Marketing automation can help you save time, improve engagement, optimize your marketing and benefit your bottom line with workflow automation. It gives your customers personalized attention with thoughtful, authentic messages that sound like you’re writing to a friend, whether you have a hundred fans or millions of them. You can use merge tags in an email so that it starts with the customer’s name, for example, or you can reach out to people on big days like birthdays.

automation guide adroll

Marketing Automation

The logic or rules that enable marketing software to take over customer communications or behind-the-scenes business processes that would otherwise be handled by people. Automation can help small business marketers bring their strategy to life without taking up their resources and headspace. This technology works best when you have an established audience and a nurturing strategy you want to put in place, but it is also an effective way to acquire new customers and generate leads.

Here’s just one example of what marketing automation software can do for your business: determine which parts of a deployed advertising campaign are working and optimize accordingly. So instead of having to zig every time a customer zags, you can determine the strategy that best fits your customers’ journey that a marketing automation platform should execute upfront.

Apart from automated emails, your strategy may also include retargeting ads, postcards, a/b testing, and other tools to help automate your marketing and ensure you’re connecting with customers at every stage of their journey with your business.

Automations that are on even when you’re off

Every customer matters. But when you run a business, you might not have time to create a one-off campaign each time you need to talk to them. Marketing automation helps you keep the conversation going, so you can grow those customer relationships—and your business.

Marketing automation uses technologies that eliminate the need for you to send a one-off email every time you want to talk to your contacts or manually tag customers when they show interest in a product in your store. Basically, you can set up an automation to execute your strategy the way you want, and it will run in the background of your business. It gives you a way to be there for your customers, even when you’re on vacation or practicing self-care in some other way.

You can use automation tools to customize an experience for people based on their behaviors, preferences, purchase activity, and more. Your customers will feel like you’ve crafted every marketing message just for them, which will grow their trust in your brand. And you’ll build a loyal audience of people who love (and tell other people about) your business.

2. Gain Opportunities on Abandoned Carts and After Purchase with Sendinblue

And it’s a piece of cake to set up. Sendinblue comes with powerful automation capabilities out of the box. You can build your own automation workflows, but the platform comes with eight helpful, prebuilt options for ecommerce.

Sendinblue marketing automation tools

In either case, Sendinblue sets up the first and last actions in a three-step automation: the trigger event (either completed checkout or a visitor leaves with items in their cart) and the action (send them a message).

You’ll determine the delay between the trigger event and when you want the email to be sent out and build out the message in those follow-up emails. The latter can entail offering a promo code to complete their purchase or for their next one, personalized reminders about the product they’re interested in, or a satisfaction survey, to name a few examples.

Bonus: Add fresh data to your marketing campaign with DataForSEO

Consulting with Neil Patel


Neil Patel

He is the co-founder of NP Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.

TechnologyAdvice Guide to Marketing Automation Software

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1 Maropost


Maropost is a comprehensive marketing automation software designed for companies working in B2C industries. It provides established marketing teams with all the tools they need to achieve success, including email marketing, SMS and push notifications, mobile and social marketing, and website optimization. These channels allow B2C brands to keep their audience engaged anytime and anywhere by delivering targeted messages customized according to behavior, interests, and preferences.

2 Blueshift


Blueshift is an AI-enabled solution for cross-channel marketing that helps brands deliver relevant and connected experiences across customer interactions. This solution enables marketing teams to engage with customers through multiple platforms including emails, websites, and mobile applications. Professionals can use Blueshift’s predictive segmentation tools to segment users based on content interactions, channel engagement, behaviors, user attributes, and geo-location.

Need a Little Help?

3 Mailchimp


Mailchimp offers marketing automation and email marketing services and is best for businesses that prefer an all-in-one platform that supports the key components of online marketing and does not require advanced technical expertise. One of Mailchimp’s primary selling points is its ease of use. Features are well organized and easy to learn, and Mailchimp does not require advanced technical expertise or coding capabilities in order to create professional marketing campaigns.

4 is an all-in-one marketing automation solution aimed at boosting engagement and improving conversion. Use detailed information about users with visitor tracking details that are kept in a CRM. Set up and run campaigns with automated processes based on visitor data points or based on defined actions. Turn visitors into users with email campaigns: once they become customers, it’s easy to check in with them with omnichannel messaging.

5 ActiveCampaign


ActiveCampaign’s category-defining customer experience automation platform (CXA) helps businesses meaningfully engage with their customers. The platform gives businesses of all sizes access to 500+ pre-built automations that combine email marketing, marketing automation and CRM for powerful segmentation and personalization across social, email, messaging, chat and text. ActiveCampaign also includes 850+ integrations including Microsoft, Shopify, Square, Facebook, and Salesforce.

6 Pardot by Salesforce

Pardot by Salesforce

Pardot is a B2B CRM that empowers marketing and sales teams to find and nurture leads, close deals, and maximize return on investment. The lead management features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting. Companies can track all prospect interactions on site from downloads to page views, then score prospects based on parameters set. Automated lead nurturing and real-time sales alerts save time and help reps prioritize tasks and leads.

7 Sendinblue


Sendinblue is an all-in-one marketing platform for engaging with contacts and building customer relationships through targeted and meaningful communication. Build a contact database using integrated landing pages or embeddable forms built in a drag-and-drop form editor. Interact directly with customers with email campaigns created in an intuitive email editor with drag-and-drop interface or using the rich text or HTML options.

Table of contents

Marketing automation (MA) software is an advanced platform designed to help marketers capture new customers, improve marketing efficiency, and analyze lead behavior and campaign performance. This software captures leads, facilitates lead generation, develops relationships with individuals and groups of customers, and moves prospects through the sales funnel and throughout the customer journey. Marketing automation technology is now an essential resource for B2C and B2B marketing and sales departments looking to grow their business without the help of a marketing agency.

The software combines helpful platform features like email marketing , social media marketing , search engine marketing, multi-channel marketing, web analytics , and reporting tools . Many MA tools contain out-of-the-box features that teach marketers to develop successful marketing strategies. With these tools, B2C and B2B marketers and sales teams can quickly draw together customer data from multiple sources, create tactics that span different mediums, and combine and analyze customer insights for better conversions and higher revenue.

Marketing automation software is often compared to customer relationship management (CRM) software as they have overlapping functionality. But CRMs currently function as the go-to platform for sales departments, whereas MA platforms are built to scale and accelerate marketing efforts while making each touch more personalized and focused.

Marketing automation strategy automates critical — but repetitive — marketing processes, like posting for social media, sending automated emails, and segmenting customers based on their actions. However, the software also offers customization and personalization features that keep your branding fresh. You can customize email templates to fit your company, create special fields for categorizing your leads, and personalize each email with your customer’s name or recent product views using special fields that will add them automatically.

Marketing automation lets you scale your efforts to build relationships with multiple prospects across several different channels and provide them with a consistent experience despite their differing interests or needs. And when you properly segment your audience, this technology actually allows you to build more meaningful relationships with your prospects by providing them with content that’s relevant to their interests and to extend the customer lifecycle.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is not meant to spam your contacts. Not only is spamming bad marketing form, but it can also reduce customer loyalty . Marketing automation is most rewarding when you’re using it to send customized , relevant content to your contacts, not annoying, spammy emails.

SharpSpring feature wheel

What Is Marketing Automation and How Does It Help Marketers?

Marketing automation is the process of leveraging software to automate repetitive marketing tasks. Automation can save marketers a lot of time when they are following up on leads and taking potential clients through the conversion funnel.

Marketing automation software often works by integrating with customer relationship management (CRM) and customer data platform (CDP) software. Marketers can use automation tools to personalize the messages or content they send to leads. They can also schedule messages and automate common responses. For businesses with a large customer database, these tools can greatly increase the productivity of sales and marketing teams.

Small businesses often pride themselves on the personal touch. Sending individual emails to leads isn’t a scalable approach, however. As the reach of a business grows, it’s important to find new ways to stay in touch with people at different stages of the customer lifecycle.

Automation is a Growing Industry

In 2018, Adobe acquired marketing automation provider Marketo for $4.75 billion. Oracle and Salesforce have also made notable marketing automation acquisitions in the past nine years. Bloomreach, a digital experience platform (DXP) provider, acquired Exponea in December 2020. Exponea offers marketing automation and CDP integrations.

In September 2021, Intuit announced plans to acquire Mailchimp for $12 billion in cash and stock advances. Mailchimp is a consumer engagement and marketing automation platform aimed at small and mid-sized businesses. Susan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit, explains the company’s aim was to expand the platform so that it’s at the center of business growth for small and medium businesses. Goodarzi says, "[This] helps them overcome their most important financial challenges. Adding Mailchimp furthers our vision to provide an end-to-end customer growth platform to help our customers grow and run their businesses, putting the power of data in their hands to thrive.”

How D oes M arketing A utomation W ork ?

The short version is that marketing automation generates leads and converts them through customization. It allows you to search for potential leads automatically, then automatically and manually dig through your options to narrow down your list to your best possible leads.

Marketing automation can be used for a variety of objectives , but the three most significan t are its ability to drive more leads, convert those leads, and maximize how your marketing money is spent. Today, 67% of marketing leaders use a marketing automation platform, and 75% of marketers overall use at least one automated tool.

Drive more leads

Convert leads into sales

Maximize marketing spend

Driv ing M ore L eads

Convert ing L eads I nto S ales

Maximiz ing M arketing S pend

What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?

Create higher-value relationships

Prove value to your clients

Generate monthly recurring revenue

Create H igher- V alue R elationships

Prove V alue to Y our C lients

When we perfo rm marketing automation case studies , one thing we consistently hear is using marketing automation has helped our partners to prove their value to their clients. For instance, Tom Huggins of Greenroom Digital said that by using automated mark et ing, they “have managed to get major industries to rethink t he way they classify success and unlock wider opportunities previously missed.”

Generate M onthly R ecurring R evenue

When you provide automated marketing services, you can charge a monthly fee to your clients . This provides recurring revenue via their subscriptions and, since they’re in a contract, the incom e is predictable until they decide to renew their subscriptions or not.

According to SharpSpring’s research, 45% of agencies rely on marketing automation platforms to show ROI, with 42% of respondents noting client acquisition as a top objective in their marketing automation strategy .

Agencies Have Their Eye on ROI

Agencies Have Their Eye on ROI

Benefits of marketing automation

Analyzes your customers

Partnering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software further strengthens your marketing automation tactics. CRMs, such as ActiveCampaign’s sales crm, keep records of your customer’s consumer habits and will help you categorize them.

Knows when to market

Eighty-four percent of customers claim that the best way for a company to gain their business is by treating them like a person and not a number. For this reason, your marketing and sales teams should develop a balanced automated marketing strategy.

It’s important to monitor your customer’s interactions to see just how short or long of a period you should wait between your next personalized marketing message. If you market too aggressively, you could turn customers away; if you wait too long, you risk them choosing a competitor.

Lets your team focus on other tasks

Few people enjoy the monotony of repetitive tasks, but repetition is essential to success when it comes to marketing. By developing streamlined marketing automation practices, your business will benefit by using your employees’ time for higher-level tasks.

Saves time and money

One of the greatest benefits of marketing automation is the time and resources you’ll save by developing a marketing automation strategy. In the past, personalized marketing involved typing a customer’s name into each email, keeping track of birthdays and other important events.

Now, you can harness the power of automation technology to do this work for you. With the hours your team will save with their workflows by having emails and social media do your personalized marketing, they can invest their time in other aspects of your business.

Key features of marketing automation tools


Like all forms of marketing automation, email automation takes some upfront legwork. You’ll need to determine your funnels and what customers belong to which funnel. It’s essential to cover your bases, assessing every scenario where you have the opportunity to automate your emails. Examples include a welcome email when someone signs up for your email list or an abandoned cart email if someone left an unpurchased item.

After you’ve set up your email automation, your email service should provide you with data on click-to-open rates, among others. Using this information, you’ll be able to tweak the timing and content of your emails to maximize sales and new leads. If you include pricing in your emails, remember to update any future price changes in your automated templates.

Social media scheduling

According to SocialMediaToday, 83% of social media marketing users believe that post scheduling is an effective way to automate. However, there are right and wrong ways to use social media scheduling tools—people can often spot bots in comments, as they tend to leave repetitive and questionable content.

As a word of caution, you shouldn’t use a “set it and forget it” approach to social media automation. Situations evolve, especially if you’re posting on topics revolving around current events. So, you want to make sure your automation system isn’t posting anything you wrote a while back that could embarrass your business if the circumstances changed.


Let’s assume a potential customer abandons a cart in your online store. Instead of using your marketing team’s time to follow up with them individually (or worse, not following up with them at all), retargeting automation allows you to send out an email after a set period.

Targeted marketing like this has an average of 2 – 3 times the click-through rate compared to emails sent without using data, so it’s worth the time to play with different scenarios to see which is most effective for your business.

Customer journey

Some marketing automation software allows you to map out consumers’ behavior in terms of the kind of content they consume online. It’s a valuable tool for automation marketers since it helps them predict how customers might behave if they tweak different marketing techniques to appeal more to their natural purchasing instincts.

A/B split testing

L Some of the most effective marketing automation tools offer optimization and recommendations for improving your sales and generating leads. Many services provide the option for A/B testing, which is also called split testing.

Other features of automation tools that offer optimizations include product recommendations. In this case, if a customer clicks on a product, the automation tool will automatically show them other similar items they may be interested in purchasing.

Marketing Automation

For maximum efficiency, growth and best ROI from your marketing automation software, the processes across all the departments – marketing, sales and support have to be automated and need to work in conjunction. Say goodbye to operating in silos and welcome an integrated approach to ensure that the customer gets the best possible experience across teams in your organization. – marketing , sales and support have to be automated and work in conjunction. Say goodbye to operating in silos and welcome to an integrated approach to ensure customer gets the best possible experience across the teams in your organization.

Marketing Workflow

Bob Conklin joined Adobe through the Marketo acquisition and is a leader within the Adobe Experience Cloud strategic marketing team. Prior to Marketo, he led global marketing for large, multibillion dollar businesses at other tech brands including Oracle and HP.

A: Marketing automation is sometimes used in the B2C world, but it’s more often used in B2B. In B2B, you have long complicated customer journeys that you need to keep track of. And you need to keep track of those journeys in a central place. Marketing automation is that central place.

Marketing processes are always evolving quickly. New channels to market through are constantly developing. There are always new types of data to use in marketing campaigns. While all that continues to evolve, you need a stable foundation that everything else is plugging into. That’s what marketing automation has become.

Marketing automation is built to be extensible. A good marketing automation tool needs to be able to integrate with other marketing software. At last count there were over 7,000 marketing applications in the world, so it’s important to have a place that everything ties back to. That’s the role that marketing automation plays.


You can think of Eloqua as the Ferrari of marketing automation. It’s fully loaded, provides an exceptional level of service, and comes with a matching price tag. One of Eloqua’s key differentiators is the amount of time they spend teaching and helping their customers get the most out of the product. Like Marketo, Eloqua also has a great marketplace with plenty of integrations with third party services.

Whom it’s for:

Don’t look at Eloqua unless you’re really going after enterprise-level software and you have the budget for it. Now, if you do, Eloqua is a great option, especially if you like having a lot of guidance from your technology vendors. You should also consider Eloqua if tight CRM integration is important to you.

It’s closest to:

Pricing starts at:

The main reason we love is its flexibility. This is a tool that will really let you get what you want out of it. While it’s not all out of the box, if you’re willing to put in some developer time, you can really customize your experience. Another great thing about this tool is its lightweight UI and fast, personal customer support. is one of the newer players, but they’re growing very quickly and are definitely a company to watch. Unlike most of the older tools, is built to trigger emails based on events, rather than just pageviews.

Whom it’s for: is great for two kinds of uses: 1. Companies that are looking to get started with marketing automation and appreciate a lightweight UI (i.e. not your typical enterprise software) and 2. Companies that are looking for some more advanced functionality that requires flexibility and customization, and are willing to devote the developer resources to implement it. We happen to fall into the second category, which is why we chose for our marketing automation needs at Woopra.

It’s closest to:

Pricing starts at:

Is marketing automation useful for growing my business?

Absolutely, marketing automation can help you grow and succeed in your business ventures. There are three main areas in which you’ll benefit most from using marketing automation. These include the retention of customers, lead nurturing, and inbound lead generation.

The customers you do have make up the backbone of your business. That becomes especially truer if you’re a small business with an equally small audience base. You want each customer you do have to stick around while making new customers from lead conversions.

With marketing automation, you can create profiles for each of your customers. These offer you a comprehensive 360-degree view into all parts of your customer and who they are. That includes their behaviors, firmographics, and data like their gender, age, location, sometimes even their job title and income. From there, you have the freedom to organize your audience into buckets and then market towards them with targeted campaigns.

Marketing automation can also assist you in generating more leads for your small business. With inbound marketing, in which you rely on social media, websites, landing pages, blogs, and more, you can capture the attention of more leads. By personalizing these pages, you appeal to the interests of your lead segments.

After you gain their interest, you can use lead nurturing services through marketing automation to maintain it. Besides that, you may also open up lead communications, often through several channels. With lead scoring, you can determine which of your leads would make the most ideal customers and then gravitate towards them. It’s then up to you to convert them.

Why use EngageBay?

In the Marketing Bay area of the software, you can access EngageBay’s small business marketing platform. With marketing automation, you’ll boost engagement, lead gen rates, conversions, customer retention, and sales.

Automated email sequences let you tap into your warm leads and get them ready to buy and convert. With EngageBay, you can also personalize the emails you send before you automate them. It’s easier than ever with one-click personalization elements. If you want to segment your audience via lead scoring or other methods, automation does the hard work for you.

Analytics reports allow you to track your delivery and performance across your automated marketing campaign. From subscribers to those who unsubscribed, open rates, and click-through rates, you won’t have a single question about how well your campaign did.

You can try a demo of EngageBay or sign up for free. The Basic plan costs $8.99 a month for each user, the Growth plan $17.99 a month, and the Pro plan $47.99. You can even get a custom plan. CRM use is always free with EngageBay.


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