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Marketing Automation for Associations: 5 Myths vs. Reality

Let’s dive into the world of marketing automation for associations and learn the real truths behind its advantages.

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Is your association looking for a way to make its marketing process quick and easy through the help of technology? If so, say hello to marketing automation. The first reaction of marketing automation from association marketers usually leads to the question, “Isn’t that my job?”. With marketing automation incorporated into your association, marketing managers might feel a slight threat to their position. But if you look at it as a chance to increase engagement by focusing on other marketing techniques or strategies, marketing automation actually works with marketing managers to create success for organizations.

Technology is only going to take over more aspects of our life so instead of plotting against it, it’s important for your association to work with it to produce a more successful outcome. But in order to do that, you need to know the in’s and out’s of marketing automation- including the common myths about it. So, let’s dive into the world of marketing automation for associations- and learn the real truths behind its advantages.

Marketing automation: What is it?

So, what is marketing automation? Is it something your association should consider using in the future? Let’s dig a little deeper to get the answers you need. Marketing automation is software that marketing departments use to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and website actions. In other words, it’s a way to take all of the mundane parts of marketing and have them perform on their own without wasting your marketing team’s time. Imagine never having to repeat tasks again!

So, if marketing automation sounds like an appealing service to your association, it’s time to learn a little more about they myths behind it as well as what your association can expect from using it.

The Myths

Marketing automation is through email only

Marketing automation is more than just blasting out mass emails. It can be used to send out text messages, replicate successful campaigns, and collect metrics. The first thing that people might think is that it is a generic message scheduled to send at a certain day and time. Marketing automation is used not only through email but also text messages, social media, and websites.

It is robotic/generic

Marketing automation is not a robot behind the computer creating the content. Someone still needs to produce what is being sent out. It does not create marketing campaigns and come up with ways to retarget social media ads. Someone still needs to create the ad and then set up the advertisement on social media platforms. There still needs to be someone who is coming up with ideas on what to send out and how. Basically, marketing automation does what it’s told to do. So, don’t let your marketing team worry about technology replacing them- marketing automation goes hand in hand with human interactions.

It leaves engaged members without responses

Usually when a message is sent out, it provides information for the member. If a member is confused or has questions, there are still ways to connect them with someone by providing contact information in the messages. The messages can also include links to pages so the member can do some guided research. One of the main points of automated emails is to confirm to the member that their message was received. This will trigger the marketing staff to reach out to them with a response.

It’s lazy

If the technology is there, why not use it. Instead of hand writing each email to a member or counting every engagement reach on social media, let the technology work its magic. It not only cuts down on time, it reduces the amount of money and resources needed to do the work.

It’s spam

Since a message is sent from automated software, emails or phones may not recognize it and it could end up in your spam folder. Although it ends up in there sometimes, the information it provides is not spam. A common message that is sent out could be an event announcement and specific reminders. The main point of reaching out to members is to get them engaged so the information in the messages are going to be helpful.

The Reality

Technology is here to stay, which means marketing automation is not going anywhere. Use it to your association’s advantage like having another employee and resource. This saves time for marketers to focus on ways to humanize the members experience with the association. For example, commenting on or sharing social media posts, planning events, and creating complex campaigns can all be delegated to your marketing automation software - saving your team time in the long run. Now that we know the myths of marketing automation, it’s important to understand the truth and the benefits it brings.


Automated marketing can be like having another employee. Tasks that would take an employee to do in hours, technology can do in minutes. Leave the tasks that require more creativity to the marketing department while the computer expedites the busy work.


Since time is money, you’re also able to save money on the cost it would take for employees to do the work that automation can do. When your association is using marketing automation software, you’ll be able to save money while producing more marketing strategies, which leads to more return on investment. The value behind marketing automation is enough to entice any organization into giving it a try.


Marketing automation can help scale short and long term goals for the association. It can measure analytics from social media platforms to see how the association is doing in the present. It can also find the most successful marketing campaigns that were used in the past and replicate them for future marketing tactics.


Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity. It can create reports to give you a better idea of who your audience is and how to reach them. Marketing automation software works to take big data and simplify it to predict the behavior of potential members. Once the profile is created of both quantitative and qualitative results, marketing automation can focus on lead nurturing. For example, if a potential member signs up for more information on your website, marketing automation is able to send them an email immediately after thanking them for their inquiry and confirming that they received it and someone will be in contact within a certain amount of time.


Instead of trying to remember to post on social media platforms, marketing automation allows you to set up automated posts that are created on a schedule. You can still add in original or trending posts when you think of it but these scheduled posts will help keep your members engaged. Especially if they keep seeing your association pop up on their timeline, they're going to see the dedication of reaching their members. This also leads to having a more consistent brand across multiple social media platforms. The more that is posted, the easier it is for members to reach out or comment. Association marketers out there can rest easy - marketing automation is not a robot trying to take your job. It’s a tool that can be used to free up your time to focus on other marketing methods that require more creativity and personality.