Monica DiBartolo talks through marketing automation and give some best practice advice...
The difference between marketing automation and batch and blast is that in marketing automation, you have to think about your campaigns before you build them, so you essentially set them up so they can run through and be automated for you, where batch and blast, you're actually selecting the list each and every time and then blasting out an email.
Marketing automation can be thought of as...you're thinking about your customers, all your segments, and they all have their own demographics associated to them - what age they are, any selections that you have associated with it - but then you layer in all of their behavioural elements, the elements that might be taking place on-site that they might be engaging with your e-mail, so putting all of that together, it starts to get really complex, but being able to automate those 'if/then' scenarios and the questions of if somebody takes this action, then send them this communication and then even layering in some dynamic content to make sure that the content that you're sending them is the right information for them.
Some email strategies to support the sales cycle include things such as 'Welcome', so when somebody signs up on your website for a newsletter or blog, you welcome them to the newsletter or blog. Another section is, if they're in the top of the funnel and you want to send some nurturing communications and make sure that you're helping to push them lower and lower down the funnel. In the middle of the funnel, you want to look for different conversion points. If somebody's taking certain actions on your site that are conversion points for a middle funnel kind of interaction, then you can send a drip campaign that's supporting that. And then same with the bottom of the funnel; if you're seeing lots of lower funnel activities happening, you can send a trigger to a sales person to follow up with someone, so having these different strategies in place can help support your sales cycle.
You can support event marketing through email by setting up an event campaign where you are able to send out an invitation to somebody and then follow up with them throughout their registration process, and with marketing automation, you're also able to see what kind of events people are interested in and then continue to market those kinds of events to them.
Some eCommerce strategies for email include things such as 'product browse' and 'cart abandoned,' so when somebody's browsing products on your site, you can then re-target them through email, or even if they've added things to cart but then didn't purchase it, you can send them a follow-up offer. Batch and blast and marketing automation are two different deployment tactics for all of these strategies. You can deploy these communications in either fashion, though batch and blast is very, very manual, where marketing automation really frees up your marketing team to do what they do best, and that's marketing.