E-consultancy's latest Email Marketing Platforms Buyers' Guide reveals that the UK market for email platforms and services continue to grow, reaching £274m by the end of the year; an increase of 24% on 2007.

Economic conditions may be more difficult at the moment, but email marketing budgets look secure, as more firms use email as a retention tool.

The measurability of email marketing and its impressive ROI are other factors which should ensure that, while cuts may affect other marketing disciplines, email budgets should remain untouched.

Email as retention tool

One of the trends the reports covers is the increased focus on the use of email for retention.

According to Nick Christie of Epsilon International: 

“With a looming financial downturn, cost effective retention based marketing (of which email marketing is the most effective online channel) is becoming increasingly important.”

This year’s Email Marketing Census found that this was the case, with retention typically getting more of the email marketing budget than acquisition (52% compared to 46% for acquisition).

This increased focus on retention and keeping in touch with customers after purchase should also reduce the overall cost of sales, as firms become less reliant on acquisition marketing channels.

As Silverpop's Mike Weston explains: 

“The biggest opportunity for growth in this sector comes from ‘closing the loop’. Too often, email and other engagement marketing techniques are ‘siloed’ away from the other, more acquisition focused, marketing disciplines."

"Activating strong engagement marketing techniques from the moment a potential customer puts their hand up can drive significantly higher conversion rates.”

Email marketing ROI

An increased appreciation of the potential returns to be gained from an investment in email marketing is also driving increases in spending.

63% of respondents to our Email census rated their ROI from email marketing as either 'excellent' or 'good', while a fifth said their return from email was five times their investment. 

ROI is further boosted by the fact that more companies are now measuring the results of their marketing efforts; according to Adestra Marketing Director Paul Crabtree: 

“The one universal rule is that companies that can measure the results of their email marketing spend most.  Put simply, companies invest in effective email marketing, which justifies future activity."

"All email companies have a duty to work with their clients to ensure their email marketing is effective. It is in their interest to do so and their client’s interests.” 

For more information, download E-consultancy's 2008 Email Marketing Platforms Buyer's Guide , free to subscribers or available on a pay-per-view basis.  

The guide contains detailed profiles of 24 leading UK email service providers: Acxiom, Adestra, Communicator Corp, CommuniGator, dotMailer, eCircle, e-Dialog, Emailcenter, Emailvision, Epsilon, ExactTarget, Experian CheetahMail, Lyris, Neolane, Newsweaver, Pure, RedEye e-Relationship Marketing, Responsys, Shift Click, Silverpop, smartFOCUS, SpinnakerPro and StrongMail.

Graham Charlton

Published 8 September, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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