20th March, 2009

Email is a crucial and proven weapon for organisations who are trying to focus on effective marketing during the recession, according to research published this week by Econsultancy and Adestra.

The Email Census 2009 found that 78% of company respondents now rate email as “excellent” or “good” for return on investment, higher than for any other digital marketing channel and up 12% since a year ago.

However, the research also found that significant numbers of marketers are still failing to adopt a range of best practices relating to email, and many are still failing to get to grips with deliverability.

Less than a fifth of companies (18%) know what percentage of their email budget is lost through non-delivery.

The research has also found that lack of email strategy is now more likely to be regarded by company respondents as a significant barrier to effective email marketing, up from 32% of email marketers in 2008 to 44% in 2009.

An even bigger proportion of agency respondents (69%) say this is a major barrier for their clients, up 16% since last year.

Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: “While some companies are mastering various tactical elements of email best practice, such as segmentation, deliverability, list cleansing and triggered emails, it is clear that there are still problems for many organisations at a strategic level. A well thought-out email strategy has to be the starting point for email marketing success.”

He added: “The research shows that email is a crucial weapon for marketers during the recession because, when used properly, it delivers excellent return on investment and compares very favourably to other digital marketing channels.”

The research found that, on average, 42% of emails (by volume) sent by responding organisations are acquisition-focused compared to 58% for retention-based emails.

Additionally, there has been a 9% increase in the proportion now re-marketing through email as companies attempt to get as much value as possible from existing customers.

But worryingly, the research also found that 42% of email marketers do not know their return on investment (ROI) from email marketing.

Henry Hyder-Smith, Managing Director at Adestra, a leading email service provider, said: “With belts tightening throughout this recession, it is very concerning that 42% of marketers do not know their ROI from email marketing. It is the most cost effective medium, accounting for just 14% of online marketing budgets. With many marketers recording ROIs of over six times, budget constraints should not be seen as a barrier.”

The third annual Email Census produced by Econsultancy and Adestra is a crucial benchmarking tool for marketers and is based on the findings of a survey of more than 1,000 registered Econsultancy users.

Those taking part in our online survey, which was live in January and February 2009, included 560 company email marketers and 289 supplier respondents (i.e. those working for agencies and email service providers).

Other key findings include:

· Application Service Providers / Hosted Service is now the most commonly adopted method for email marketing, with nearly half of company email marketers (47%) using this approach. The use of a web-based application interface has increased massively in the last two years, up from 27% of respondents 2007.

· 75% of respondents are now carrying out basic segmentation, with a further 19% of company email marketers planning to implement this. The next most commonly undertaken email marketing practice is regular list cleansing, currently undertaken by 60% of companies.

· The vast majority of email marketers (72%) say that they are not using email marketing as effectively as they could. Only 16% are using email as effectively as possible for acquisition compared to 24% for retention.

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Journalists and bloggers can email Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy

(e: linus AT econsultancy.com)

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is an independent community-based publisher, focused on best practice digital marketing and e-commerce. Our hub has 80,000+ members worldwide from clients, agencies and suppliers alike with over 90% member retention rate.

We help our members build their internal capabilities via a combination of research reports and how-to guides, training and development, face-to-face conferences, forums and professional networking.

An award-winning online publisher, our reports cover best practice, user experience benchmarking, market data, trends and innovation, and supplier selection aimed at Internet professionals that want practical advice on all aspects of e-business.

For the last 10 years, our resources have helped members learn, make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, accelerate their careers and lead the way in best practices and innovation.

Join Econsultancy today at http://econsultancy.com

About Adestra

Adestra is an industry leading, email marketing company operating in the B2B and B2C markets. The company is industry leading because it provides its clients with their best opportunity for strong sales results. Adestra achieves this through the combination of today’s most effective email marketing tool, MessageFocus, successful strategies to boost deliverability, and the best, most experienced brains in the business to help you turn large numbers of prospects into customers. Our own customers include Tiscali, Dennis Publishing, BBC Worldwide, LloydsTSB and British Red Cross.


Published on: 3:06AM on 20th March 2009