Redefining Marketing Automation

It’s time to bring some clarity to the concept of marketing automation.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that many people, including myself, have often used the term “marketing automation” incorrectly when referring to full business automation—the process of automating an entire business. 

Automation serves various roles within a business, and it’s important to accurately understand and distinguish these roles. Below, I’ll outline the top three categories that businesses should primarily focus on when it comes to automating their operations.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation involves leveraging technology to execute your marketing processes. These processes encompass capturing, nurturing, and qualifying leads.

Sales Automation

Sales automation, on the other hand, employs technology to streamline the sales process. This involves tasks such as following up with qualified leads based on their product interests, gathering the necessary information for completing a sale, and ultimately closing the deal.

If there’s a breakdown at any point in the sales process and the potential sale is at risk, it’s essential to loop the lead back to the marketing stage. This ensures better qualification, whether for the same or a different product.

Fulfillment Automation

Fulfillment automation relies on technology to swiftly deliver your product to customers. Your product could be physical, digital, or a combination of both, and the chosen technology will depend on the product type. Interestingly, this facet of business often gets overlooked when it comes to automation.

However, it’s crucial to note that this aspect holds immense significance, as it marks the customer’s initial interaction with your brand after they’ve made a monetary exchange. Any glitches here could lead to negative sentiments, reduced retention rates, and an increase in refund requests. 

Full Business Automation

Achieving full business automation involves automating not only the aforementioned areas of your business but also any other processes across various business segments necessary for generating revenue. These segments may encompass finance, project management, graphic design, content creation, and more.

In conclusion, the potential level of automation achievable within your business is boundless. However, the degree of automation to implement should align with the business owner’s preferences for operational efficiency.

It’s important to note that blindly emulating the level of automation achieved by another business might not be wise or effective. The appropriate level of automation to strive for is a decision that should be tailored to your unique business needs and goals.

NOTE: This article was initially part of the monthly Marketing Automation Report and has been revised for enhanced accuracy. The original content from the report published in November 2017 is presented below.

ActiveCampaign Updates

Been a quiet couple of months at the headquarters regarding major features launches. Lots of small fixes, improvements, and flow updates (which are just as important). Most people will say that when a company like AC gets quiet they’re either in trouble or working on something.

We’ll…I can confidently say we are NOT in trouble ;). We’ll see in next month’s report if there is a method to this madness.

One quick thing to point out, however, is that pricing did increase. Take a look at the pricing page here to see what I mean.

UPDATE: ActiveCampaign launched another price increase since publishing this article. Listen to the podcast with Kay Peacey of Slick Business to hear how it has impacted users.

GetResponse Ups Their Game

Looks like GetResponse is getting serious about the marketing automation  (and sales automation) space.

Earlier in the month it was reported that they invested $30 million to build an office in Boston. The main driver…better serve the US market.

The reason why many people haven’t heard of GetResponse is due to the fact they’ve had a much stronger international presence than a national presence in the US. Looks like all of that is about to change.

As of now they offer email marketing, landing pages, visual automation builder and a CRM. If any company wants to be viewed as a solid contender for the marketing automation space just take a look at all that GetResponse has added to their platform to contend.


Webinar Jam Goes “Live”

Let me start off by saying I have not tested this one bit. However, I did see the ad for this pop up in my Facebook newsfeed.

Looks like the new Webinar Jam allows you to stream your webinar live to both YouTube and Facebook.

I’ve personally only seen and used this feature with Zoom. However, if this works as it reads, Webinar Jam’s version could be better for marketers depending on the level of tracking they provide pre and post webinar.

If you’ve used this feature already I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.


Total Transparency with Ultimate Member

This month I’ve been working on a non-profit project for my best friend. This project required the implementation of a searchable user directory and also needed a community component.

The community was easy…BBPress. Though the documentation is seriously lacking, I’ve had good success with it in my personal projects. The question, however, was the user directory.

Initially I thought to use WP Types along with Beaver  Themer (it’s what I’m currently using on this site and for my Academy), but it proved to be too difficult to setup and didn’t perform as I needed it to.

Mainly because I needed a login page, registration page with custom fields, and I needed to be able to display user accounts to other registered users. Didn’t seem too complicated but it was. At least more complicated than I was willing to deal with.

After installing numerous WordPress plugins I discovered Ultimate Member. It is a free plugin so I didn’t expect much from it. Boy was I wrong. This plugin packs quite the punch!

Upon installing, it created all the necessary login and registration pages quickly. I say quickly to highlight there was no wizard required. It also created all the default forms you need for logging in and registration.

After playing with the plugin for about 15 minutes I realized there was nothing custom required for me to do everything I needed to do. It even allows you to create unlimited custom fields for registration (which will automatically be displayed on the user’s profile). All of this for free.

A bonus was it allows users to be able to update and edit their profiles on their own (and also gives you the power to dictate how much they can edit and/or delete).

This is a membership plugin based on WordPress user roles and allows you the ability to create as many roles as you like. Each role is attached to a form you create for users to fill out. This is probably the most limiting part of the plugin. There’s no way to easily move users between roles. Oh well, how much did I really expect for free?

Beaver Builder helped make up for it since you can restrict ANY module to a particular user role. Meaning you can have one page with three separate modules on that page. Each module can be configured to show to only one user role. This allows for a very customized and dynamic experience for a single page based on the user role it is assigned to. Pretty nice…but you know I had to ask the big question…

How do I integrate it with ActiveCampaign?! Even more, can I get tag based content permission like I have now with ActiveMember360? After a little searching the answer is…YES.

This, however, does require buying a plugin. The plugin is called WPFusion (listen to this podcast to listen to my interview with the CEO Jack Arturo). It syncs any data entered on your WordPress site to ActiveCampaign and it also allows tag based content viewing.

This setup has great potential and I can’t wait to get it all in place and see how it functions for the non-profit.

Last thing…they have total transparency with their business metrics as well. From average order size to total annual revenue. You can see it all. This type of transparency is very rare for startups and will give any aspiring plugin developers a good idea of what to expect when it comes to selling a plugin online.

See there transparent metrics here:

Free Training From Yours Truly

Last but definitely not least, I created a new free training for you. It’s a video series that defines the 3 Quadrants to Engagement Marketing. It’s an in-depth look at the logic behind my single-double opt-in strategy. Speaking of which I also updated the current Single-Double Blueprint and you get that updated version as well when you go through the video series.

One thing to note…this is not a drip fed video series. Meaning you don’t have to wait 24 hours or more to get access to the next video (I personally think drip fed content is coming to an end). Instead, this video series training allows you to proceed as fast or as slow as you’d like. I’m even tracking how many days it takes someone to complete the entire series! Pretty cool right?

I’ll be sure to report back and let you know how it performs.

Get access to the free training on Engagement Marketing here.

Chris Davis

About the Author

Chris is the founder of Automation Bridge and Host of the All Systems Go! podcast. He has helped marketing tech startups raise a collective amount of funding over $237 million is passionate about helping you do the same.

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