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Marketers have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to marketing automation, according to a survey of GetResponse customers and Smart Insights members [pdf]. Just 1 in 5 say they use most or all marketing automation features available to them, and even fewer (18%) consider themselves to be Advanced or an Expert.

Email automation is far and away the most popular type of automation technique used, by almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents, a finding supported by research into B2B marketers’ use of automation.

Within email, there are two main types of automated emails used. Those are:

  • Multi-step welcome emails for new contacts (by 47%); and
  • Promotional sales-focused campaign emails (by 46%).

Fewer are employing transactional emails (28%) and rule-based lead nurturing programs (9%), among others.

Separate research confirms the popularity of Welcome emails. For example, a study from Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that Welcome emails comprised the largest share of triggered messages sent last year by its customers.

Interestingly, though, Welcome emails aren’t necessarily the best-performing type of triggered message. In an analysis of 10 campaign types from 2017, Return Path revealed that Welcome emails had the lowest inbox placement rate and the highest spam placement and complaint rates. The analysts attributed Welcome emails’ challenges to their being the first email-based contact in a new subscriber relationship.

Email Drives Landing Page Traffic

Returning to the GetResponse and Smart Insights study, the results indicate that 78% of respondents use at least some form of dedicated landing page.

Most commonly, marketers are generating leads through landing pages by including a newsletter signup form and by offering e-books, whitepapers, infographics, and other downloads. (A study last year found that white papers were the download type that would entice the most B2B buyers to share their information, though few would share their phone number to obtain a download.)

Email emerges as this group of marketers’ largest source of traffic to landing pages, followed by organic social media and organic search.

But it looks as though marketers would like to get more out of those efforts: driving traffic is the biggest landing page challenge faced by respondents, followed by poor conversion rates.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 585 Smart Insights members and GetResponse customers from around the world. Respondents were more likely to come from B2C (44%) than B2B (19%) companies, with 37% targeting both B2C and B2B. The majority of respondents have fewer than 10,000 contacts in their database.

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