Email Marketing or Marketing Automation

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Which one is the right tool for your organization? If your company is new to the world of email marketing and marketing automation, you’re probably wondering why they may seem so similar at first glance. Although Email Marketing and Marketing Automation both deal with sending mass emails, they couldn’t be more different.

Email Marketing and service providers typically only will allow you to create email templates, send mass emails and track email analytics like open rate and links clicked. Marketing automation software also covers those same points but adds in more robust and comprehensive features that make your marketing smarter, more intuitive, and more time effective.

Email Marketing and service providers typically only will allow you to create email templates, send mass emails and track email analytics like open rate and links clicked. Marketing automation software also covers those same points but adds in more robust and comprehensive features that make your marketing smarter, more intuitive, and more time effective. Let’s compare some of the most important differentiators between the two: Cost, Time Investment and Complexity of Set Up.

1. Cost

Marketing Automation: Marketing automation is notoriously expensive (the cheapest Marketo option will run you nearly $1200 a month) and not always cost effective for smaller organizations, especially ones that are new to the email marketing game.


Email Marketing: Email marketing software on the other hand is typically free or very low cost for small mailing lists. If you’re new to email marketing or just building a mailing list, jumping into something all-inclusive like a complete marketing automation platform may not deliver ROI. In fact, you might be losing money by moving into an unsustainable platform.

Time Investment

Marketing Automation: One great aspect about marketing automation is it saves time by allowing your team to focus on things other than sending emails. Marketing automation is designed to not just send out a mass email (like a newsletter) but to automatically follow up based on user ‘buy’ signals. If a user opens the email multiple times and clicks on a link to your services, you can have your software send additional emails to the customer or perhaps those clicks ‘qualifies’ the customer and it’s automatically directed to a sales member for follow-up. Marketing automation take a lot of the repetitive work out of email marketing and gets great leads to sales exactly at the right time.


Email Marketing: Email marketing is going to be more time consuming and requires an active eye on opens and clicks to read for any possible ‘buy’ signals to send follow up messages or to send to sales for follow up. The problem is that unless you have someone monitoring responses 24/7 you’ll be missing out on valuable opportunities.

Complexity of Set Up

Marketing Automation: Setting up Marketing Automation may help your organization save time while improving lead quality, however, customizing it to your specific sales and marketing environment is a challenge that many companies face. A trusted partner (like Axxis Solutions) are often critical to a successful transition to Marketing Automation. With the cost of marketing automations platforms on the rise, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best ROI possible.


Email Marketing: Email marketing may be much less complex to implement, however, understanding the data is often even more difficult without the help of a smart marketing automation platform. Since traditional email marketing often requires more ‘legwork’ than marketing automation, making sure your team knows how to manually read ‘buy signals’ is essential to prevent your team from missing out on valuable sales opportunities


Whether you decide to go with a complete marketing automation platform or the more basic email marketing service will also depend on the size and needs of your organization. We’re happy to help discuss the pros and cons of each for your specific organization with a free consultation as well as some options we’d recommend.

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