Part of being a modern marketer means geeking out on data, so let's get straight to the stats.

Companies that use marketing automation have 53% higher conversion rates than non-users, and an annualized revenue growth rate 3.1% higher than non-users, according to the Aberdeen Group. And B2C marketers who take advantage of automation for everything from cart abandonment programs to birthday emails have conversion rates as high as 50%, eMarketer reports. Yes, you read that correctly: One out of every two of these emails could convert.

Despite such findings, some marketers are reluctant to embrace email automation. Most holdouts think that adoption and integration would be too complicated, too costly, or too much of a time commitment.

It's true that successful deployment of an email automation solution requires some time to get off the ground. But automation doesn't need to be complicated—and it shouldn't be daunting. After all, most of us are already automating in our personal lives even if we don't realize it—setting up monthly utility bills for auto-pay or scheduling regular prescription refills.

Email automation applies that same principle to your marketing—at scale.

To kick-start your efforts, here are five key takeaways from Emma's Automation Demystified guide, which helps marketers set up an email automation strategy for great results.

1. Automation = increased engagement

Want results you can be proud of in your next meeting with the boss? Automation can help. Triggered email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than traditional bulk messages, according to Epsilon.

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image of Emily Konouchi

Emily Konouchi is director of content and communications at Emma, an email marketing software and services provider that helps organizations of all sizes get more from their marketing. She is also the director Emma’s communal dishwasher-emptying efforts, but only when she has writer’s block.

Twitter: @emikonouchi

Google+: Emily Konouchi