When successfully implemented, email campaigns are among the most efficient and effective marketing tools available for fostering and maintaining customer relationships with a target audience or demographic. As a result, it’s no wonder that nearly half of the smallest businesses in North America currently depend on some form of email marketing to attract and retain their customer base.

Still, many business owners struggle with finding the best email marketing solution and perpetually debate the human vs. machine argument. Which is better? A dedicated, in-house email marketing specialist to craft a campaign with a specialized touch, or a prompt, efficient automated system that, while possibly cold and impersonal, still gets the job done and usually at a lower cost?

Although both present compelling arguments for superiority, today’s optimal email marketing solution is implemented by human and machine involvement. While maximizing ROI involves utilizing cutting-edge software and technologies to monitor what\’s working and what\’s not, stellar software is close to pointless without a skilled human being in the driver’s seat. A study by Marketing Sherpa indicates that 41% of recipients flag an email as SPAM if the email content doesn’t immediately interest them. Ultimately, it takes a human’s elbow grease and savvy to craft an eye-catching email that avoids the common keyword SPAM traps like “free,” “save,” and “discount” – all of which, when poorly used, can prove a spam magnet.

While many automated email marketing platforms promise to work harder than you ever could, it’s vital to remember in the realm of email marketing that working harder doesn’t necessarily equal working smarter. And it’s working smarter that offers the greatest likelihood of your email reaching the inbox of a target consumer. Only then does software hold its value as a means for collecting valuable data:

  • How many emails were delivered?
  • How many were opened?
  • How many links were clicked and how frequently?
  • How many recipients unsubscribed from your email list?

With small businesses viewing cost, efficiency, and measurability as the paramount benefits of a successful email marketing campaign, it comes as no surprise that finding a smart coupling of human expertise and automated software has become today’s emergent email marketing solution.

For more information on email marketing best practices and improving email deliverability, check out this free, comprehensive white paper.