Mastering Ecommerce Marketing Automation: Everything you need

Ecommerce marketing automation

Can you compare the efficiency and costs of producing a simple thing like a spoon between fully automated production and manual production? Of course, the difference is out of the question. 

If you compare Ecommerce marketing automation to the old fashion manual marketing, you will get the same result: a huge gap! 

So, it seems that knowing “how to implement marketing automation” is essential for your ecommerce business. But first, you need to understand this concept and increase your knowledge in this field. Otherwise, you will find yourself lost in a world of different marketing automation software and tools. 

In this article, we try to cover every topic you need to know for implementing marketing automation in your Ecommerce business. It will also be updated regularly, so come back and check for the latest information here. 

Let’s start by answering the first question, What is marketing automation?

What Is Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the use of technology to automate marketing tasks and workflows. This ranges from sending emails and managing social media to segmenting audiences and tracking customer behavior. It’s all about optimizing processes and delivering tailored experiences at scale.

With marketing automation, businesses can target customers with automated messages across email, web, social, and SMS.

Imagine you run an online store and want to send a series of emails to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. Instead of manually sending individual emails to each customer, you can use marketing automation software to automatically send a series of pre-written emails to these customers at specific time intervals. The first email might be a reminder that they left items in their cart, the second email might offer a discount code to encourage them to complete their purchase, and the third email might offer additional product recommendations based on their browsing history.

Pro tip: Marketing Automation is not just limited to sending automated emails. If you search on the internet without knowing this fact, you may be settled with an email marketing tool which is not the whole potential of this game-changing concept.  

Ecommerce Marketing Automation Definition

Showing the Ecommerce Marketing Automation in an illustration: a robot is answering a person through a laptop.

The concept of Ecommerce marketing automation basically means using marketing automation (which is a broader concept) for an Ecommerce business. For instance, an online store can rely on automation through almost the whole user journey of customers. From seeing the advertisement and first visit to repeated purchases. This is where you need to know the “marketing automation customer journey” which you will read later in this article.  On the other hand, a traditional physical shop may only use this concept for special purposes like increasing the number of newsletter subscribers.

In this article, in general, we cover Ecommerce marketing automation. 

What is Marketing Automation Strategy?

Showing the Marketing Automation strategy in an illustration: a group of people are untying a complicated string.

A marketing automation strategy is a well-thought-out plan that outlines how an organization intends to use marketing automation tools and techniques to achieve specific goals and objectives. This strategy encompasses a series of steps and actions designed to streamline marketing processes, enhance customer engagement, and drive desired outcomes.

It is easy to confuse the concept of automation strategy and automation methods. When you simply decide to send an automatic email to those who abandoned their cart, you are using a method and a tool for automation. But when you try to plan your whole automation process, the goals, and your target audience and try to choose the best ways to facilitate your customers’ journey with the help of automation, then you are creating a marketing automation strategy.

Here’s a breakdown of the key components of a marketing automation strategy:

Goal Setting: Clearly define the objectives you aim to achieve through marketing automation. For example: increasing lead generation, improving customer retention, boosting sales conversions, or enhancing overall customer experience.

Target the right audience: Identify and segment your target audience based on factors such as demographics, behavior, interests, and purchase history. This segmentation will help you tailor your marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness. Using the Buyer Persona tool can help you a lot in this step. 

Content Mapping: Develop a content plan that aligns with each stage of the customer journey. Create content that resonates with different segments of your audience, from awareness and consideration to decision-making and post-purchase engagement.

Process Design: Design automation workflows that define the series of actions triggered by specific customer behaviors or milestones. These workflows could include sending welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, personalized recommendations, and follow-up messages.

Personalization Strategy: Implement personalization tactics to deliver highly relevant and targeted content to each individual based on their preferences, behavior, and interactions with your brand.

For example, for sending a welcome email to new subscribers you may design three different emails:

Subscriber A: This subscriber has previously purchased dresses from your store. You send a 10% discount on their next dress purchase. 

Subscriber B: This subscriber’s browsing history indicates an interest in men’s accessories. You highlight your best-selling men’s accessories.

Subscriber C: This subscriber hasn’t made any purchases yet. You send a list of recommendations based on their browsing behavior. 

Lead Scoring: Set up a lead scoring system to assign values to different actions or behaviors taken by leads. This helps prioritize leads and ensures that your sales team focuses on those with the highest potential to convert.

Multi-Channel Integration: Integrate your marketing automation efforts across various communication channels, such as email, social media, SMS, and even website interactions. Consistent messaging across channels enhances the customer experience.

Data Management: Ensure your customer data is accurate, organized, and up-to-date. Effective marketing automation relies on reliable data for personalization and decision-making. Read more about business intelligence in the “Uncover the Business Intelligence Implementation” article.

Alignment with Sales: Collaborate closely with your sales team to align your automation efforts with their needs and processes. Marketing automation can enhance lead nurturing and handoff to sales, improving the overall sales funnel.

Measurement and Reporting: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. Regularly analyze these metrics to assess the success of your automation strategy.

Testing and Optimization: Continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your automated campaigns. Conduct A/B testing to refine your content, subject lines, and timing to maximize engagement and conversion rates.

Adaptation and Evolution: Be prepared to adjust your strategy based on the insights gained from data analysis and changing market dynamics. The marketing automation landscape is continuously evolving, so your strategy should adapt accordingly.

Benefits Of Marketing Automation

Automation Efficiency

Marketing tasks that once demanded substantial time and resources can now be handled efficiently through automation, freeing up your team to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Better Conversion

By delivering targeted, personalized, and timely messages, marketing automation enhances the likelihood of converting leads into customers.

Comprehensive Reporting

Access to detailed analytics allows you to track the performance of campaigns and adjust strategies as needed.

Next Level Personalization

Marketing automation empowers you to create highly personalized experiences that resonate with individual customers.

Marketing Automation ROI

The ability to measure the impact of every campaign and attribute revenue to specific marketing efforts makes calculating ROI more precise. It will also increase your return on investment rates. It is important to monitor your Marketing automation ROI on a regular basis to make sure you are on the right track. 

Marketing Automation Tools

Marketing automation tools are software solutions designed to automate and optimize marketing tasks, enabling businesses to engage with their audience more effectively and efficiently. These tools cover a range of functionalities, from managing campaigns to analyzing customer data, all aimed at enhancing the customer journey. We categorized the existing automation tools into 6 main groups:

  • 1- Email Marketing Tools: Email remains a cornerstone of communication. These tools allow you to create, send, and automate personalized email campaigns. Examples:
    • Mailchimp: Known for its user-friendly interface and robust email campaign features.
    • MailJet: This all-in-one web-based tool simplifies the process of sending both promotional and transactional emails, with features to ensure high delivery rates.
  • 2- Social Media Marketing Tools: Managing social media presence is crucial. These tools help schedule posts, analyze engagement, and monitor conversations.
    • Hootsuite: Enables scheduling and monitoring across multiple social platforms from a single dashboard.
    • Buffer: Focuses on scheduling and analyzing social media content for optimal engagement.
  • 3- Content Management Tools: These tools streamline content creation, distribution, and tracking. Examples include:
    • HubSpot: Provides an all-in-one platform for content creation, distribution, and analytics.
    • WordPress: A popular CMS for website and blog content management.
  • 4- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: CRM tools manage interactions and relationships with customers. Some offer automation features for marketing campaigns. Examples include:
    • Salesforce: A comprehensive CRM with automation capabilities for marketing, sales, and customer service.
    • Zoho CRM: Offers automation workflows and contact management for efficient customer engagement.
  • 5- Analytics and Reporting Tools: These tools help track and analyze marketing performance. Examples include:
    • Google Analytics: Offers in-depth insights into website traffic, user behavior, and more.
    • Adobe Analytics: Provides advanced analytics for measuring campaign effectiveness and customer behavior.
  • 6- Lead Generation Tools: These tools assist in capturing and nurturing leads. Examples include:
    • OptinMonster: Creates eye-catching pop-ups and forms to capture leads.
    • Unbounce: Builds landing pages optimized for lead conversion.

Marketing Automation Examples

As you know, the best way to digest a new concept deeply is to understand how you can use it in the real world with examples. Here, we provide 3 real-life examples of how ecommerce businesses can use marketing automation for different purposes with different tools. 

Personalized Product Recommendations:

Imagine a customer who has recently browsed through a variety of shoes on your e-commerce site. Marketing automation can analyze their browsing behavior and automatically send them an email showcasing similar shoe styles or accessories that align with their interests, thus boosting the chances of a purchase.

Amazon uses this type of automation very successfully. This technique is categorized under the remarketing and retargeting methods in marketing. You can read more about it in the “Remarketing vs Retargeting: an Ultimate Guide with Examples” article. 

Automated SMS

These are automated text messages that are sent to customers or prospects who have opted in to receive them. They can help you communicate urgent or time-sensitive information, such as order confirmations, delivery updates, appointment reminders, etc. Some tools that can help you create SMS campaigns are Twilio, MessageBird, and Zapier.

Push notifications

These are automated messages that are sent to users who have installed your mobile app or enabled notifications on your website. They can help you increase app engagement, retention, and loyalty, by sending personalized and relevant content, such as news, offers, tips, etc. Some tools that can help you create push notifications are OneSignal, Firebase, and Zapier.

Marketing Automation Bizleads Summit

Marketing Automation Bizleads Summit is a conference that takes place annually. It is designed to help business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs learn how to use marketing automation to grow their businesses. 

The summit features keynote speeches from some of the world’s top experts in marketing automation, as well as breakout sessions on a variety of topics. You can also network with other attendees and discover new tools and solutions for your marketing challenges. The summit is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about marketing automation, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user.

The next Marketing Automation Bizleads Summit will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 1-3, 2023. You can find more information and register for the event on the official website.

Email Marketing Vs Marketing Automation

Email marketing and marketing automation are two different concepts that are often confused. For a fast and comprehensive comparison between these two, read the following table that summarizes the main differences between them:

Email marketingMarketing automation
Suitable for larger businesses with complex sales cycles.A technology that allows you to market on multiple channels and automate repetitive tasks.
Only focuses on email interactions with customers or prospects.Monitors and tracks all digital interactions with customers or prospects, such as website visits, social media engagement, etc.
Suitable for small businesses with a simple sales cycle and a B2C audience.Can use other identifiers, such as cookies, IP addresses, phone numbers, etc., to contact the customer or prospect.
Requires an email address to contact the customer or prospect.Can use other identifiers, such as cookies, IP addresses, phone numbers, etc., to contact the customer or prospect.
Does not track the behavior of the customer or prospect after they open or click on the email.Can use other identifiers, such as cookies, IP addresses, phone numbers, etc., to contact the customer or prospect.

CRM Vs Marketing Automation

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems manage interactions with existing and potential customers mostly focusing on selling, while marketing automation focuses on automating marketing tasks. Integrating the two can lead to a seamless customer experience.

CRM tools primarily focus on managing interactions, relationships, and information related to customers. It serves as a repository of customer data, facilitating better understanding and engagement. A CRM system enables businesses to track interactions, manage sales leads, and provide personalized customer support.

On the other hand, marketing automation streamlines marketing efforts by automating tasks such as sending emails, segmenting audiences, and analyzing campaign effectiveness. Its core aim is to enhance efficiency and tailor interactions based on customer behavior and preferences.

In some cases, a CRM system can be one component of a broader marketing automation strategy. The integration of both tools results in a holistic approach where customer data informs automated marketing initiatives, fostering deeper relationships and driving conversions.

Marketing Automation Best Practices

Marketing automation is a powerful tool that can help you generate leads, nurture prospects, and increase sales. However, to get the most out of it, you need to follow some best practices that will ensure your campaigns are effective and relevant. Here are five marketing automation best practices that you can implement

Know your audience: Marketing automation allows you to segment your audience based on their behavior, preferences, and needs, and deliver personalized messages that resonate with them. But the first step is to know your audience completely. 

Start Small: Begin with a few automated campaigns and gradually expand as you gain experience and insights.

Data Quality: Ensure that your customer data is accurate and up-to-date for effective personalization.

A/B Testing: Experiment with different subject lines, content, and sending times to optimize your campaigns.

Leverage Segmentation for Hyper-Personalization: Instead of treating all customers the same, segment your audience based on factors like demographics, behavior, and preferences. By tailoring your messages, you increase engagement and conversion rates, fostering stronger customer connections.

Marketing Automation Customer Journey

The customer journey is the intricate path a potential buyer takes from the initial point of awareness to becoming a loyal customer. This journey encompasses various touchpoints and interactions with your brand, both online and offline. Understanding the customer journey is crucial as it sheds light on the decision-making process, pain points, and opportunities for engagement.

Mapping the customer journey is a foundational step for effective marketing automation. It serves as a blueprint that outlines every stage a customer goes through, from discovery to conversion and beyond. With this map, you gain insight into where automation can add value, streamline processes, and enhance the customer experience.

Marketing Automation helps Customer Journey

Personalized Outreach: Through automation, you can tailor messages and content to align with each stage of the customer journey. Automated emails can nurture leads with relevant information and offers, guiding them toward conversion.

Timely Engagement: Marketing automation allows you to trigger communications at strategic moments of the customer journey. For instance, sending a follow-up email after a purchase or an abandoned cart reminder, showcasing your commitment to their journey.

Segmented Communication: By segmenting your audience based on their journey stage, you can deliver content that speaks directly to their needs and interests. This boosts engagement and prevents sending irrelevant messages.

Consistent Messaging: Throughout the journey, consistent and relevant messaging can be maintained across different channels. This cohesive approach builds trust and strengthens brand identity.

Post-Purchase Nurturing: Marketing automation doesn’t end with a purchase. It enables you to continue nurturing customers with post-purchase emails, loyalty programs, and personalized recommendations, fostering long-term loyalty.

Marketing Automation Jobs

Now that you understood the details and aspects of marketing automation, it is good to gain some knowledge about the marketing automation jobs in the market. It can help you to see if you are interested in this type of job or help you during a negotiation with any of these roles for your company. 

Marketing automation consultant

As a Marketing Automation Consultant, you’re the strategic architect behind successful automation campaigns. You collaborate with businesses to understand their goals, design tailored automation strategies, and implement solutions that enhance efficiency and engagement. Your expertise in various automation platforms and industry trends enables you to guide clients toward optimal automation implementation.

Marketing Automation Manager

The role of a Marketing Automation Manager is akin to conducting a symphony of marketing activities. You oversee the execution of automation workflows, analyze campaign performance, and fine-tune strategies for maximum impact. With an eye on data-driven insights, you continuously optimize campaigns to ensure they align with business objectives and deliver tangible results.

Marketing Automation Specialist

The role of a Marketing Automation Manager is akin to conducting a symphony of marketing activities. You oversee the execution of automation workflows, analyze campaign performance, and fine-tune strategies for maximum impact. With an eye on data-driven insights, you continuously optimize campaigns to ensure they align with business objectives and deliver tangible results.

Key Insights

  • Ecommerce marketing automation blends efficiency and personalization, revolutionizing traditional approaches.
  • Prior knowledge of marketing automation’s core concept is vital before navigating its tools.
  • This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge needed to implement successful marketing automation in Ecommerce.
  • A well-structured marketing automation strategy is pivotal for streamlined processes and enhanced engagement.
  • Segmenting audiences and delivering personalized content enhance engagement and align with customer journeys.
  • Marketing automation tools span various categories, including email marketing (e.g., Mailchimp, MailJet), social media management (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer), content creation (e.g., HubSpot, WordPress), CRM (e.g., Salesforce, Zoho CRM), analytics (e.g., Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics), and lead generation (e.g., OptinMonster, Unbounce).

Image Credit: Freepik


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Seyed Morteza Mortazavi
Hi! I am Seyed Morteza, the content expert of the ECN company. I love to share my knowledge and expertise in the E-commerce field with curious businesses or individuals. Visit my LinkedIn profile to get in touch.