Today sees the launch of our sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored as usual by email service provider Adestra. Those taking part in the survey will get a free copy of the report, worth £250. 

The 2012 UK Email Census will be a landmark report, because it will be published five years after the first such study we produced in 2007. In internet years, that seems like another lifetime ago but there is no doubting the enduring success of email as a vital channel for business.

As well as documenting this year’s survey findings (which will cover areas such as best practice, data security and email for mobile devices), we look forward to comparing results with 2007 data, to see how investment in the channel and challenges have changed in that timeframe (as well as year-on-year). 

Complementing the data, the report this year will again contain insights from leading email industry commentators. 

Companies continue to invest in the channel in spite of question marks in some quarters about its future. The latest scare story about the death of email came towards the end of last year, in the wake of a decision by ATOS CEO Thierry Breton to bring in a ‘zero email’ policy for staff.

Companies of course need to ensure the most efficient communication possible between staff (and with the outside world), and increased use of instant messaging and internal social network functionality makes sense.

What some businesses may be overlooking in their drive to improve efficiencies is the asynchronicity of email communication which means that, if we choose, we can get on with things without constant interruption (and in blissful ignorance of the important messages sitting in our inbox).

Stories about the death of email have been cropping up for several years now, and they reached their zenith (or should I say nadir) when the ATOS policy was covered by the Daily Mail in November (‘The email is dead: long live the conversation’).

The rise of social is of course changing the marketing and communication mix for businesses, but we still seem an awful long way from a world without email, not least because of the reliance of the likes of Facebook on email addresses for their members.

What do you think? This year’s survey contains questions about the integration of social media and email, plus an opportunity to express your opinion about what the rise of social means for email marketing, from a consumer and business perspective. 

The deadline for the survey is Wednesday 8 February 2012. Please take part in order to get your free copy of the report.