The research, which is in its ninth consecutive year, provides an unparalleled opportunity to measure the state of the industry and find out how those at the coalface of email marketing are operating. 

This report looks in detail at the approaches taken and the resources given to email marketing, as well as issues regarding effectiveness, marketing automation, mobile and the future of email based on the input of over 1000 client-side and agency organisations.

These key stats from the report should provide somewhat of a yardstick for your email marketing:

The proportion of sales attributed to email marketing: 20%

If you have worked in email for any length of time, you are likely aware of the channel’s ability to provide a return on investment in a measurable, tangible way.

If you were not, then it’s worth noting 25% of company and agency respondents ranked its ability to provide a return on investment as ‘excellent’, making it the best channel for directly adding to the bottom line, along with SEO.

Two thirds of companies deem email at least good for delivering ROI, so it’s safe to say email marketing is fairly good at getting the job done.

With companies making an average of 20% of their total revenue from the channel, it is a channel that organisations should be seeking to maximise. However, the research shows that this probably isn’t the case in many cases.

Percentage of marketing budget allocated to email marketing: 13%

Despite organisations gaining a significant proportion of their income from the channel, company respondents are only spending an average of 13% of their marketing budget on email.

Not only is this somewhat low given the value it provides, it is also a decline from last year’s figure of 16%.

What proportion of your total marketing budget does email marketing account for?

Email’s maturity may lead some marketers to believe investing in other channels at email’s expense will make minimal difference. However, the decrease in spend on the channel resulted in a 9% dip in sales attributed to emaill. 

While experimentation is necessary for growth and the shifting of budgets is bound to happen as new technology and opportunities emerge, marketers would be wise to thoroughly assess how shifting resources from email will affect the overall business.

Percentage of companies optimising email for mobile devices: 60%

For the first time, more than half of company respondents are creating email campaigns accessible on mobile devices.

This transition picked up steam in recent years, with the proportion of companies designing mobile-friendly emails rising up 144% in just two years. 

That being said, the urgency in this is certainly necessary. Appropriately, the shift to mobile among email marketers is merely mirroring the behaviour of consumers on a global scale.

However, marketers are not completely up to speed when it comes to mobile. Only 21% of company organisations consider themselves as having a ‘quite’ or ‘very’ advanced strategy for optimising email marketing for mobile devices.

Mobile is an integral part of the customer journey, a journey email can play a crucial part in. But in order to play, organisations need to be appropriately prepared.

Proportion of email marketers who believe email will be integrated and personalised in five years’ time: 84% & 76%

According to the survey respondents, email is not going away, as only 9% think email become redundant in the next five years.

In fact, the future of email should be personalised and integrated, with heavy doses of automation to match.

Thinking ahead five years into the future, please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements.

Organisations appear aware that they need to work towards this reality now, as 64% pointed out they are not doing personalisation to their satisfaction and 54% said the same with regarding their marketing automation.

The future of email as defined by the respondents is certainly attainable, but only by companies that are developing their email capabilities in the context of their broader marketing capabilities.

For more email marketing insights, download the latest version of the Email Marketing Industry Census.