Step forward dusty old email marketing, which remains one of the most effective channels for achieving ROI despite regular claims that it is being usurped by new marketing methods.

In this post I’ll discuss some of the findings from our new Email Marketing Census, carried out in partnership with Adestra and based on a survey of more than 1,000 marketers.

And if you’re interested in discussing behavioural marketing trends and best practice then apply for a place at our APAC roundtable events.

They will focus on marketing automation, email, and behavioural marketing. The dates are:

Use of behavioural triggers in email

The results from our survey show that a fifth of marketers (20%) currently implement behavioural email marketing based on web activity, a 43% increase year-on-year.

Further to this, 39% of respondents are planning to use behavioural email targeting.

Which of the following practices are a part of your email marketing efforts?

This obviously means that 41% of marketers currently have no immediate plans to begin using behavioural targeting in their email marketing.

According to Andrew Campbell, managing director of SixC Limited, marketers need to be more willing to explore the capabilities offered to them by email technology vendors.

Marketers need to raise expectations and pursue a more ambitious approach to achieving best practice in their email campaigns.

The technology vendors have done their part by standardising features such as: CRM integration; data management; dynamic content rendering; behavioural retargeting; social integration; testing and optimisation.

Marketers must look to leverage these to deliver enhanced customer experiences and ultimately greater ROI.

Campbell also said that two of the most successful email initiatives he had seen recently had involved behavioural retargeting based on web activity.

One was following up on abandoned search activity and the other exploration of loyalty point redemption alternatives.

In both cases a timely, triggered email follow up with relevant content achieved saw a step change in open and click-through rates versus standard campaign metrics.

I believe that this tactic will increasingly become mainstream over the next year or two.

Automation triggers

The Email Census also investigates the type of automation triggers that marketers are currently employing.

The most commonly used triggers are subscriptions (65%) or website visits (59%), which are a very basic form of automation.

Other behavioural triggers, such as basket abandonment (37%) and engagement with content (28%), are far less common.

Do you send out automated emails based on the following triggers or behaviour?