Email Marketing vs. Email Marketing Automation – Who Reigns Supreme?


Throughout the constantly changing world of digital marketing, companies constantly look for the most economical and efficient approaches to communicating with their target audience. Of all the possible techniques, email marketing and email marketing automation are the most significant. Despite their similarities, each business trying to get the most out of its marketing strategy has to understand their differences, applications, and benefits. The following article offers more information with full explanations and examples, diving deeper into every strategy.

What is Email Marketing?

Delivering emails to a list of customers who consented to receive them is an aspect of email marketing. This approach is used not only for marketing products but also to develop relationships with consumers and notify viewers of new articles on the blog, specials, and offerings.

Example: Every month, a local bakery provides its email list subscribers with a schedule of events that are coming up at the bakery, a list of new pastries, and special discounts for the month.

When is Email Marketing the Right Choice?

Email marketing is particularly effective for straightforward communication needs. It’s the right choice when:

  • Launching time-sensitive promotions: A retail establishment can declare a flash discount for the weekend, for example.
  • Sharing Updates: A not-for-profit communicating information about its initiatives and outcomes.
  • Relationships: Sending clients customized emails on their birthdays or anniversaries fosters relationships.
  • Customer Re-engagements: Re-engaging customers by sending unique offers to those who haven’t bought from you in a while.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation automatically handles multipurpose campaigns and marketing operations across several media. In order to provide seamless user experiences, it goes beyond email and includes SMS messages, social media posts, and targeted internet adverts.

An e-commerce platform using marketing automation to send targeted social media ads for the same products to customers who leave their carts empty. If the cart is left empty for an extended amount of time, the platform will also send an SMS offering a discount.

When Should You Choose Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is best used when your plan calls for:

  • Complex Customer Journeys: Adapting communication to the actions and inclinations of the customer.
  • Coordination: Coordinating communications across social media, email, and other channels is known as a multi-channel campaign.
  • Lead nurturing: It is the process of gradually warming up leads by giving them incentives and information at the appropriate moment.
  • Scalability: Taking care of a high number of leads or clients without correspondingly raising the workload of the marketing staff.

Detailed Comparison

1) Tracking behavior via email as opposed to tracking behavior online

Email Promotion: It draws attention to how recipients and emails interact. For example, a company would track whose email subscribers clicked on the product link when a new product was announced.

Marketing automation: Through the tracking of user interactions on the website and other digital channels, marketing automation provides a comprehensive perspective. It can follow a user’s path, for example, from clicking on a Facebook advertisement to visiting the website, reading many blog entries, and finally subscribing to a newsletter.

2) Single Path vs. Adaptive, Customer-Centered Messaging

Email marketing: Sends the identical message to all subscribers using a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Marketing automation: Modifies the message in response to user behavior. If a person visits relevant pages on a website, for instance, indicating their interest in a particular product category, future communications may be customized to specifically highlight that area.

3) Static Information vs. Dynamic Lead Scoring

Email Marketing: Segmentation is usually based on static criteria like demographics or subscription date.

Marketing Automation: Utilizes dynamic lead scoring, adjusting a lead’s score based on their interactions, which can change over time, ensuring more relevant communication.

4) Revenue Assumption vs. Revenue Attribution

Email Marketing: Might assume that an increase in sales is due to a recent email campaign without direct evidence.

Marketing Automation: Can directly attribute sales to specific marketing activities, providing clear insights into what’s working and what’s not.

5) Simple Automation vs. Intelligent Follow-Up

Email Marketing: Capable of automating basic tasks, such as sending a welcome email upon subscription.

Marketing Automation: Enables complex, behavior-triggered campaigns, such as sending a follow-up email with product recommendations after a purchase.

Integrating Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

The most successful businesses often use a blend of both strategies. For example, a company might use email marketing for broad communications like newsletters and general promotions, while employing marketing automation for more targeted, behavior-based campaigns.

Business Applications

What Kind Of Business Needs Email Marketing?

Virtually every business can benefit from email marketing. It’s especially useful for:

  • Small businesses or startups with limited budgets.
  • Businesses with a single product line or straightforward services.
  • Companies looking to maintain a direct line of communication with their customers.

What Kind Of Business Needs Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is particularly beneficial for:

  • Businesses with complex sales cycles, such as B2B companies.
  • E-commerce platforms with a wide range of products.
  • Companies aiming to scale their marketing efforts efficiently.


Digital marketing consists of both email marketing and marketing automation. Email marketing is an efficient and simple method of direct contact; yet, marketing automation gives an advanced strategy based on behavior to engage and retain leads. Depending on your business’s particular requirements, goals, and resources, you could choose to merge both or pick one over the other. By becoming informed of each platform’s capabilities and uses, you can design a marketing approach that not just targets those you want to reach but also creates an emotional connection with them in their final days increasing engagement and eventually generating revenue.

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