Email Campaign, Flow, Broadcast, and Autoresponder. What's the Difference?

Email Marketing Terminology
May 27, 2021


Email marketing terms can be confusing if you're new. Here's how to differentiate between some of the common lingo thrown around.

Let's define the distinction between campaigns, flow, automations and broadcasts. They're terms that are tossed about a lot in the email marketing field, and I'd want to debunk them for you.

I'm going to categorize these keywords into two different groups. The automated emails fall under the first group. Automated emails are sent automatically and are based on a user's behavior, a user trigger, or any other specified trigger condition that you set up for them. The cool thing about these emails is that once you set them up, they will convert and send for you till the end of time and you won't have to lift a finger.

Automated emails are also called flows. There are two types of flows - autoresponders and campaign flows.

Campaigns and autoresponders, they are all the same thing and are used interchangeably in the email industry as far as I know, depending on the email marketing software that you use, such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, Drip, Omnisend, those keywords are thrown about indiscriminately and essentially mean the same thing in these domains.

Now it's vital for you to remember that they all refer to an automatic sequence of emails that may run from one to as many as you like, and once you put them up, they're ready to go. They'll work for you till the end of time. It's a lovely thing, and you should get it set up as soon as possible.

Now we have manual emails, which are sent by clicking send each time you want to send one. These manual emails require you to segment your audience and figure out exactly who you're sending to, and then you have to click and send the email to that audience.

Manual emails are also known as broadcast emails, and after you send them, they're done and won't be sent again. So to summarize, we have autoresponder flows on the automated side, and broadcasts on the manual side.

Hope this clears things up on your side. If you need any email marketing help, please reach out to us at Grab Digital. Thanks!

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Written by

Nelson is co-founder of Grab Digital and enjoys the simple things in life - like plain oatmeal.