The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation

marketing automation

You’ve heard people talk about marketing automation, but do you know what it is and how your business can leverage it?

Because marketing automation is something that most web-based businesses can use, I decided to create a 30,000-word guide on how to automate your marketing efforts. The guide will break down everything you need to know about it, and it will show you how to leverage it, step by step.

Here is what you are going to learn from The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation:

  • Chapter 1: What Is Marketing Automation? – learn how marketing automation works and how it complements other marketing techniques like inbound marketing.
  • Chapter 2: Why Email Still Matters – if you think email marketing is dead, think again. It’s still alive and growing strong. The landscape has just changed.
  • Chapter 3: Conversion Funnels and User Flows – one of the key components to marketing automation is your funnel. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know about funnels.
  • Chapter 4: Getting Started with Your Database – databases are key components to a successful campaign. From building your own lists to buying them, it’s important to know what options exist and how to use them.
  • Chapter 5: Inspiration to Flow – getting started doesn’t have to be hard. Learn the actionable steps you need to take to get your first campaign off the ground.
  • Chapter 6: Avoiding Spam – just like with any form of marketing, you have to be careful how you use communication in email marketing. Avoid spamming your audience and follow the advice in this chapter to ensure that people are reading your emails.

Click here to read The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation.


The rise of companies like Marketo and Hubspot signals that marketing automation is here to stay. If marketers weren’t getting an ROI from it, these companies wouldn’t be worth billions of dollars.

This guide should help you optimize your business as it will teach you everything you need to know about marketing automation from beginning to end.

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors within the guide or if you just want to share your thoughts about it.

P.S. Don’t forget to tweet about The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation.

P.P.S. You would be doing me a HUGE FAVOR by reading The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation, sharing it via Twitter and Facebook, and leaving me a comment to let me know what you think.


  1. Tom Hartley :

    Keep the guides coming Neil!

    • Dear @Tom

      The guide is here only, its 30,000 words first read this guide and then understand and then implement till that time @Neil will published another 2 to 3 dashing blog post.

      You do your job, Neil is doing his job, I really hats off to this person.

      Thanks @Neil

  2. Salman Aslam :

    Congratulations to Niel and Rikita on releasing yet another massive value book on Marketing Automation. Great job guys!

  3. Mahaveer Verma :

    I’ve bookmarked the guide’s introduction page and will be reading one chapter a day. I am very thankful to you for this Neil. Its going to be a great read.

    Thanks again. Have a nice week ahead.

  4. Hello Neil, thanks for another guide!

    Just started reading and looking forward to learn new stuff.. I will be back within few hours and let you know what I have learned or some additional points..

  5. Enstine Muki :

    Wow! Neil, you are up with another “big thing”. SO thankful this is free again 😉

  6. Thank you again! It’s gonna be a nice reading and learning course during this summer 🙂

  7. Awesome work Neil. Thanks for sharing high quality stuff and also for free

  8. This looks great. Is there a print friendly version of it?

  9. Adithya Shetty :

    Hi Neil,

    Another Awesome guide! will go through it.

    Thanks a lot!

  10. Loved the Myths, facts and tips. You are awesome, and I think your marketing guides make a great deal for anyone from newbies to experts of internet marketing. Thanks and keep it coming! 🙂

  11. Ashwin Singh :

    Very usefull post, just readed first chapter and learnt many things thanks to share

  12. Wendy Johnson :

    Very useful guide, thanks! Building a lead generation engine leveraging your database (chapter 4), is an especially solid section!

  13. Neeraj @ :

    Thanks Neil for the great guide that you have shared wih us.

  14. I was always awaiting for neil patel’s Guides……until now i have read all guides

  15. Neeraj @ :

    You have put the great efforts neil. I Have all your university videos with me and it helps me a lot.

    Thanks a ton for that.

  16. Another masterpiece!
    Thanks for these gems, Neil!

  17. Nikhil Waghdhare :

    Great Guide Neil,
    This guide is really a worth for marketers.
    Thank you for sharing this most important guide with us…. 🙂

  18. Beatrix Willius :

    The guides are great. But so far I had three (3!) popups. No, I need to correct myself. 4 §$%& popups!

  19. Amalik Amriou :

    That’s another big one ! Thanks again Neil & Ritika ! Can’t wait for the next one…

  20. Blessings to you Neil! This is a KILLER!!

    Thanks so much.


  21. Laura @ Raise Your Garden :

    Another useful post. Thanks!

    You’ve convinced me….email does matter, people keep those addresses for years and are connected to twitter, FB and Pinterest.

    And when I think of how many times a day I check my email? Crazy. Direct contact with user. So true. Thanks for the friendly reminders. Some days I feel like I know what I should be doing and I just need to be reminded to do it.

  22. Tsvetan Vuchkov :

    Great work Neil, this is exactly what I needed!

  23. Wanda Halpert :

    I read every one of your blog posts from beginning to end. Oops. Your heat tracking may tell you different. LOL. In any case, great information and you are the best in the biz.

  24. Hi Neil,

    Another great resource, thanks for taking the time to provide your readers / subscribers with invaluable and up to date information.


  25. Hi Neil,

    If you were a newbie starting a business, what order would you put your 11 guides in to read first to last to it makes progressive sense?



    • Adam, honestly they all make sense if you read them in any order. I would start off the the advanced guide to SEO though first as a primer.

  26. Kenneth Neeley :

    >>The rise of companies like Marketo and Hubspot signals that marketing automation is here to stay

    You should add Infusionsoft to that short list. Six years on Inc.500/5000 List, growing by high double digits every year, just got $54mil from Goldman Sachs, and really good software. (I have no affiliation, I’m just a happy customer).


  27. Great stuff dude. Best of all, it’s free.

  28. Well, here’s my short guide. What do you think?

    1. Never upload a list of emails to your marketing automation app. That’s a dumb way to do things. Have a list of emails from attendees at a conference? I don’t care. It’s not going to convert.

    2. Place forms on your pages, offering a free download in exchange for simply providing an email address and nothing more. THIS is how you get emails into your marketing automation app.

    3. Make sure the free download you offer is relevant to the person reading the page. So, have different free downloads on different pages.

    4. Using the emails you gather, send them a weekly email with a few links to great content, “This Week in….” You don’t have to write this, just find the great stuff and send a few links to keep your new friends up to date on what they care about. In other words, start a mini version of Search Engine Land’s “Daily Search Cap” email.

    5. Every once and a while, send an offer for something that’s free that will appeal to people who are “for real,” i.e. potential customers. To get this, they click the link in the email and arrive at a page that asks for more information, e.g., Company Name, Phone Number.

    6. Bingo! The people who complete Step 4 and give you contact info are now Leads and you send them to Sales, they get a phone call.

    7. The best content to offer in Step 4 is “do it yourself” type guides that show how a person can accomplish their task WITHOUT buying from you. They see all the steps, realize it’s more complicated than they thought, and that’s when the sales person calls. They are educated by the “do it yourself” guide, quiz your sales person, and find out you have everything they want. What a surprise….

    8. Lead Scoring is stupid. Stop all the guessing. Just wait till people give their email, send them emails with links to interesting content, and every once and a while send an email like in Step 4 where they must give contact info to get what they want. If they give the contact info, give ’em 100 points and send ’em to sales. Period. It’s just DUMB AND STUPID to “subtract 10 points because they looked at our career page so I guess they are looking for a job and are not a good lead.” You DON’T know that. It’s just opinions and guess work. Unless you have great data showing that people who look at your careers page never become customers, stop already with all the Lead Scoring phony guess work.

    There! Now you have the complete guide to marketing automation. This works. You can set it up fast. It works.

    • Brian, thanks for this awesome in-depth breakdown. Looking for more like this 🙂

      • Neil,

        Thanks back at you for the great articles you’ve been publishing for the last several months. Extremely useful…

        – Greg

  29. Conrad O'Connell :

    Love it – are you not releasing PDF versions anymore though?

  30. Ryan Biddulph :

    Excellent Neil, many thanks!

  31. Neil,
    You never cease to impress me with the quality, content and topics you take the time to provide. I continue to use the knowledge you provide to make my job easier. Although, the more I read from you I realize I do not know as much as I thought I did.


  32. Dude, your guides are epic. One of the few marketers who actually deliver great content.

  33. Prateek Bansal :

    epic content Neil. I wonder I have not read any other blog from past many months except yours because I get tons of information from here.

  34. Thanks Neil, You are a legend Mate!!

  35. Kaleb Nation :

    Wow, Neil this is amazing, I think I should invest more time in this blog.


  36. Hello Neil, I came across some tools for automation of marketing for your brand. (such as facebook page auto poster) but I personally think that using such tools is crap idea. Instead I’ll follow your thoughts about same.

    Thank for sharing such an awesome article.

  37. I haven’t seen large conversion in Email marketing Neil, but as per your guide, it says that Email marketing still is better option. I’ll surely try it once again and try to get some conversions. Thank you

  38. Irfan Saleem :

    Well that goes in to my bookmarked pages :D. Yet another great compilation. Keep up the good work Neil.

  39. Pushconvert :

    wow, very informative & colorful series of articles. I enjoyed skimming through the articles but I will surely be back to read the whole thing.

  40. keep sharing good information Neil

    thank you 🙂

  41. AJ & Serenity Services :

    These are some excellent guides! I especially love the illustrations you use throughout. My partner and I will definitely use all this wisdom to improve our online business efforts.

  42. Sepid marketing automation :

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the full guideline of marketing automation. You saved our week!
    In our next blog, we just need to promote your guideline!

    Thanks again,

    Sepid Marketing Automation

  43. I have read almost every “definitive guide” of yours and bookmarked this as well.

    The only one question comes in my mind is that how to manage your time doing all stuff. You run 2 companies, speaks, work, write and the most interesting thing you respond to all comments.

    How ??????????? How you manage all along?

    What motivates you??

    • Jugmendra, I just keep my eyes on the ultimate goal. It doesn’t even feel like work anymore 🙂

  44. Ross Simmonds :

    Great stuff Neil – You continue to impress and raise the bar for everyone in this industry. Like many others have said, I’ve been waiting for this guide and you hit it out of the park.

  45. I think there is definitely quality content here … but the sheer number of pop-ups and flashing adds depressed me and frankly …I just gave up … thought you’d want to know 🙂

  46. It took me a bit to get to reading the guide, but I am on it now. I definitely needed this information. Your content, this guide AND the other material I’ve received from you is quality stuff. You won’t get the “unsubscribe” message from me. Thanks.

  47. Hello sir, thanks for your guide. each day i want to learn some great stuffs and today i learn here marketing automation. Thanks again .

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