Marketing automation

Marketing automation is software that effectively automates your marketing activities, allowing you to focus on creating value elsewhere in the business while parts of your marketing are automated. Learn more about this great ''tool'' in this article.


What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is automated email marketing. Automation simply means that things are put on autopilot. That means you set up a system that sends out the right emails at the right times in the user's journey. It can be a simple email automation that just delivers a welcome email, or a much more complex system of triggers, segmentations and targeted messages.

Because email automation is such a powerful marketing tool, providers have developed it in recent years to perform very detailed and specific tasks. For example, you can send out a newsletter with a special section that is only shown to people who have clicked on a special link. It can all be set up to be completely automatic.

Marketing automation goes a bit hand in hand with inbound marketingwhere sales come to you via a content-driven marketing system that is automated. A good marketing automation strategy can communicate with a large number of leads via personalised content to each potential customer's situation, needs and willingness to buy.

This is possible because the system is able to track and analyse what your potential customers find interesting as well as their stage in the buying process via data about their visits to your website.

This way, you can warm up your potential customers with targeted and specific content - fully automatically and your sales department no longer risks calling customers too early in the buying process. You can use this method whether you are B2B, B2C, have a website or work in the e-commerce.

Benefits of marketing automation

Here are some of the areas where email automations often have an advantage over other marketing tools.

  • Connection. Nothing in digital marketing is as personal as an email. Your inbox is your personal online mailbox, accessible only by you. That makes email one of the best places to make a personal connection with your contacts. Personal connection is often a cornerstone when it comes to warming up leads and turning them into buying customers. It also requires engagement from the recipient especially if you're good at writing emails that engage the recipient personally - this is true even if you're sending to a business, for example in B2B commerce.
  • Attention. With email you get the "purest" attention from your contact. There are no commercials, ads or competing products. It's just you and your messages.
  • Conversions. Email automation generally converts very well, especially compared to online advertising. This is mainly because your subscribers have signed up to your newsletter precisely because they are interested in hearing from you and buying your products.
  • Flexibility. You can customize your email automation completely as you want. You can have 10 different welcome sequences, 100 different segments and send 1,000 emails a year. And the content is entirely up to you. It's really only your imagination that sets the limits.
  • Cost. Email automation generally gives you cheaper sales than other marketing. That's because your subscribers are red-hot leads, often ready to buy, but also because it can all be set up in automation. Once the groundwork is laid, you don't have to spend much time maintaining it. The price of a good email automation system is also rarely high. Of course, the price increases with the amount of emails you need to send and/or the number of subscribers you have. But so does the number of sales you land, so the math will almost always add up to a plus. And that's not something you can take for granted in other areas of online marketing.

Marketing automation examples

A simple example might be that your system simply sends a "thank you for downloading our e-book" or "thank you for signing up for our webinar”.

You can also build email automation, where a sign up to your newsletter enables your platform to automatically send a relevant email stream with specific content to each potential customer. The aim is always to warm up the potential customer for a sale.

Examples include:

  • A woman searches Google for an answer to a question she has about online marketing. Here she comes across your website as one of the top links in the search engine, since you have fortunately written a good SEO text that matches her answer. She clicks on your link and reads.
  • In a pop-up in the bottom left corner, she can see that you are currently offering a free webinar on the same topic. She just has to confirm with her email address to reserve a place. She'd love to participate in that, so she agrees to the terms.
  • Because you have an automated system, you automatically send her an email with information about that webinar.
  • Not many days after the webinar, your system sends another automatic email to the same woman, offering her a free copy of your new book on marketing, for example. She learned a lot on your webinar, so she won't say no to that.
  • When she presses the "yes please" button, your system automatically sends an email saying, "thank you for downloading - here's the e-book".
  • Afterwards, this lead can be handed over to a sales department who can call the woman up and sell the full edition of your new book, or your automation system can do the remaining work itself to warm up the woman to buying your entire new book online.
  • When the woman signed up with her email address, the automated mailflow started. The purpose here was to warm her up with targeted content until she eventually ends up buying your entire new book. So that's a sale to a woman who was just searching for an answer on Google about marketing, who has now ended up becoming your customer.

How do I get started with marketing automation?

Your first task will be to build really good workflows that contain quality content that your automation system can use to send out specific and targeted content to your potential customers.

Then choose a provider

There are several different automation platforms that you can make use of. Most bring all marketing efforts together on one platform, which can be a big advantage. This way, you can easily get a 360-degree perspective of your potential customers warming up to buy your product or service. It is also possible to hire either an agency or a specialist to do this work, but it is also possible to do it yourself. To make it as manageable as possible, we have gathered the most commonly used marketing automation tools.

  • HubSpot - Probably the most popular platform you can use for your marketing automation if you are a B2B company. This provider also has all the tools you need in one system such as CRM, CMSblogging, email marketing, SEO, social media management and sales management.
  • Active Campaign - Unlike HubSpot, Active Campaign is a customer-focused automation platform that helps create better relationships between a company and their customers. In addition, Active Campaign is a great platform to build your email marketing in.
  • Mailchimp - Also one of the most popular platforms to use for marketing automation. It has many of the same automation tools as both HubSpot and Active Campaign, however Mailchimp is great to use as the program's interface makes it easy for anyone to use the program whether you are experienced or not with setting up automations.

Frequently asked questions about marketing automation

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is automated email marketing, where you set up a system to send emails to your customers at times you can schedule.

What can I use marketing automation for?

Marketing automation can be used in many ways, but the most common is to keep your customers updated with relevant knowledge and information about your business such as newsletters, auto-replies thanking them for downloading free e-books or advertising content that the customer might be interested in buying.

What are the benefits of marketing automation?

Some of the great benefits of marketing automation are you can create better connections with your customers, greater chance of conversions from customers and the cost is generally low.

Which provider should I choose for my marketing automation?

There are many different automation providers, each with their own qualities. Most automation platforms are generally easy to use, so you don't need to hire an agency. Some of the most commonly used automation providers are Hubspot, Active Campaign and Mailchimp.


Philip Tovborg

Partner & Head of Inbound Marketing

Se forfatter

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Do you need help with marketing automation, or are you considering whether it makes sense for your business to focus on marketing automation? Contact Philip Tovborg to discuss your project.

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