Email Marketing Vs. Marketing Automation: What's the Difference?

In digital marketing, you may have heard the terms "email marketing" and "marketing automation" used interchangeably. But are these terms really the same, or are there important differences between them? Here, we'll explain the differences between email marketing vs. marketing automation and provide some tips on how to use these tools effectively to improve your marketing efforts.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is sending direct mail to potential and existing customers via your sales team. This can include newsletters, promotional offers, product updates, and other communication designed to engage and convert your audience. It is a popular and effective way to reach and engage with your target customer, as it allows personalized and targeted messages in an email blast to a large audience at once, helping your sales team generate leads.  It's also relatively inexpensive, as you only need to pay for the cost of sending emails rather than for advertising space or other marketing expenses.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation system is a software to automate marketing tasks and streamline other processes. This includes email campaign, email blasts, social media marketing, lead generation, customer segmentation, and more. These systems save time and effort by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks and focusing on more strategic and creative aspects of marketing. It also allows for more personalized and targeted communication, as it segments the audience based on their behaviors, interests, sales cycle and other factors. This makes sending transactional emails super easy.

What Are The Differences Between Email Marketing And Marketing Automation

While email marketing and automation are often used together, there are some critical differences between these two.  Let's understand some of the key differences: Scope: Email campaigns are focused on sending messages via mail, while automation covers a broader range of marketing activities and processes.  Marketing automation platform can include email campaign and other forms of digital marketing, such as social media marketing, lead generation, and customer segmentation in accordance with he sales cycle. Tools: Email marketing typically involves using email automaton software like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to create, send, and track email campaigns. On the other hand, automation typically automate tasks using software, such as HubSpot or Marketo, to automate and streamline marketing processes. Goals: The goals of email marketing and automation can also be different. Email campaigns are often focused on driving conversions and sales by sending targeted and personalized messages. This encourages recipients to take a specific action, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter. On the other hand, automation focuses on improving efficiency and effectiveness by automating and streamlining processes. Target Audience: In email marketing, a target audience is typically a specific group of individuals or customers who have opted to receive emails from the sender. In automation, the target audience can be broader and may include all customers or leads in a particular database. Activities: Email marketing typically involves sending individual emails to a targeted group of individuals or customers. On the other hand, an automation systems involves automating a more comprehensive range of business activities, such as email campaign, social media , and lead generation sales cycle. Level of Personalization: Email marketing typically allows for a high level of personalization, as the sender can tailor the content of the email to specific interests and needs of the recipient. Marketing automation, while it can also offer a high level of personalization, is typically less targeted and personalized than email campaigns. Cost: Email marketing can be a cost-effective way to reach a targeted group of individuals or customers, as it involves sending a single email to a specific group. On the other hand, marketing automation tools can be more expensive due to the cost of the software and the resources required to set up and maintain the automation processes.

How Can You Use Email Marketing And Marketing Automation Together?

While email marketing and marketing automation are different, they can also be used together to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.  Here are some ways you can use email marketing and marketing automation together:


Marketing automation allow you to segment your audience based on their behaviors, interests, and other factors. You can then use this segmentation to create targeted and personalized email campaign more likely to engage and convert your audience. For example, if you have a segment of customers who have shown an interest in a specific product or service, you can create an email campaign that promotes that product or service to that segment.


Marketing automation also allows you to set up triggers that automatically send emails based on specific actions or behaviors. For example, you can set up an automated email to be sent when a customer abandons their shopping cart or when a subscriber hasn't opened your emails in a specific time.


One of the key advantages of using email campaign and marketing automation software together is easy integration. This means you can use your email campaign software to trigger marketing automation campaigns and vice versa. For example, you can use your email marketing software to send a welcome email to new subscribers and then use your marketing automation software to automatically send them follow-up emails with more information and offers.

Reporting And Analysis 

Another advantage of using emails and marketing automation together is that they provide a wealth of data and analytics that can help you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns. You can use this data to optimize your campaigns, identify areas for improvement, and measure the return on investment of your efforts.

Re-Engagement Campaigns

Your marketing team can use marketing automation tools with an email campaign to set up re-engagement campaigns for inactive subscribers or customers. These campaigns can include a series of emails with special offers or incentives to encourage them to continue engaging with your brand beyond the usual sales cycles. These Include: Lead Nurturing You can use email campaigning techniques with automation platforms to set up a series of automated emails sent to qualifying leads based on their actions or inactivity. This can help in lead scoring and to nurture leads and move them further down the sales funnel. Welcome Emails You can use email automation features of the platform to send welcome emails as a part of personalized campaigns. You can send them to new subscribers or customers, introducing them to your brand and providing them with valuable information, making them a part of the the general sales cycles of your brand.


Is Marketing Automation Right for your business? If you are still unsure whether it is time to graduate from your Email Service Provider, take a look at your organization and marketing practices.

FAQs: Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation

Email marketing and automation are two essential tools in the digital marketer's toolkit. 

While they are different in scope, tools, and goals, they can be used together to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Combining the power of email campaign with the automation and personalization of automation, you can create more engaging and effective campaigns that drive conversions and sales.

What is the difference between Email marketing and marketing automation?

The main difference between email marketing and marketing automation system is the purpose and scope of their activities. Email campaigns involves sending individual emails to a targeted group of individuals or customers to promote a product or service.  On the other hand, automation involves automating a more comprehensive range of marketing activities, such as email, social media campaigns, and lead generation, to streamline and optimize tasks and processes.

What is the difference between marketing automation and CRM?

The main difference between marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) is the focus of the tools. Automation is focused on automating and optimizing marketing processes, such as email campaign and lead generation. CRM is a system that helps businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle to improve customer relationships and drive business growth.

What is the "Email marketing tasks" automation strategy?

An email marketing automation strategy is a plan for using emails and marketing automation systems to effectively reach and engage with customers and leads.  It involves setting specific goals, identifying target audiences, and creating a plan for executing and measuring the success of email campaigns.

Are email marketing campaigns the same as marketing automation?

Email marketing is a type of automation, whereas the latter refers to software that automates marketing actions.  Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions.