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Emily Nash

By: Emily Nash on July 26th, 2017

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The Stack: 5 Types of Marketing Automation for Associations to Consider

Email Marketing | Analytics & Measurement | Content, Social & Digital Marketing | Marketing Automation | association marketing | digital marketing | omni channel

mailto:demo@example.com?Subject=HighRoad Solutions - interesting article

Raise your hand if you have the bad habit of constantly having too many tabs open. As marketers, it simply comes with the territory. We have 16 different logins for seven different social media channels and then another one open to schedule and publish across those channels. We have one tab open for our email platform, another for our Association Management Software - all while Slack is constantly pinging us for project updates (and the latest funny memes). And when our computer decides to automatically restart because we hit the threshold, it's like a cold splash of water in the face.

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It’s not that we are doing it wrong, we’ve just undergone a fundamental shift in the buyer journey; and therefore, how association's members experience the brand. This fundamental shift of the buyer’s journey happening online is great for marketers who can now collect, track, measure, and grow more cost-effectively - even if it means more tabs.

At this stage, we’ve simply gotten better and even more efficient with all that data by incorporating marketing automation. The adoption of marketing automation is due in part to how much pressure marketers are under to produce results, conversions, and ROI. So, maybe, just maybe, with the right marketing stack, we can start to consolidate and close a few of those tabs. Here is a review of what you might include in that stack. Some solutions are best for engagement and retention, while others for lead generation, and still some for social publishing and content strategy. It may not be just one solution for everything, but a stack of marketing solutions to drive all of the business needs of the organization.

Email Automation Software

Just beyond an email platform is an email automation program that allows multiple messages to be scheduled at once based on dynamic data. Many associations are coming around to automating the manual email process with programs like Adestra. These offer greater reporting metrics such as geographic information, mobile and desktop data, heat maps, and conversion tracking. Other solutions include our Intellectual Contextual Emails that offer a one-to-one experience based on member data. Email automation may be stacked with marketing automation when email automation is used for engagement and retention and marketing automation is used for new leads and revenue generation.

Marketing Automation Software

Many times the association has experience with email marketing software, but with the added pressure of producing, they are considering what else is out there. With marketing automation comes greater capabilities of lead generation, lead funnel, predicting ROI, creating landing pages and forms, etc. Some marketing automation software platforms like HubSpot even incorporate the social media publishing and monitoring.

Get the most out of a marketing automation investment by only using it for lead generation and adding it to your stack by doing the following:

  1. Take the total number of people who have opened an email from you in the last year.

  2. Send an email to each of those contacts with a landing page and a form.

  3. Only migrate the contacts who you have successfully identified as engaging with your emails in the last year AND who have now become known contacts in your marketing automation software.

Social Media Marketing Software

Having a social media strategy is pretty much a no-brainer. It is a free, easy way to build up an audience, create a brand experience, establish thought leadership, drive traffic, and create leads. With all that good juice behind an organic social media strategy, it can be daunting to consider the half-life of one social media post. There must be fresh content shared daily to continue to drive new traffic. And so, was born software services such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Both allow the user to schedule, network, and analyze performance and engagement. Now social posts can be organized and measured by campaign, scheduled across teams, and consistently posted for ongoing results.

Marketing Analytics Software

Let’s face it, Google Analytics can be daunting with dozens of dashboards and custom capabilities for reporting. The idea behind automation in marketing is so that marketers under intense pressure can make more data-driven decisions and produce better results. We need great analytics and intuitive dashboards to come to smart actionable conclusions. Now that we are performing across omni-channel digital entities, we we need to also combine data for a complete picture of results.

You probably are already clogging through Google Analytics, but you should also be aware of Debbie King’s Association Analytics software; designed specifically with the mission of the association in mind.

Customer Relationship Management Software

Associations would call this their Association Management Software or their AMS. These include: Personify, Aptify, NetFORUM, AM.net, et. al. Underneath all of the marketing automation solutions is the database of record for an association where queries can be pulled, member profiles updated, and revenue driving events such as event registration and membership dues are kept. This piece is meant to plug in with each of the solutions in this list.


What is a full-stack marketing stack? It is starting to resemble something that knows the customer’s journey, ideal persona, and allows the marketer to create added-value, personalized experiences across omni-channel marketing - all while reporting on metrics and allowing the marketer to make informed decisions. We may not just be sending email, or just posting on social media - anymore. Now, we’re approaching the vast opportunity ahead to grow with sophisticated technology and it’s quite exciting.

Once you've set up your stellar marketing stack, you're going to want to know how to attract new people to your brand with this eBook. 


About Emily Nash

With a unique background in start-ups-to-studios, and consulting-to-corporate settings, Emily specializes in solving for unknowns, pioneering new services, and collaborating with marketers and strategists. In her community, she served on the board of American Institute for Graphic Arts as their Communications Director to help promote networking and mentorship opportunities for area designers and creatives. She’s also a co-producer for Rethink Association, a podcast for associations.