UK companies are failing to prioritise email deliverability despite hundreds of millions of pounds in lost sales as a result of non-delivery, according to the E-consultancy / Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2008 published this week.

Just over half of email marketers surveyed (51%) said that their organisations had experienced problems reaching recipients’ inboxes within the last 12 months, but only 40% said that email deliverability is a priority area.

Only 20% of respondents knew what percentage of their marketing budget has been lost through non-delivery. But calculated from those who can put a figure on this, 11% of email budget is lost through non-delivery on average.

Paul Crabtree, Marketing Director at Adestra, said: “By fixing deliverability, UK email marketers could boost their sales revenue by at least 11% - for UK businesses that equates to over £550 million.”

Adestra has estimated that email marketing generated more than £5 billion worth of online sales in the UK last year*, which means that more than half a billion in revenue is being lost due to poor deliverability.

The second annual Email Marketing Industry Census also found that only 57% of respondents carry out regular list cleansing, and the failure of many organisations to do this is a major factor contributing to problems with email marketing effectiveness and deliverability.

E-consultancy’s Head of Research Linus Gregoriadis said: “Too many organisations are still failing to carry out essential email practices such as list cleansing and basic segmentation of their email databases.

“The issue of deliverability continues to be a stumbling block for many companies. Research shows that more than half of organisations surveyed have experienced problems reaching the inbox, and yet only 40% say that deliverability is a priority area.”

Some 68% of email marketers say they are not using email marketing as effectively as they could, compared to only 24% who are. This is a significant improvement on last year’s equivalent statistic, when only 13% of email marketers said that they were using email marketing as effectively as they would like.

* The annual value of total online sales via the internet reached £52 billion (source: DMA Economic Impact Analysis). It is estimated by Adestra that email drives around 10% of online sales.

Other key findings

Email's share of the digital marketing budget has gone up from an average of 19% in 2007 to 23% in 2008.

Almost two thirds of company respondents (63%) rate email as either “excellent” or “good” for return on investment.

The majority of organisations are not systematically sending out email based on triggers such as date notifications. Abandoned baskets, date notifications (e.g. birthdays), and click-through-but-no-purchase are the least used triggers, with 69%, 66% and 57% of respondents saying their organisations do not use these triggers (respectively).

About this report

The Email Marketing Census 2008, published in association with Adestra, is based on the findings of a survey of more than 600 registered E-consultancy users. Some 340 company email marketers and 175 email service provider / agency respondents took part in the online survey which was live in January and February 2008.

Topics covered by the survey included:

Approach to email marketing (i.e. in-house, managed service, ASP etc)
Use of services provided by email service providers
Extent of email marketing (number of emails)
Email marketing budget
Time spent internally on email marketing
Return on Investment / Effectiveness of email marketing
Barriers to success
Priorities for improvement

Report URL

Journalists and bloggers can email E-consultancy for a copy of this report.

Media contact

Linus Gregoriadis, Head of Research, E-consultancy

(e: linus AT t: 0207 681 4051)

About E-consultancy

E-consultancy is the UK’s leading online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. Since moving to a paid-content model in 2003 E-consultancy has amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 64,000 registered users and 145,000+ unique users sessions per month.

Its weekly newsletter is sent to 23,000 users. Subscribers pay from £195 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content, which helps internet marketers get the most out of their websites.

E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2008, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers (typically between 100-150) in a Central London venue. E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops.

Other recent E-consultancy reports

About Adestra

As one of the leading UK-based email marketing agencies, we are different to our competitors in two ways - our approach and our people. Underpinning this is our technology which is cutting edge, user-friendly and is relied upon by well over 3,500 marketers to support their email marketing programmes. We provide ASP email marketing tools and email marketing bureau services to UK companies operating in the B2B and B2C marketplaces. In addition, advice and training for both tactical and strategic plans is available.

Adestra’s Message Focus is a sophisticated email marketing system designed for advanced email marketers. Web-based, this ASP application enables users to manage all aspects of their email marketing program - message design, data management, broadcasting for optimal deliverability and detailed reporting all through a secure web interface requiring no software installations.

Adestra’s product and corporate information is located at:

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th March 2008