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B2C Marketing Automation: What it is & how to use it

One key detail of B2C businesses is their direct approach to their audience. 

And no, we’re not just talking about hundreds of customers. Bigger companies interact with thousands to even millions of people worldwide:

  • Starbucks Corporation serves 100 million+ customers
  • Walmart welcomes approximately 220 million customers weekly
  • Rakuten, an online shopping platform, has a global customer base of 1.4 billion

Appealing to each one while targeting such a broad audience is what makes it challenging.

B2C marketers don’t talk to each customer — that would be crazy, not to mention impossible. But these marketers can personalize each approach as if they’ve been following what each customer has been up to. 


B2C marketing automation is the answer.

Let’s walk you through how this clever way of marketing can get you more sales, a more efficient team, and happier customers.

What is B2C marketing automation?

B2C marketing automation is the practice of building campaigns to automatically promote a company’s products and services to individual customers. 

It involves the use of marketing automation tools that can perform specific marketing actions like sending an email, publishing social posts, or initiating a chat session — all without direct human intervention. 

The goals of doing this could fall anywhere between attracting new customers to retaining them for years. The basic idea behind this is to use tech to make things more efficient and simpler. 

For example, Encharge lets you automatically send out emails after someone downloads your lead magnet or fills out an opt-in form. It lets you build personalized campaigns based on customer information and specific triggers.

Interestingly, when you hear B2C, B2B follows. Though they only have 1 letter difference, their marketing is totally different. 

Why is the marketing between B2B and B2C different?

The primary difference between B2B and B2C marketing automation is the audience, the people you sell to.  

B2B marketing targets selling to businesses, so you’ll more likely deal with multiple decision-makers. These people decide rationally as a group. The decision to purchase or not goes through a management ladder, so the sales cycle could take a while (like months or even years in the enterprise world).

Whereas in B2C marketing, your target is an individual consumer. These buyers decide on their own — unless they need to consult their partners, friends, or parents. That said, they often buy based on emotion and impulse (remember the last time you purchased that cool-looking mug with the sign of House of Stark?) Thus, B2C tends to have shorter sales cycles.  

Here are other distinct differences when doing B2B and B2C marketing.

  • In B2B content marketing, you need to produce objective content that the person in charge can use to pitch your offer to the upper management. While in B2C, you can focus on content that inspires emotional impact as they can buy on a whim.
  • B2B marketing often sounds professional and formal. In B2B ads, you can see proof like case studies, testimonials, whitepapers, and reports. B2C advertising, on the other hand, takes on a lighter tone. Funny tweets, emotional commercials, or viral videos capture the interest of this audience
  • B2C marketing usually addresses the masses and directly. In B2B marketing, you reach out to multiple people in a single organization to build relationships and introduce your brand.

In this blog post, we’ll concentrate on how to use automation in B2C marketing. 

Further reading: B2B vs B2C Marketing — What’s the difference?

Why is automation so valuable for B2C marketers?

The end goal of marketing automation is to increase revenue and scale. But if you look into the process closely, you’ll find other benefits too. 

1. It makes your business more discoverable

Thanks to technology, you can now be omnipresent. You can post on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok simultaneously. Whether your audience browses social media pages, checks their emails, or intentionally searches for a service like yours, you can reach them through ads that span across the web, social pages, or even in their inbox. 

2. It lets you do more by working less

Automating B2C marketing frees up your time from repetitive tasks. If there are tasks that don’t require critical thinking, you can just set up an automated workflow. Save your energy for decision making, coming up with creative marketing ideas, and strategizing campaigns. Yes, you’d still have to check regularly, but it is unlikely that you’d spend hours on it like you used to.

3. It lets you experiment for optimum results.

One of the great benefits of B2C marketing automation platforms is the ability to test what works best. For example, you can A/B test emails to see which messaging, marketing angle, and copy can get you more engagement and sales. It takes the guesswork out and leads you closer to better results each and every time you send a campaign.

4. It makes you more human.

Even if B2C marketing targets a mass audience, your customers can still feel like you’re really giving them attention through personalization. When you send automated messages based on their activities, your messages appear more relevant. That way, they’d listen to what you have to say.

5. It empowers businesses to make smart decisions pronto. 

You’re no longer blinded. With B2C marketing automation software, you’d see results at a glance. If anything needs to be optimized to accomplish your marketing automation objectives, you can do it right away. This also saves you from wasting budget and resources on fruitless campaigns.

Did these convince you to try automating your B2C campaigns? 

Good. We’re about to show you the easiest marketing campaigns you can start with.

B2C marketing processes that can be automated (with examples)

Here are marketing automation campaigns used by companies employing the B2C model. We also added examples that you could take inspiration from.

1. Welcome and onboarding

The onboarding process (welcome emails included) is the initial user experience with you. And that is a significant influence on their retention — first impressions do last in marketing. Automating the process ensures that you give consumers a consistent, warm welcome.

What the automation looks like 

Zapier greets a new user with a video to briefly explain what the software can do. It also enumerates the benefits you’ll get if you use them. They also included resources for new users and a clear CTA for familiarity with their product. 

Zapier welcome email

JotForm makes the onboarding informative. It introduces a new feature and attached useful resources.

Jotform feature email

2. Lead nurturing

Automated lead nurturing keeps you connected with prospects and leads. It makes sure that no one falls off the cracks. because that would be a waste. 

Consumers today seek information before purchasing. Plus, they kind of have a short attention span with all the marketing they’re bombarded with on a daily basis. This automated lead nurturing will help them see the value of your brand — and will make you the top of mind the moment that they need your service or product. 

What the automation looks like 

Smartblogger is one of the world’s largest sites dedicated to writing and blogging. They continuously send messages to users after downloading their lead magnet. They reiterate the value of learning to write posts and how they can help.

Smartblogger lead nurturing email

3. Collecting reviews

You can grow the business forward with a strong reputation with customer reviews. Automating the review collection process will arm you with lots of social proof — something that you could use in your marketing and business development. Plus, collecting reviews also ensures that you’re keeping the feedback loop open.

What the automation looks like 

What the automation looks like: Globe solicits feedback after repair by their technicians. They send a timely message to customers only hours after the fix.

Review email

4. Combatting cart abandonment

Cart abandonment rates are high at 69.8%. Automating follow-up emails to people who  added items to their carts but left without purchasing is a great tactic to revive an “almost lost sale opportunity.” This way, you remind them while their interest is still strong and the urge to buy is high. 

What the automation looks like 

Companies like Mixtiles and Althea send an email when a user adds items but leaves before the checkout. The email reminds them about their product, plus entices them with a special discount if they continue with the purchase.

Cart abandonment email from Mixtiles
Cart abandonment email from Althea

5. Upselling

Studies show repeat customers spend 67% more than new consumers. So what’s a better way than to nudge your first-time buyers to purchase again? Automatically send them relevant offers after their last purchase. After all, you get more profit from happy customers — just as long as you keep them happy.

What the automation looks like 

Lalamove, a logistics company, sends discount coupons to clients who use their service to get them to book more trips.

Upsell email from Lalamove

Grammarly offers a 40% discount when users upgrade.

6. Distributing content

Today consumers use more and more channels — and devices — to interact with a business. Look at this as an increased opportunity to capture their attention. Be omnipresent through multi-channel marketing. Automate your content distribution on different platforms to reach prospects over and over again. Your messaging will rub on them, and interested parties will ultimately click on that CTA from any medium they use. 

What the automation looks like 

Here’s a sneak peek at ContentStudio, a tool that lets you tailor your posts for different social networks. You can even split a standard post and customize each for each platform. Plus, you can optimize captions, hashtags, and mentions to maximize engagement. 

ContentStudio social medi automation

7. Re-engaging inactive customers

No business likes churn, right? You want to keep as many customers as you possibly can. So when you notice that some get cold, you re-engage with them. The automaton will segment these users and send messages that will reactivate their interest in your product. Share your new products, offer special invites, discounts, or freebies. 

What the automation looks like 

Unimeal, a fitness app, re-engages inactive users by emphasizing the outcome — real-world results with pictures — if you continue trying their app. Plus, they drop in a discount to make the offer more compelling.

8. Segmenting users

Behavioral targeting is knowing your consumers more than their name or demographics. Marketing automation can mine additional data like their browsing behavior, the specific pages they visited on your website, their interaction with your emails, and a whole lot more. 

Automation can put these data to good use and send targeted messages to segmented users through behavioral campaigns.

What the automation looks like 

Fashion and eCommerce brands are big on this. They recommend other products related to a user’s recent browsing activity.

9. Cross-selling 

Serving consumers doesn’t end with a one-time purchase. You can offer them upgrades with complementary products, a.k.a. cross-sell. Your marketing doesn’t have to be a manual sales pitch. Send automated messages that they can enjoy other products with discounts from you. With automation and user segmentation, this marketing process can be an effective strategy.

What the automation looks like 

This cross-selling automation from Omnisend suggests new garments that could look good with the recent purchase you made. 

Omnisend suggesitons

10. Updating new features or policies

Got new updates? Recently released a new feature? Reached a company milestone? Spread the good news. If you want to publish the news on several platforms, you can use automation tools to make the task easier.

What the automation looks like 

Twitter sends an email to give a heads up about their Privacy Policy updates, while Notion pops up a little note of their policy changes right on the app.

Twitter privacy policy email
Notion app update

11. Sending transactional messages

Just had important transactions? Send a confirmation email. Automating your transactional messages makes your users feel safer. Every time they do a significant action like purchasing or opting in, they can be confident that each transaction is successful. And this earns their trust in your brand. 

What the automation looks like 

Companies like Apple and Skype send receipts and password change emails in real-time when the transactions happen. 

Apple receipt transactional email
Skype password change transactional email

B2C Marketing Automation ― am I too late for it?

The short answer is no. You’re never too late for marketing automation.

If you put it off, you miss the benefit of increasing your ROI, decreasing your team’s workload and improving customer relationships at scale. So yes, B2C marketing automation is a powerful practice that you shouldn’t pass. 

It’ll only become more difficult the longer you wait. 

Marketing is an ever-changing landscape. If your business doesn’t stay up to date, your competitors might take over your market share while your time is constantly eaten by repetitive stuff. If this has got you worried or wondering when the best time would be to get started, the answer is now! 

Use Encharge to kickstart your B2C email marketing automation today.

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Meet your new marketing automation platform

Customer messaging tools don’t automate workflows outside your product and marketing automation tools are bad at behavior emails. Encharge is the best of both worlds — a marketing automation platform built specifically for B2B SaaS businesses

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