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Marketers in businesses of all sizes have found success using marketing automation to automate and integrate online marketing efforts, cutting down on manual processes and freeing marketers up to try new approaches. By integrating email, search marketing, lead generation, social campaigns, CRM and Web analytics into one system, marketers can work smarter, not harder.

Whether you're completely new to marketing automation or already approaching pro status, there are several things you can and should be doing.

Here are a few ways to integrate and automate your digital marketing, along with a few tips for beginners, intermediate users, and automation experts.

Automated, yet Personalized, Email Marketing

Marketing automation is an interesting paradox in that it enables you to become more personal by automating your communications. Using the detailed information the system collects from prospects and site visitors, such as industry and page visits, marketers can ensure that only relevant, targeted email messages are sent—at exactly the right time.

So what are a few ways you can automate your emails?

1. Beginner: Set up autoresponders to automate simple messages, such as welcome and thank you emails, along with any emails that can be triggered by a form submission.

2. Intermediate: Use lead nurturing programs to "drip" content to prospects over time based on their actions and interests.

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image of Adam Blitzer

Adam Blitzer is a co-founder and VP & GM of Pardot, a salesforce.com company.

LinkedIn: Adam Blitzer