London, 12 April 2016

Email’s reputation for generating return on investment remains undiminished in 2016, according to new research published today by Econsultancy and Adestra.

The tenth annual Email Marketing Industry Census report looks at the amount and type of email marketing carried out by organisations, the strategies underpinning their email marketing use and issues affecting the industry. The research is based on a survey of over 1,100 client-side marketers and agency professionals, and contains insights from a number of email marketing experts.

Email comes out top for ROI, with nearly three-quarters (73%, up from 66% in 2015) of companies agreeing that the channel offers ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ ROI. Compared to SEO, organisations are 9% more likely to rate email as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in terms of ROI.

However, investment in email marketing remains low. On average, organisations are spending 15% (up from 13% in 2015) of their marketing budgets on email. With the average proportion of sales attributed to the channel standing at 23%, marketers may not be taking full advantage of the potential benefits that email can bring – from driving revenues to building long-lasting relationships that go beyond the sale.

The report, now in its tenth year, also looks in detail at the approaches taken and the resources given to email marketing, as well as issues regarding effectiveness, personalisation, marketing automation, mobile and the future of email.

The research found that more than three-quarters of organisations with individuals or teams dedicated to email marketing (78% and 82% respectively) rated their ROI from this channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Companies using dedicated resources are 17% more likely to experience above average ROI than those using an individual or team with broader marketing responsibilities.

Underlining consumers’ predisposition towards more personalised messaging in general, the findings point to a direct link between personalisation and email ROI. Companies claiming to be proficient in personalisation are more than twice as likely to rate the performance of their email campaigns as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ compared to those not doing personalisation. However, 79% of companies are still employing what they consider to be a ‘basic’ approach to email segmentation.

While only a third of companies use advanced segmentation strategies, this rate is up by 21% compared to last year’s figure. It’s clear that marketers are aware of their potential shortcomings and want to innovate – 61% of companies want to improve their approach to personalisation, with more than half (56%) dissatisfied with the current status quo.

Henry Hyder-Smith, CEO at Adestra, said: “It’s remarkable to be able to look at the past ten years since the first Email Industry Census and see how digital marketing has matured, bringing email marketing into its centre. This is evident looking at the return on investment changes since 2008. With email’s ROI rising from 66% to 73%, it has shown a spectacular growth compared to other channels in the marketing mix.”

He added: “Marketers are recognising this increasing ROI by increasing their overall spend on email, but there is still a frustrating disconnect with the proportion of marketing mix spend they afford to email. This has remained fairly constant, even though the proportion of sales attributed to the channel has grown by five percentage points since 2012.”

The full Email Marketing Industry Census report is available for download here:

For more information about the report, contact:

Jim Clark, Research Director, Econsultancy
jim.clark AT


Liz Smith
Head of Marketing Communications
+44 (0) 1865 242425

About Econsultancy

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About Adestra

Adestra have been empowering their clients to maximise marketing ROI through email-driven technology for over ten years. Our flexible account structure, obsession with customer success, and award-winning service have gained the trust of global and growing brands alike.

We were founded on the principle that marketing success takes more than technology, and that’s why customer service is at the heart of our business. We’re not just Software as a Service, we’re Software AND a Service.

Join a league of leading marketers using this powerful, easy-to-use, enterprise technology, built to suit your marketing needs. Call us today on +44 (0)1865 242425, tweet us @Adestra or view a demo on our website at

Published on: 10:05AM on 12th April 2016