Just over a third of businesses (34%) are unable to calculate the revenue earned from email marketing, according to a new survey from the DMA.

Only 60% of respondents said that they could calculate the revenue return, despite the fact that a vast majority of businesses (89%) said email marketing was either ‘very important’ or ‘important’.

This tallies with data from the new Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report, which found that only 52% of businesses rate their ability to measure ROI from email marketing as ‘good’.

According to the DMA’s report, of those who can calculate the ROI one-fifth (20%) accrue more than £51 for every pound spent, while almost a half (49%) of respondents said they achieve an ROI of between £1 and £10 for every £1 spent.

Even so, based on an assumption that the average return for the top category is £55, the estimated average return across all organisations is £21.48 for each £1 spent on email marketing.


The report also found that more than half (56%) of respondents expect their company’s email budget to increase in 2012, while only 5% said they expect it to decrease.

Our Marketing Budgets Report revealed similar findings – 65% of respondents said their email marketing budget would increase this year, while just 4% said it was likely to decline.

Interestingly, the DMA’s report found that lack of internal resource (54%) and budget (38%) are the main constraints preventing companies from achieving their marketing goals.

Lack of data was cited by just 27% of respondents, while internal process and in-house technology were selected by 30% and 28% respectively.

Another indicator of the value of email marketing is its share of business revenue. The majority of businesses (62%) produce more than a third of their digital business revenue through email.

In fact a third of businesses (34%) achieve 50% or more of their digital revenue from email marketing.

The DMA's survey, sponsored by Alchemy Worx, polled 250 senior B2B and B2C brand marketers.

David Moth

Published 6 February, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (3)

Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander, CEO at Molander & Associates Inc.

Ironically, the Adobe video ad interrupted my ability to read the story on direct marketers not being able to calculate ROI!


If you're working in direct response and are bold enough to admit you can't calculate ROI you should be fired.

Need more reason to fire anyone who can't figure it out? A majority of your competitors are producing 1/3 of their online revenue via email. Sounds like ample reason to me!

Marketers=Money Spenders
Sales=Money Makers

The ROI of marketing and advertising (and certainly email!) must ultimately be held accountable to a lead or a sale. Period.

No ifs. No ands. No buts. No talk about how it can't be done. By mixing in direct response to the overall marketing strategy it CAN be done. 

over 5 years ago


Prashant Rohilla

Optimizing ways in which ROI is calculated is also important , because not always it is like you cannot calculate ROI rather it is more about how well you calculate it talking different parameters into consideration, because in future ROI will be baselines

over 5 years ago


Patricia Dulaney

Thanks for this information. Calculating for reports or outcome of projects is very important.

over 5 years ago

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