Marketing automation: definition and best practices 

To give a simple definition of marketing automation, we can say that it’s the automatic delivery of the right message to the right person at the right time.

This highly targeted strategy changes the way businesses communicate to their clients or prospects. It lets the marketers streamline their repetitive marketing tasks, nurture leads more effectively, and achieve better ROI from automated strategy.

Let’s do a short math exercise. How many members do you need in your marketing team to :

  • Work without breaks 24/7
  • Follow the journey of every single visitor of your site
  • Manually note their actions, analyze them and identify their needs
  • Communicate with them to respond to these needs 

It’s practically impossible to generate all this manually. That’s why marketing automation, as a technological innovation, is a real boon for marketers.

In this article, we’ll take a look at marketing automation and how it works. We’ll also discover the main features of the different platforms and the best practices to adopt.

How does marketing automation work?

Marketing automation, often referred to trigger marketing, uses software and technologies to collect and analyze users’ data, and then to automate different marketing tasks according to this data. Here’s the basic process:

  • Setting up triggers: It is necessary to define in advance the specific actions (triggers) for which you wish to activate automations.
  • Customized actions via workflows: When a trigger goes off, the software kicks in and executes customized actions based on workflows (the scenarios you predefined in the previous step).
  • Around-the-clock execution: All this happens automatically, saving you time and resources.

The principal user factors to consider for setting up your workflows:

  • User behavior: the pages they visit on your website, categories or products they examine, the content they download, etc.
  • User demographics: geolocation, age, gender
  • Engagement the specific actions they perform, such as creating an account, subscribing to a newsletter or Web Push Notifications from your website, etc. In short, all actions that reflect a certain probability that they will become customers.

Why should you use marketing automation?

According to “The State of Marketing Automation 2023” report by Ascend2, in which approximately 400 marketing decision makers were surveyed, one quarter of them affirm marketing automation performed very successfully in the mission of achieving their goals. wo-thirds of respondents find it somewhat successful. And only a few (9%) consider that marketing automation has not played a major role in their marketing efforts.

"The state of marketing automation 2023" report by Ascend2
Image source

Automation takes care of your routine tasks, offering a ton of benefits that can help you achieve your primary marketing goals. Here are a few of the key benefits: 

  • More efficient lead nurturing: This data based strategy is an essential technique for lead nurturing, because it gives you a better understanding of your leads and improves interactions with them, saving you time and money. You can guide your leads through the sales funnel with targeted communication, keeping them engaged until they’re conversion-ready.
  • Higher conversion rates: This personalized process is focusing on your users’ needs and making your business more human-centric and your customers or prospects to feel more special. This leads to sales increase (according to the last report of Hubspot, 94% of marketers say personalization boosts sales) and your business growth.
  • Strong customer loyalty: l Personalized messages based on interests and behavior foster better communication with your audience and stronger relationships. This results in increased customer retention. For example, you can use a behavior based trigger, like a visitor canceling a service, or not logging in for a while, to send them a reminder message with a discount, or a reactivation offer. The goal is to win back customer interest and loyalty, and minimize the churn.

Key Features of Marketing Automation Platforms

There are a wide variety of marketing automation platforms, each with its own strengths and features. Here’s an overview of the main levers useful to marketers:

Email automation

Email marketing could be a lot of work by sending all your marketing emails one by one manually. But email automation makes it much easier. It lets you design and send personalized emails with dynamic content and offers. You can segment your audience based on demographics and behavior for a targeted communication. For example, someone has signed up to receive newsletters on your website, so you can send them e-mails offering a welcome gift or free content.

Here is an example from Adrenalead’s marketing team when a user downloads our e-commerce calendar:

Example of an automated email

Among a vide selection of email automation service providers, the following tools are on the top: Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Drip, Hubspot, etc.

SMS sending automation

Automating the sending of messages to prospects’ or customers’ cell phone numbers is also popular. This super-personalized communication is a faster way to reach your target audience compared to e-mails. SMS messages can also be automated according to time or action. Here’s an example of an SMS sent by a mobile operator to one of its users, after a package change: 

Example of an automated SMS

The most famous SMS marketing automations platforms are Braze, TextUs, Airship, SimpleTexting, Twilio, etc.

Social Media Marketing automation

Do you imagine any business without social media presence?

It is one of the key elements of marketing strategy of any business. And social media automation is a key decision too. You can, for example, automate replies to messages received in PM on your social accounts.  One of the most important advantages of social media automation tools is that they let you engage with your audience across several platforms in one place.

CRM systems providing marketing automation

This type of platforms help you to manage your customer relationships, track your prospects, gain valuable insights into your audience. And, most importantly for marketers, automate your daily tasks and marketing actions!

CRM tools such as HubSpot, Zoho Corporation, Salesforce, Pipedrive also offer a wide range of automation capabilities: simplification of recurring tasks, automated email campaigns, creation of customized workflows, lead scoring of your prospects, analysis of results, etc.

Marketing automation workflow example from HubSpot
Source d’image

Let’s talk about HubSpot – the #PushTeam’s selection!

The Marketing Automation Software of HubSpot’s Marketing Hub stands out thanks to its multi-functionality. It has all the above-mentioned automation types in one place. This simplifies the marketing activities of our #PushTeam, enabling us to achieve greater efficiency in our marketing strategy.

Kyle Jepson of HubSpot Academy

Advertising automation via Web Push Notification

What about automating your retargeting strategy? Remind your visitors of their abandoned shopping carts, or wish them a happy birthday with a discount code.

Web Push Notification is an ideal solution for this mission. It can help you to engage your audience by delivering personalized messages directly to users’ device, even when they are not actively on your website. It also contributes to your lead nurturing strategy towards long-term conversion. 

Web Push platforms like Adrenalead, One Signal, PushWoosh provide automation capabilities based on user behavior and segmentation. So you can imagine multitude scenarios to implement within your web marketing strategy in order to boost your site conversion rate.

Best practices of Marketing Automation via Web Push Notifcation

Looking for inspiration? Here we present you some examples from Adrenalead’s e-commerce customers. They use automated campaigns via Web Push Notification to multiply their conversions:

Example of a customer in the home decoration sector

Example of a Web Push automation campaign

One of the most frequently used automated campaigns among Adrenalead customers is the “abandoned cart”. This message is usually sent to the user 45 minutes after they have added an item to their basket, and encourages them to finalize their purchase. The message can include one or more personalized variables.

Example of a customer in the beauty sector

Example of an automation campaign for retargeting

Here’s an example of a “Welcome push” often sent automatically 15 minutes after a user has opted-in to a site. It’s a way of welcoming users, but also informing them of what they can expect to receive via the advertiser’s Web Push Notification.

Testimonials from Adrenalead customers using automated Web Push

Weekendesk X Adrenalead :

What do you like about the solution?

La Canadienne X Adrenalead  : 

How did La Canadienne perform with this new lever?


Marketing automation is every marketer’s personal assistant. It helps you to follow the actions of every single user of your site, understand their needs, communicate with them by delivering valuable messages at the perfect moment. By understanding the core functionalities and benefits of different platforms, and identifying your company’s goals, you can find the marketing automation mix that works best for you!

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