Just over half of emarketers in the UK (57%) admit to cleansing their databases regularly – finds the largest survey ever undertaken of email marketers from Adestra and E-consultancy.* Small wonder most companies have problems with email effectiveness and deliverability.

*source: The E-Consultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2008, published March 2008, surveyed over 600 in-house and agency respondents across different industry sectors.

The new findings show deliverability is a major problem with more than half having trouble getting into recipients’ inboxes and over two thirds of companies are not using email effectively. The key reasons behind this are cited as lack of budget and poor quality of data. Targeting contacts with relevant messages from an accurate database is fundamental. Without clean, complete and accurate data, messages can never be relevant and targeted despite one’s best intentions.

Paul Crabtree, Marketing Director at Adestra, says: “The research highlights the importance of good data in email marketing – without this foundation your strategy is dead in the water, no matter how good the design and content are. To move your ROI from email to 5x start by investing in cleansing your databases and linking them together.”

To ensure the databases are updated automatically and capture data obtained from multi-channel routes, the systems must be integrated – yet more than 8 in 10 have ‘no integration’ or ‘some’. Having systems that don’t talk to each other not only prevents the effective measurement of ROI, but fundamentally hampers effective marketing overall – particularly in a multi-channel scenario. There appears to be a huge spread of email marketing effectiveness – 49% of company email marketers say that their ROI is up to 2x, while 24% are achieving 5x or more – and the use of integrated systems and good data plays a significant part in this.

Disappointingly, this lack of confidence in the accuracy of their data, due to a lack of ‘joined up thinking’, means many marketers are reluctant to deploy seemingly simple, tactical campaign improvements such as personalisation, segmentation and testing programs. In addition, failure to encourage customers while they are in buying mode – 2 in 3 emarketers admit to not emailing abandoned baskets – is a major lost revenue opportunity. “On the simplest tactical level, not getting your house in order prevents marketers from implementing small improvements which are proven to deliver better ROI. Put simply, email marketers are forced to ‘spray and pray’ if they are not confident in the accuracy of their data,” adds Paul.

Marketers looking to use email marketing as part of their marketing mix need to invest in integrating their systems and building their database of contacts. Without legal, efficient and accurate data collection methods marketers will be unable to properly use the email channel in their programs.

Often, the outsourced email marketing tool is bolted on to existing processes and builds up a database of information including preference information, behavioural information and more. Most email companies can now integrate this information with marketer’s own web sites and databases as standard. Others work with companies, such as Data Salon or Wyvern, who provide database products that can consume data from numerous different sources in an organisation, de-dupe contacts and match them to campaigns to provide measurement and ROI tracking.

Work with your ESP (and database aggregators) to improve your database in following ways: 1. Implement a regular cleansing program 2. Invest in integrating key systems across your organisation 3. Always use confirmed double opt-in 4. Survey your contacts to learn more about them in order to improve your segmentation and behavioural targeting 5. Invest in email validation to ensure the make up of domains is correct 6. Don't do all the work yourself – encourage contacts to use ‘update your details’ forms 7. Always record the original source of the data

*The full E-consultancy report is available now from www.adestra.com/census

- ENDS –

About Adestra LtdFast, responsive and knowledgeable

Adestra is an email marketing agency with one aim–to be the email marketers’ first choice partner. Working closely with our clients to meet their individual email marketing needs, Adestra provide ASP email marketing tools and email marketing bureau services to UK companies operating in the B2B and B2C marketplaces.

Adestra’s Message Focus email marketing tool is today’s best email marketing system and the only one 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 with no software installations.

Adestra’s product and corporate information is located at http://www.adestra.co.uk

Press ContactsJim Buchanan, PR Consultant

Em: Jim.Buchanan@adestra.com

Tel: 07725 25 71 94

Ellen Scott, Marketing Manager

Em: ellen.scott@adestra.com

Tel: 01865 24 24 25

Published on: 12:00AM on 31st March 2008