple of steps to go through before automating your emails and other marketing messages. Here are some quick tips to get you started.

Grow your email and SMS list

Your email and SMS list is your business’s lifeblood. 

You have complete control of your lists so there’s no need to worry about social media algorithms or Google updates getting in the way of business and revenue growth.

There are 3.9 billion (and growing!) email users2 across the world who check their emails regularly, so it’s clearly a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing channel that’s far too valuable to ignore. Plus, 72 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a website3 if the brand can communicate with them about their products in real time, via text messaging.

There are lots of ways you can grow your email and SMS list. Here are a few ideas and resources to help you get started:

Segment your audience and subscriber base

Beyond automating your emails and text marketing messages, you can also use marketing automation software to automatically segment your audience based on things like:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • Shopping preferences and behaviors
  • Level of engagement (average open rates, click rates, etc.)
  • Average order values
  • Purchase frequency
  • Acquisition source
  • New vs. existing subscribers
  • VIP customers

By rethinking the batch-and-blast and sending personalized, targeted messages at the right time, you’ll increase conversions and return on investment for your marketing campaigns while improving your email deliverability and sender reputation.

And that’s not all. Highly targeted email campaigns can make three times more revenue than other campaigns, as well as resulting in half the number of unsubscribes. If you can create SMS campaigns that compliment your email ones, you can potentially see impressive results. 

Questions to ask yourself before automating your marketing campaigns

Before designing your automated marketing workflows, consider your answers to these questions:

  • How do your subscribers become customers?
  • What content do your customers want to receive?
  • How many of your website visitors browse but don’t buy?
  • What would convince your website visitors to buy?
  • Do demographics influence certain buying behavior for your store?
  • How do discounts impact whether a customer makes a purchase?
  • Are your customers buying gifts or something for themselves?
  • What messages will you send and to which audience segments?
  • How are these messages triggered?
  • What will happen next (after a customer clicks a link in an email or buys something, for example)?

Alongside gathering this information about your sales process, customers, and ideal workflows, you’ll also need software to help you run your marketing automation strategies.

Marketing automation can make a world of difference

If you’re spending too much time manually sending emails, creating social media posts, and analyzing your marketing campaigns, then it’s probably time you considered marketing automation software.

You’ll be able to make your processes more efficient while getting time back to focus on achieving your goals and developing new marketing strategies, which can only be a good thing for long-term business growth.

Ready to level up your marketing? Check out these six marketing automations to have in place now—and certainly before the holidays!



1”Study Shows U.S. Customers Prefer Texting With Businesses.” PR Newswire.com

2“Number of e-mail users worldwide from 2017 to 2025.” Statista.com

3”Study Shows U.S. Customers Prefer Texting With Businesses.” PR Newswire.com

Back to Blog Home
Get email marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.