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As marketers spread themselves ever more thinly across multiple channels and platforms, time becomes an even more precious commodity. 

Over half of all marketers report to having responsibilities in seven out of 10 other areas of marketing, from offline display to owned media. 

However it’s the email marketers who seem to suffer the most. 

Marketing is becoming increasingly multichannel and relationship focused. Email is the glue that pulls together all of these different disciplines, tactics and partners, as well as being a direct channel to the customer.

The Email Marketing Speed Imperative study, published by Econsultancy in partnership with dotMailer, looks at how the ease of use of a specific email marketing tool affects the daily practice of email and what impact this has on the bottom line.

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?
  • 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 sophistication, company size and sector, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013. Respondents were located primarily in North America and the United Kingdom.

One of the questions asked in the study, which we'll take a look at here, was “how does the average email marketer divide their time?”

The crucial underlying theme of all the replies is a consistent one: the basic steps of creating and deploying emails take up too much time.

The ratio of campaign deployment/management to strategy is over 5:2. Most marketers spend far more time in email marketing than planning for success. 

In the following chart, you can see how email marketers spend their time based on whether they have slow, medium or fast technology.

Time spent in deployment and campaign management steals from higher level activities such as strategy, segmentation and testing. 

The marketers who use a fast and easy to use system spend 45% less time on deployment and 250% more time on strategy than the marketers using slower systems.

Those marketers using slower email technologies can only devote 8% of their time to planning and strategising, compared to the 17% of those with faster email technology.

The less time allocated to strategising at the early stage means more time wasted further down the line.

Testing also suffers from slower email technologies. Only 8% of email marketing time is devoted to testing when using a slow system, whereas marketers with faster technology can devote 14% of their time to testing.

Testing always works and the improvements from testing are for long-term success, with both negative and positive results helping to build future strategies.

For more on email marketing, download our latest Email Marketing Industry Census 2014 which looks at the amount and type of email marketing carried out by organisations, the way that email marketing is conducted, issues affecting the industry and the effectiveness of email compared to other digital marketing channels.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 22 May, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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