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What is the difference between e-mail automation and marketing automation

Author: Neo Anderson
by Neo Anderson
Posted: Aug 23, 2019

In the age of inbound marketing, it's impossible to ignore automation marketing and e-mail automation. Indeed, both avoid the marketer to engage in recurring and tedious tasks that may affect its concentration.

Be careful not to confuse one with the other. If the first is to automate a series of marketing actions according to predefined scenarios, the second is limited to sending personalized emails.

Two different tracking solutions

Marketing automation and e-mail automation all have in common the mailing service. Both of these solutions use e-mail marketing to engage users.

The main difference lies in the tracking they operate. As a reminder, the purpose of tracking is to follow the user's actions and identify his interests, generally using cookies.

Email automation does not track prospects. This solution merely obtains aggregated data by collecting user rates, clickthrough rates, open rates, and unsubscribe rates. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics are then needed to track statistics related to the website being accessed.

On the other hand, the marketing automation software makes it possible to follow the customer journey in its continuity and to make it more fluid. In fact, in addition to collecting data on an e-mailing campaign, this solution makes it possible to determine whether the user has consulted another page, if he clicked on a call-to-action or if he downloaded some content. All this information will be useful to anticipate the needs of the user, in other words, to adjust and customize a marketing campaign.

Marketing automation puts an end to isolated emails

E-mail automation solutions can create a campaign by sending one e-mail at a time, to a given segment of a contact list. This mailing list is not scalable. Without modification, it remains in the state.

To be able to send another email, another campaign must be created. It is the same for the future. The list needs to be constantly segmented to better target.

One of the strengths of marketing automation is to continuously enrich the profiles of leads. A new interaction of the Internet user makes it possible to collect additional data which completes the profile of the lead and updates the lead scoring.

Unlike e-mail automation, marketing automation is not just about sending e-mails. It can be used to add contacts to specific mailing lists based on their actions, give them a score in a database, to maintain a better relationship with the most engaged users.

Also, with marketing automation, the user receives a tailor-made message according to his profile and his situation in the purchase process. This customization of the content and the timing thus makes it possible to reinforce the impact of the solicitation.

Impact of algorithms on the mailing

With the advent of artificial intelligence, mailing campaigns tend to become standardized and converge towards marketing automation. This technology is essentially based on more or less complex algorithms, depending on the tool used, to react automatically to different situations.

To put it simply, an algorithm can be considered as a program containing a set of scenarios. Each frame will be triggered by a given action, called "entry point". It can be a membership to a site, the abandonment of purchase, etc.

From this point, the scenario will develop according to the choices presented to the user (yes/no, accept/ignore, etc.). The frame will then proceed according to relations of implication (if "yes", then A, if "no", then B, etc.).

To better visualize the whole, it is enough to represent the choices proposed by two or three branches starting from the point of entry. Each branch can then branch out indefinitely, depending on the options available thereafter.

With a powerful algorithm, the marketer can comprehensively cover all possible actions at any stage of the customer journey and schedule mailing actions accordingly (welcome mail, promotional offers, relaunch for an abandoned basket, etc.).


Important engagement vectors, e-mail automation, and marketing automation are part of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Email automation is flexible, easy to use and inexpensive. However, this method only provides static information.

For its part, marketing automation offers an overview of leads and allows the marketing strategy to be adapted to their behavior. More than an e-mailing tool, marketing automation is inseparable from lead management.

If you liked this article, Contact our marketing automation agency

About the Author

Engineer by Education, Marketing Influencer by Profession, and Creative Writer by Passion Neo is involved in Branding, Advertising & Consulting in the domain of Digital Marketing over the years.

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Author: Neo Anderson

Neo Anderson

Member since: Jun 25, 2019
Published articles: 4

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