Its integral role in a more strategic and joined-up approach to marketing has been critical to propelling growth. According to the report, the UK email marketing industry alone was worth £438m in 2012, and will grow by an estimated 13% to a value of £495m by the end of 2013.

While marketers struggle to justify spend in other channels, the efficiency, measurability and relative transparency that comes with email make it more boardroom friendly. However, with more businesses increasing their investment in email, simply paying lip-service to this channel is not enough.

In order to stand out in a crowded consumer inbox, organisations need to send more relevant messaging as part of well thought-out marketing programmes.

This is key for building appropriate relationships with consumers, as Simon Robinson from Responsys explains:

Customers don’t think or shop or interact with channels, they interact with brands. They’ll use whatever channel is most convenient or preferred at any one time. So marketers can’t have different systems for different channels, they must have capabilities for interacting across email, mobile, display, web and social channels.

If that is the case, then there is plenty of opportunity for growth, with less than a third of marketers integrating email with search, display and mobile according to the Econsultancy / Responsys Cross Channel Marketing Report:

Which of the following channels are integrated with your email marketing activity?

Channels that integrate with email marketing

Despite the rise of cross-channel marketing and growing ability to harness data for automation of email activities, many marketers are still not optimising their email campaigns. Only 31% of marketers carry out ‘regular’ testing, despite 74% of those marketers reporting ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ ROI on their email activities.  

One obvious trend which is having a growing impact on how most consumers engage with their email is mobile.

From location-based advantages, to maximising the ‘always-on’ culture that has developed, mobile continues to change how businesses use email. While the benefits that can be manifested could be lucrative, mobile also comes with its challenges.

From ensuring readability on multiple devices, to optimising for mobile experiences, failure to prepare email messaging for mobile can lose business and reduce the effectiveness of the channel.

There is plenty more information and detailed market trends in our Email Marketing Platforms Buyer’s Guide 2013, which contains profiles of 22 leading players in the market and tips and pitfalls for those seeking the right email partner.