The results of our sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, published today in association with Adestra, has shown that companies consider the ROI from email marketing to be higher than for most other digital channels including social media marketing.

In fact, in terms of the company respondents who said that email marketing was “excellent” or “good” for return on investment, email was higher than any other channel except SEO.

This year's study has also found that companies adopting best practice and using ESP platform functionality (beyond basic 'batch and blast'), are significantly more likely to see a strong financial return from their email campaigns. 

In total, 70% of company respondents taking part considered the ROI from email to be “excellent” or “good”. But do all marketers feel the same way?

At the beginning of the census, we asked the question, “Do you use an email service provider for anything other than the basic broadcast of email?”. Only 40% of respondents cited that they did.

We then compared the difference between those who said they did use an email service provider (ESP) for more than basic broadcast, with whether they considered the ROI from email to be excellent or good.  

For those marketers who used an ESP for more than just basic broadcast, they were 32% more likely to state that email marketing offered an "excellent" or "good" ROI. 

The extent to which companies get a good return from email was also found to be correlated with whether they carry out testing, whether they use at least basic segmentation and whether they have integrated their email activity with other business functions, such as CRM and web analytics.

Consistently, it was found that those using advanced functionality and putting greater efforts into their email marketing campaigns were more likely to consider the ROI from email to be "excellent" or "good".

According to the research, only 31% of companies surveyed regularly test their email marketing campaigns. But 81% of companies who do regular testing for email marketing say their ROI from email is “excellent” or “good”, compared to 72% for those who do “occasional” testing, 65% for those who do “infrequent” testing and only 37% for those who “don't test”.

The research also found that companies who are practising basic segmentation are 95% more likely to rate email ROI as excellent or good than those who do not use even basic segmentation, nor have plans to do so.

Such results mirrored the findings of email marketing in the US, with Econsultancy’s Email in Action survey showing that those simply 'batching and blasting' were seeing reduced returns.

Henry Hyder-Smith, Managing Director at Adestra, said:

This year, delving deeper into the data, shows a direct result of using best practices is better ROI. So doing more segmentation, more testing, and integrating email with CRM, web analytics and sales data, all show significant growth. Get the basics right, and you will sell more.

This was a view shared by Morgan Stewart of Trendline International, another contributor to the report. Morgan said:

What I am sensing and seeing, is that there is a growing disparity between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ – an erosion of the middle class in email. For a long time, marketers could send email that wasn’t that great and still generate a return on investment. This created a mentality of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. For those people that are not integrating, personalising, and using other tactics for their email, there is now a cost to not doing that.

Despite the fact that greater email sophistication (and even basic best practice) produces better results, many marketers have not been taking advantage of this. The census found that only 31% of companies operated welcome programmes through email, and only 28% sent out a triggered email in response to a site visit or sign-up. 

While email may not be seen as the most fashionable digital marketing technique, the fact remains that it offers a worthwhile investment for marketers and should definitely not be discredited in favour of other (perhaps less effective) channels.

Furthermore, in light of the challenges that email is facing, email marketers need to step up their game to ensure the best results.

For more information, download our Email Marketing Industry Census 2012.

Andrew Warren-Payne

Published 6 March, 2012 by Andrew Warren-Payne

Andrew Warren-Payne is a former analyst at Econsultancy and is now Managing Director at Market2Marketers. Follow him on Twitter or Google+

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Comments (4)



So from this we can assume that if one make use of email marketing for attracting more people to their business and to the new things then need to observe their activity and results of the email marketing.
But with that one need to be sure for sending emails to only valuable clients from which firm can get something benefit and not to those who just ignore the emails and even not care to read it. So be sure for such email list that of valuable customers and then only one can get benefit through email marketing.

over 6 years ago



Is it just me or are some of these blog posts becoming more and more obvious?

"Test your emails, use best practice and you'll see a better ROI"

Isn't this obvious?

over 6 years ago

Andrew Warren-Payne

Andrew Warren-Payne, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy

Thanks for your comments on this thread Phil and David. Some valid points there.

Whilst it may appear obvious to many that best practice leads to better ROI, another finding of the survey was that the majority of email marketers (60%) do not use their email service provider for anything more than sending emails. This means that the majority of people using email marketing are not optimising their campaigns.

What I think these results can hopefully do is to encourage those 60% to start using email more effectively. Such statistics also provide a business case for those email marketers who want to invest more into their email marketing efforts, but might be held back for a variety of reasons.

Hopefully next year's census will see more companies taking the advice and really start to optimise their campaigns, moving away from 'batch-and-blast' and towards targeted, highly focused messages which deliver even better ROI.

over 6 years ago


logo design london

Nice Website. You should think more about RSS Feeds as a traffic source. They bring me a nice bit of traffic

about 6 years ago

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