Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of connecting with a target audience and has proven results for encouraging action from consumers. However, many companies still spend countless hours crafting and sending emails and other marketing materials manually.

“Marketing automation is one of the most valuable tools the modern day marketer can employ and yet it’s been adopted by less than 10% of companies,” reports Mike Templeman, contributor to Forbes.

While approaching email marketing from a labor-intensive perspective may produce uniquely crafted work, there is also a huge loss of time involved with that type of process. It is still important to marinating a high level of quality for all content, but a company can be much more effective if it uses automation to speed up certain aspects of its email campaigns.

Here are a few simple hacks that can be used to improve a business’s email marketing automation tactics.

Segment Your Subscriber List

“Segmenting your email list allows you to provide an inclusive and customized experience for your subscribers,” says Steve Olenski, contributor for Forbes. “You can segment your list based on when someone’s joined, what emails they’ve opened, their demographics and so on.”

By breaking down your subscriber list, marketers can ensure that their content is always relevant to their target audiences, which means that it will automatically retain a greater value for them. This will prevent readers from unsubscribing and keep your emails out of the spam folder.

Test, Test, Test Your Timing

This can never really be said often enough, but there is a true emphasis on the importance of testing. When it comes to email automation, it can be easy to become passive about the process. However, it is vital to consistently review your open rates and correlate them with your send times.

“You’ll notice that some segments of your list respond more positively at different times – so take advantage of that, and automate your email blasts to correspond with the best time for your subscribers,” recommends Olenski.

Stay Simple With Text-Based Emails

Many marketers put a lot of effort into their graphics and visual appeal of their emails, but this may not be as effective as most think.

“Your email message might look great in your inbox, but consider this – the vast majority of your subscribers will be using an email program that blocks out any additional images,” notes Olenski. “Automation is all about speed, and by having to manually insert and adjust images, you’re losing time.”

Spam blockers or email programs will almost never filter text-based emails, so this is a great way to ensure that your emails make it to the reader.

Give Subscribers Control Over Their Preferences

“You want the ultimate in automation? Then let your subscribers work for you. Give them the opportunity to change their subscription preferences,” says Olenski.

By giving an audience control over their own preferences, they help do the work that is required to segment your subscriber list. This means that readers won’t be irritated by an overly high frequency of emails or by content that is not interesting to them.

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