Marketing automation enables you to automate tasks based on certain triggers, actions and conditions. You can use automation to send out targeted, relevant emails at specific times or based on specific events. Basically, it helps you get the right message to the right people at the right time.
With marketing automation you create workflows, which are a series of events that automatically occur based on specific actions and/or conditions. Automations start with triggers, which specify how a contact enters into the workflow. You then combine a variety of actions (e.g., send an email) and conditions (e.g. an email is opened) to accomplish a specific task.
Think of it as building a custom path for your contacts where you connect with them at specific points along the way. Creating workflows allows you to send more personalized messages and target contacts more effectively.
For example, say you want to send a welcome message to all the people that sign up for your newsletter. To do that manually would be quite a time-consuming task. But you can create a workflow that would automatically send out a welcome email to someone when they sign up for the newsletter and are added to your subscriber list.
You can also create workflows that send emails based on dates like renewal times, holidays, anniversaries or birthdays, or based on actions like opening an email or clicking on a link.