Email and SEO must feel quite victimised within the marketing world, as people are always proclaiming them to be deceased.

While it’s true that consumer apathy, spam filters, increasing competition and changes to the Gmail inbox are making things more difficult for brands, it is clearly nonsense to suggest that email marketing is on the way out.

So to fight back against the haters, here are five reasons why email is clearly alive and well.

And for more information on this topic, download the Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Census 2014 or the Email & eCRM section of the Internet Statistics Compendium...

Email drives loads of sales

Econsultancy’s annual Email Marketing Census tracks the percentage of sales that responding companies achieve from their campaigns.

The 2014 survey found that on average, companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, up from 18% in 2013. 

Furthermore, nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents attribute 30% or more of their sales to email marketing, up from 18% two years ago. 

Approximately what proportion of your total sales can you attribute to the email marketing channel?

Email is also top for ROI

The Econsultancy/Adestra survey also asked respondents to rank marketing channels in terms of the return on investment they delivered.

Email marketing was ranked as the best channel in terms of ROI, with more than two-thirds (68%) of companies rating the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. 

This marks a 3% increase on 2013, while the previously highest ranked digital marketing channel, search engine optimisation, dropped 8%.

How do you rate the following channels in terms of return on investment?

Email marketing is generally successful, and lists are growing

A survey by Ascend2 published in February 2014 found that 87% of companies feel that their email marketing is either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ successful.

In contrast, only 13% said that their email campaigns were unsuccessful.

Furthermore, more than two-thirds of companies (68%) running email campaigns across selected global regions (mostly US and Europe) saw their email list increase during the past year. This compares to 25% who saw it stay the same and just 7% whose email list decreased.

How do you rate the success of your current email marketing program to achieve important objectives?

Marketers are integrating new tactics and channels

The same Ascend2 study shows that far from dying off, email marketing is evolving as practitioners integrate new channels and technologies.

When asked which tactics their company has used for email marketing, 80% said ‘creating relevant and compelling content’, followed by personalization (72%), segmentation (61%), ‘other’ tactics (55%) and engaging users via social (42%).

Which of the following email tactics has your company used for marketing purposes?

Consumers still check email daily

How can email be dead when it remains such a popular communication tool? Back in February 2013 Return Path conducted research into how often people checked their email on both desktop and mobile.

In the US 79% of consumers check their email everyday on desktop compared to 73% on mobile, while in the UK the stats are 71% and 62% respectively.

The results were broadly similar in Germany (76% vs. 60%), France (80% vs. 62%), Brazil (72% vs. 57%) and Australia (77% vs. 57%).

This shows that email is far from dead and also serves as another reminder that brands need to be optimising their campaigns for mobile

David Moth

Published 19 May, 2014 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 (2)



Email marketing has two components:

emailing and the list of emails.

I think emailing as a method to reach prospects and customers is a very effective solution. However, lists are from the past.

Using "list" is not recognizing that the people in your list are interconnected in "networks" and that you should leverage this intelligence in targeting and delivering the emails.

The question on the table is: how to email a network of people? how to foster peer recommendation (which is way more powerful) rather than messages delivered by the seller?


about 4 years ago


Pauline Ashenden

Hi David, the other point about email is that companies need to be consistent about using it across departments. Too many organisations use it heavily for marketing, and then fail completely to respond to customer service emails. In fact, our recent Eptica Multichannel Customer Experience Study found that nearly a third (29%) of companies couldn’t be contacted by email by non-customers. If organisations want to reap the marketing benefits of email, they need to back it up with customer service through the same channel. More in the Eptica blog at

about 4 years ago

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