Believe it or not, just four percent of companies use automated marketing emails, according to a VentureBeat report. Your inbox full of promotions might indicate otherwise, but it's really the voices of a small minority that represent most of the marketing noise. 

But here's the stat you really need to know: Companies that use these automated email promotions generate twice as many sales leads. Maybe it's time to reconsider email marketing? 

Before you fire away 1,000 emails, research suggests that some ways of using this tool are smarter than others. For example, birthday emails can boost conversion rates by 60 percent compared to generic emails that contain the same exact promotional offer. It's all about personalization.

For more fun facts on businesses' love/hate relationship with marketing email, check out the infographic below from Autopilot, a creator of automated marketing software.

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