Marketing Automation 101

Someday, we’ll have enough time in our day to manage all the meeting hours, projects and tasks, plus all the daily marketing tasks. That seems like a dream, but those days are slowly growing closer to reality.

How, you ask?

Marketing Automation.

Marketing automation refers to software that automates many of your marketing tasks for you, allowing you to prioritize and execute tasks in a more efficient way by setting automatic triggers or manual triggers to deploy certain emails or messages. Marketing Automation allows businesses to connect with their audiences by nurturing leads. Personalized content served across multiple channels helps to convert those leads into customers. 

Emails are the “low hanging fruit” of automation right now, as there are dozens of software platforms that offer some form of automation, and it’s easy to work with emails. Most email marketing platforms can, at the minimum, perform some sort of basic automation.  Higher-end platforms allow for more targeting and more customization of workflows. Marketing automation can also be omni-channel, with the ability to personalize content online, trigger social posts or campaigns, and the use of SMS (text messaging).  

Types of Email Automation:

General Business

  • Welcome Series
  • Onboarding Series
  • Subscriber Re-Engagement Email
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Membership Renewal
  • Specific Date or Recurring Date
  • Special Event Invitations/Reminders 


  • Abandoned Shopping Cart Email or Series
  • Abandoned Browse Email or Series
  • Product Follow-up
  • Product Review
  • First Purchase Email
  • Best Customer Email
  • New/Featured Products

See anything on that list that could help you and your business? You most likely could use a few of these suggestions and might even discover gaps where your current communication with customers is dropping off.  By automating some of these processes, it keeps you in front of your customer, on their terms. Customizing these types of communications also feels less like you are blasting off the same messages to all of your subscribers, and tends to feel more like a one-to-one, personal email.

Let’s take a look at a sample email automation workflow so you can see how we visually map out the process below. Today, we will be sending out an email to a targeted group of our subscribers to show off a new whitepaper we created. We will setup a trigger that automatically sends a thank you email to all subscribers who opened the email, clicked the link, and then downloaded the whitepaper. Then we’ll wait three days, so we don’t annoy anyone with too many emails, then send out another email that talks about a valuable case study that could also help their business. Anyone who has now opened both of these emails, and went down the correct path we guided them towards, could be considered a “hot lead” or a more qualified lead.  They viewed the new whitepaper and downloaded the case study – it sounds like they certainly are interested in what we have to tell them. An email can be sent off to our sales team to let them know that this lead has shown interest.  All of this can be done through marketing automation.

The hardest part is developing the strategy, workflows, messages, and implementation – and that’s where an agency like can assist. Our Strategy Team is filled with subject matter experts who can perfectly create and execute these types of campaigns that will help gain your customer’s trust, educate your user base, and convert more sales.


B2B marketers say the #1 benefit of marketing automation is the ability to generate more and better leads. (Pepper Global, 2014)

64% of marketers say they saw the benefits of using marketing automation within the first six months of its implementation. (Regalix, 2015)

Email notifications about abandoned carts have a 40.5% open rate. (eMarketer, 2015)

Article contributed by:
Scott Lemke, Digital Marketing Strategist

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