Industry Census Says ‘Email Sophisticated And Profitable’

by , Staff Writer @mp_research, July 6, 2016

According to an analysis of digital marketing experts by Adestra, a decade of email marketing data shows the email channel is the fastest growing of any other channel in the marketing mix. Ahead of SEO, content marketing, paid search and direct marketing, 73% of respondents rate email ROI ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

The report asked more than 50,000 marketers, chosen from a cross-section of business-to-consumer and business-to-business enterprises, to share winning email list strategies, as well as identify their biggest challenges.

Only 9% of respondents say they are “very successful”, and 55% of respondents say they are “somewhat successful.” And 36% admit that their email strategy is “unsuccessful.”

The Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2016 shows how digital marketing has matured over the years, relying on email marketing as a central focus with true measurable results, rather than a passing trend, says the report. In contrast, ‘trendy’ channels like social media have started to fade, evidenced by being the only decrease in focus by both client-side and agency respondents.

Henry Hyder-Smith, CEO at Adestra, says “… not just email marketing technology… but also the mindset of marketers. … shifting away from broadcasting singular messages across all possible channels …(to) better segmentation and increasingly sophisticated personalization… (and) a move towards focusing on business benefits and customer-driven marketing…

The 2016 Census shows that companies investing at least a fifth of their marketing budgets on email, are eight times more likely to see sales attributable to it in excess of 50%, says the report. In addition, the last decade has seen the cost of acquisition and customer retention going down and loyalty going up.

55% say that email-specific landing pages are one of the best tactics to achieving email list success, while only 23% say that they’re difficult to create.

65% of respondents say that email list sizes are increasing. While casting a wider net seems like a good idea, the important thing to remember, says the report, is that one good lead is worth more than 1,000 worthless ones. New acquisition strategies should focus on collecting quality (and qualified) subscribers, rather than wide swaths of people who’ll drag down your email program’s performance.

Significant challenges remain, says the report. More work is required for businesses to achieve success in implementing automated email programs. Just 7% of companies deem the implementation of their automated email marketing programs as ‘very successful’, unchanged from 2015. Less than a quarter of client-side respondents are sending automated emails based on abandoned baskets, date notifications and timed content programs through the sales cycle, notes the report.

The study findings point to a direct link between personalization and email ROI. Companies claiming to be proficient in personalization are more than twice as likely to rate the performance of their email campaigns as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ compared to those not personalizing.

Hyder-Smith added “…marketers have a positive outlook to the future of the industry… as they… improve their use of behavioral triggers… optimize customer journeys… engage in the one-to-one communication model of the future…”

In addition, concludes the report, the impact of digital agencies’ expertise in email marketing is significant, as they achieve a significantly higher ROI than their in-house counterparts, as well as taking advantage of more automated triggers.

For the complete report from Adestra, please sign in here.

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