Conversion rate is one of the most important metrics in email marketing. It speaks to marketers’ ability to turn engagement into revenue. 

However with 42% of marketers who use slow email technology reporting lower than average conversion rates, it seems that revenue is being lost through outdated, sluggish systems.

The Email Marketing Speed Imperative study, published by Econsultancy in partnership with dotMailer, looks at how much impact the ease and speed of use of email marketing technology has on the channel’s success.

The research also explores what is the dollar value of a faster-to-use email system in return on investment terms? How is email list growth affected by the responsiveness of email technology? How do most email marketers divide their time between nine key activities, and how should they be allocating it for maximum success?

The report is based on an online survey of more than 500 client-side and agency email professionals across a range of levels of sophistication, company sizes and sectors, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013. Respondents were located primarily in North America and the United Kingdom.

Here’s a look at how marketers’ conversion rates and ROI relate to sector averages, broken down by the speed of their email marketing technology.

Marketers with faster, easier to use email systems clearly have an edge over their peers. 11% of the fast group report ‘significantly higher’ conversion rates, and 33% report ‘somewhat higher’ than average.

Another question asked in the study was “how does the speed of email technology relate to ROI?”

Organisations that calculate their email ROI were queried on their ratio of cost to revenue. 

Those with fast systems report an average ROI for email of $38.80, nearly 33% higher than the $26.20 reported by those with slow systems.

Email has always been the one of the top channels in terms of ROI and the return on email is very high, even in the worst cases. However there is a large disparity between the three different groups.

The marketers in the fast/easy to use technology category reported an average ROI of nearly 40:1 for every dollar spent, in comparison with a ratio of 26:1 for those in the slow group. 

When email marketers aren’t spending their time with rote tasks such as campaign deployment and management, they are able to carry out higher level practices, such as strategising, testing and advanced segmentation, all of which can lead to higher ROI.

For much more insight, research and guidance, download our full report: The Email Marketing Speed Imperative.