Marketing automation is a form of email marketing that is very sophisticated.

It is both the most effective and the most difficult to implement of your email marketing options.

What makes marketing automation so powerful is the email’s you queue up are “chained together” with if-then statements.

When an email is sent, whether it was or was not opened is tracked. Whether the read did or did not take the suggested action is tracked.

The next email that goes out is based on whether or not the last email was read as well as whether or not the suggested action in the last email was taken.

It is this if-then capability of marketing automation that makes it so power. It is also this if-then capability that makes it the hardest to implement. For a campaign of 5 steps (from downloading an eBook or some similar activity to buying) there will be a minimum of 15 separate emails you write, and probably more.

We all tend to delay getting started with marketing automation for similar reasons.


There are only 168 hours in a week and when you’re feeling stretched already, how do you fit this in?


Beyond time, someone has to understand the subject well enough to research and present possible solutions. Once a solution has been selected, someone has to get it implemented. While this does take time, it also requires some level of expertise which you either have in house or hire out.

Internal Processes

Even in a small business there may be a number of people who have to buy in and agree on how the marketing automation program will be implemented. There has to be a process for coordinating activity, obtaining consensus, etc.


This is similar to resources, but not identical. You may or may not have someone on staff with the skills and time to get this going. You may or may not have budget to hire out.

Legacy Systems

Your leads may currently be tracked in a system that you’re preferred marketing automation solution doesn’t work with. What do you do? Duplicate leads in two systems? Migrate from your old system to a newer one? At times this can be quite the challenge.


dotMailer is a marketing automation platform and they’ve put together a useful infographic that helps explains these marketing automation issues well.

In conclusion

It’s important to start with marketing automation even if you start small.

While navigating through the issues above can be challenging, it’s important not to get caught in a cycle of paralysis by analysis.

Get a trial of the system you think best suits your needs, or use a very inexpensive system, and build a simple campaign. Migrate your leads from your main system to your new system even if what you initially do doesn’t scale well.

The purpose of this is not so much that a limited deployment will be a raging success, but rather that starting somehow, even a little bit, helps you figure out how do this on a larger scale.

It’s the old proverb of…..

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

The way you get started is to get started. To take a few initial steps.

What seems daunting at first becomes less daunting as you get into it.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.