Market Data

Email Marketing Census 2012

By Econsultancy,

There is a newer version of this report available: Email Marketing Industry Census 2016


The sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored by Adestra, is based on the largest UK survey of email marketers.

The census looks at the amount and type of email marketing carried out by organisations, the way that email marketing is conducted, issues affecting the industry and the effectiveness of email compared to other digital marketing channels.

This year's study shows how companies adopting best practice such as testing and segmentation, and using email platform functionality beyond basic 'batch and blast', are significantly more likely to see a strong financial return from their campaigns. 

Over 800 respondents took part in the 2012 Census, which took the form of an online survey in January and February 2012.

The 83-page 2012 census report, also summarised in presentation format, contains insight and comment from leading experts in the email marketing world and associated digital sectors, including:

  • Andrew Campbell, Managing Director, 20:20 Dialogue
  • Dan Barker, Independent E-business Consultant
  • James Gurd, Owner, Digital Juggler
  • Kath Pay, Email Marketing Consultant and Trainer, Plan to Engage
  • Mark Brownlow, Publisher of Email Marketing Reports and Editor of ‘No Man is an Iland’ blog
  • Morgan Stewart, Co-Founder and CEO, Trendline Interactive
  • Richard Gibson, Director of Client Services for Northern Europe, Return Path
  • Steve Kemish, Director, Cyance and Chair of IDM Digital Marketing Council
  • Tamara Gielen, Email Marketing Consultant and Trainer, Plan to Engage
  • Tim Watson, Founder, Zettasphere, and Email Council Member at Direct Marketing Association 

The report findings are divided into the following sections:

  • Approach to email and use of ESPs
  • Volume of email and budget
  • Effectiveness and practices
  • Deliverability
  • Integration
  • Social media
  • Mobile
  • Email marketing focus


Highlights from the findings include:

  • The vast majority of responding companies (70%) rate email as 'excellent' or 'good' for return on investment.
  • Only 40% of responding companies use an ESP for more than the basic broadcast of email.
  • Companies using their ESP for additional functionality report higher ROI.
  • Less than a third of companies regularly test their email marketing campaigns.
  • Over a third of companies have no strategy in place for email on mobile devices.

Table of contents

  1. Executive summary and highlights
  2. Foreword by Adestra
    1. About Econsultancy
    2. About Adestra
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Methodology
  5. Findings
    1. Approach to email and use of email service providers
      1. Approach to email marketing
      2. Use of ESP beyond basic broadcast of email
      3. Range of ESP services used
      4. Proportion of email functionality used
    2. Volume of email and budget
      1. Number of emails sent
      2. Online marketing budget split
      3. Annual spend on email marketing
    3. Effectiveness and practices
      1. Ranking of channels for return on investment
      2. Email marketing practices
      3. Use of triggered emails
      4. Amount of testing
      5. Types of testing
      6. Barriers to effective use of email
    4. Deliverability
      1. Impact of priority inbox features
      2. Impact on improving email deliverability
    5. Data security
    6. Integration
      1. Level of integration
      2. Barriers to effective email integration
    7. Social media
      1. Relationship between email and social media activity
      2. Generating social media activity through email
      3. Social media and the future of email
    8. Mobile
    9. Email marketing focus
  6. Appendix – Respondent Profiles
    1. Email marketing role
    2. Number of employees
    3. Business sector
    4. Types of audience targeted
    5. Geography
    6. Turnover


You can download a free sample of this report to learn more.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Email Marketing Census (585 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Email Marketing Census 2012 (3.51 MB PDF)
  • Powerpoint Disabled Email Marketing Census 2012 Presentation (3.1 MB Microsoft PowerPoint)

Featured suppliers


Access the full report

Econsultancy subscribers have full access to all our online research as well as a host of other services designed to help save you time, make better decisions and look smart in meetings.

Learn more and buy today