Marketing Technology Primer: What is Email Marketing Automation?

This Marketing Technology Primer on Email Marketing Automation Delves into the Definition, Application, and Scope of Adoption in the Modern CMO’s Martech Stack

Email Marketing is the backbone of any Marketing Technology stack. Despite its unchallenged role in Marketing Automation, most marketers fail to truly deliver on their campaign targets. This primer series on Email Marketing Automation discusses the various dimensions of Email Marketing and its role in maximizing ROI from Marketing Technology.

Getting Started with Email Marketing Automation

Email Marketing Automation is the ability to schedule emails to be sent out at a stipulated time for the desired outcome. Hence, the term is a blend of Marketing Automation and Email Automation. The technique is a proven marketing strategy to send out relevant information to prospective or confirmed buyers through automated email campaigns.

Definition of Email Marketing Automation

We reviewed the resources available with the leading industry players in the MarTech landscape that are currently offering Email Automation tools. The definition of Email Marketing Automation is consistent with the technology adoption, scope of its application and ease of integration with other MarTech tools and platforms.

Here are the top definitions of Email Marketing Automation:


“Email Marketing automation is a robotic-sounding term for the strategy of making your messaging more personalized and timely — two of the most important aspects of any successful Email Marketing campaign. Email automation is simply converting the dispatch of email messages from a manual process to an automatic one.”


“Email Marketing remains a staple channel for marketing leaders, prized for its effectiveness, measurability and the customer insights it yields. Use a market guide to identify providers that can execute your Email Marketing campaigns and advance your email program maturity.”

Smart Insights

“Automation by definition is where you introduce systems that will generate actions due to certain triggers that you set up. Applying this to Email Marketing, it means that once a customer subscribes to a certain email journey, they will automatically receive your emails without you having to do anything else. This is a brilliant function for you, an email marketer, as it means once you’ve set these up — they can run themselves and you can spend your time on other tasks.”


“Trigger-based Email Marketing campaigns are exactly what they sound like – automated emails that are triggered by a specific action by a web visitor or customer. One of the key benefits of sending trigger-based Email Marketing campaigns is that once created, they continue to run without the labor-intensive work usually required to send email campaigns.”


“Good Email Marketing starts with the content you’re sharing with your subscribers. Put yourself in their shoes and ask, is this something I would want to receive? Remember that your prospects don’t care about your company or your product — they care about their challenges and how you can help solve them. So, create and share content that they’ll find useful and interesting.”

Read More: Marketing Technology Primer: Why Invest in Influencer Marketing?

Why You Should Learn About Email Marketing Automation?

Does Email Marketing still work? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Why? There will be 4.1 billion email users by 2022. To cater to such a large audience, automation of Email Marketing initiatives is a must for marketers all over the world. To validate the criticality of Email Marketing, here are a few facts about the same:

  1. Email Marketing guarantees an ROI of 3,800%. That’s $38 in return for a dollar spent
  2. $270 million is projected to be spent on email advertising in 2019 in the USA alone
  3. Comparatively, the global ad spend on email advertising was $2.81 billion in 2017
  4. Almost every report that discusses email open rates declares mobile to be the paramount factor for 50% email opens
  5. 70% of brands fail in correctly assessing the ROI of Email Marketing

Key Features to Look for in an Email Marketing Automation Tool

If you are looking for an Email Marketing Automation platform to accelerate your Marketing goals, here is the list of key features that experts recommend.

Any Email Marketing Automation tool should –

  • Have an interactive and clutter-free dashboard to see email metrics, reports and drag-and-drop features
  • Offer segmentation and personalization in email campaigns to deliver message at any point in a buyer’s journey
  • Enable users to build customized email campaigns, using pre-defined and customer-defined email templates
  • Seamlessly integrate with websites, apps, and hundreds of other third-party Marketing Technology software and services, including Marketing Analytics, social media, Mobile commerce, Mobile CRM, and so on
  • Support A/B Testing

Read More: 2019’s Content Strategy Primer

Top Email Marketing Automation Providers in the Marketing Technology Landscape


MailChimp enables users that are interested in your offerings to subscribe and/or unsubscribe to an Email Marketing list. This is done through sign-up forms that users voluntarily choose to fill. When you send out emails to these subscribed users, they are known as campaigns that are sent through reusable email templates.


Infusionsoft offers both — Email Marketing and Customer Relationship Management for small businesses. Infusionsoft users primarily leverage its Email Marketing Automation platform for lead generation and e-commerce.


Among several products that HubSpot develops, its email platform is used to create stunning email templates. The platform also allows personalizing email headlines and content for every recipient. Although, the best part is that users can perform A/B testing to improve open rates and click-throughs.


Marketo’s extremely easy-to-use platform enables marketers to drive resonating content through email in a matter of minutes. Customers journeys are easy to follow without any developer assistance. Marketo’s platform also permits A/B testing.


GetResponse helps marketers drop traceable email campaigns without any effort. Depending on the lead behavior and data you can also create static/dynamic subscriber lists. The platform allows access to detailed campaign reports.

The Clean-Up Act

Like other Marketing Technology platforms, the success of Email Marketing Automation depends on how well you understand the features and the integrations with other tools and apps.

It goes without saying that you should be on top of your Email Marketing applications, which includes you to do the ‘clean-up act’ more often. This entails you to verify and filter out email lists to increase your delivery rates and reduce abandoned/unsubscribed customers.

A compelling subject line with an interactive copy in the email body continues to test the creative skills of any Marketing and Design team. With the coming of age for Email Graphic, Video in Emails, ABM and AI and Machine Learning technologies, even this creative aspect of Email Marketing Automation is mechanized to a great extent.


Considering the effectiveness of email in demand generation, lead generation, and sales, Email Marketing is only growing to grow in size, scale and stature. With the maturity of DMPs and CDP pumping in better data into the system, Email Marketing Automation would continue to outpace other Marketing efforts. It is important that marketers should choose the right email automation tool(s) that fit into their MarTech objectives and budget.

Read More: Marketing Technology Primer on “What is Sentiment Analysis”

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