With marketing automation seeing the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years, it is important to understand the differences between bulk email and campaign automation. Is bulk email dead?? Is campaign automation taking place of the bulk email?? While both questions are valid, there is still a time and place for each in a marketing campaign. In this post, I will highlight the differences and use cases for each. It's important to understand who is the beneficiary of your marketing campaigns. In this post, I will use Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics CRM as my platform of choice where users can most directly benefit from these types of campaigns and by using Microsoft's technology, they can easily create and execute them. Everything from campaign management, email execution and automation, landing page creation, CRM task creation, and social media posts and tracking can be handled by Dynamics Marketing. Microsoft Dynamics CRM users receive marketing information right inside of CRM that help dictate sales conversation and actions that create a true marketing and sales alignment across the organization. A screenshot of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing can be found below: Campaign Dynamics Marketing Now, let's start with the definition of a bulk email: In simplest terms, a bulk email is a one-off email communication sent to a specific list of recipients. The bulk email is the grandfather of email marketing and has been part of the markers tool belt since day one of the email marketing saga. Below are some of the uses of the bulk email:
  • Bulk Emails Can be Regular: Whether it’s the monthly newsletter or the Happy Birthday email sent to your customers, bulk emails can be regular and add fuel to your marketing automation system.
  • Quick Database Communication: In need of a quick communication to a segment or the entire database, the bulk email can be used for product updates, outages, and overall quick communication pieces.
  • Useful Sales Tool: The bulk email can be a useful tool for sales team when communicating the same message to multiple contacts in the database. Rather than having to send the same communication many times over in Outlook, a sales person can use bulk email to communicate and also have the option to use beautiful email templates and track the progression of the bulk email send.
  • Cross Promotional Opportunities: Your newsletter can drive general web traffic, be promoted in nurture campaigns, and gain cross promotion throughout a variety of social media networks.
Next, let's talk about Campaign Automation. Campaign Automation can be defined as scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns. When automating marketing communication it reduces repetitive tasks associated with the marketing process and allows for easy segmentation and campaign management to deliver a more relevant marketing message. Furthermore, the integration to CRM systems allow for a marketers to easily pass marketing data to sales in CRM and offer true marketing and sales alignment. According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that use campaign automation have 107% better lead conversion rate, 40% greater average deal size, 20% higher team attainment of quota, and 17% better forecast accuracy. Let's discuss the uses of campaign automation:
  • Drip, Trigger, and Nurture Marketing: With campaign automation, you can add starts, stops, and incorporate sales into your email communications. For example, in the screenshot below you can see the campaign canvas in Dynamics Marketing and how as a marketer you can react to actions taking place in your marketing communication. If email is opened or clicked, wait three days and send another email as well as create a task in CRM for a sales person to follow up. Campaign Automation MDM
  • Landing Pages and Web Forms: Submission of landing pages or web forms can trigger a series of campaign automation events to happen and pass the lead or contact to sales in CRM with integration. An example of this would be a prospect coming to your website and submitting the contact us form requesting more information. Once submitted, a series of automated emails go out in different time variations and once the last email has been received, a scheduled task in CRM is created for the sales person who works that territory.
  • Call to Action: Calls to action can be added to email marketing communications as links to drive contacts to register for something on landing pages, websites, and social media sites. A great example, send an email marketing message to prospects containing a hyperlink labeled ‘register for webinar’ which takes the recipient to a landing page where they can register. This then registers the prospect for the webinar and then automates all marketing communication, event emails, follow ups, and lets sales know the prospect has registered for the webinar.
  • Social Media: Social media postings can be automated and tracked with campaign automation and can create calls to action to drive awareness on social outlets. A great example of this would be an automated twitter post that drives awareness to your marketing campaign that can be seen by your twitter followers that might not have been on the original email list.
As you can see, the bulk email and campaign automation are very different in nature but both have a home in marketing campaign execution. Thank you and happy marketing!!

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