The most advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows where you can specify triggers based on actions (such as opening an email or making a purchase) or on inaction (such as ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to be sent to segments of users, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. You can also move contacts into new segments once they have completed tutorials.
How do you create a good email campaign?
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Why do I need marketing automation?
Hi Scott, yes that is correct. Most platforms will not let you upload large customer lists if you do not have specific opt-in dates. However if you can provide the data when the user opted in to receive email notifications from you, then you would be able to import the list. These rules may vary based on different providers, but this is exactly the process for switching email service providers (you have to import customer list in the new provider).