Each year, email marketing software and tools are getting more sophisticated to ensure that they meet the standards of modern consumers. Personalization, segmentation, automation, deliverability – these, and other similar terms, have been discussed by marketers time and time again.
Despite common understanding of these concepts, actual email marketing campaigns that we observe on a daily basis often seem to lag behind the times. Together with Smart Insights we’ve conducted a study to analyze this phenomenon. Its results brought about the following report and an upcoming webinar, that takes place on the 22nd of October. Better hurry – the seats are limited!
The aim of this study was to set the standards and analyze the techniques and tools used by email marketers across different industries. Through determining most commonly adopted approaches and methods in various sectors, marketing professionals can assess the level of sophistication of their own email marketing campaigns. This can become a beneficial move towards improved customer engagement and email marketing campaigns’ ROI.
To produce this report, 1821 email marketers, from a wide range of business sizes and sectors around the world, have been surveyed throughout July and August of 2015. The participants, who consisted of Smart Insights members and GetResponse customers, were invited to take part in the study either through email, social media requests, or via a prompt in their user control panel upon signing in.
Given that the focus of the study was management of email marketing to improve results – a large portion of the participants we in senior roles in the digital marketing departments of their companies. Nearly seventy percent (67.8%) were either CEOs, directors, owners, departments heads, or managers of marketing, digital marketing, or e-commerce.
The areas we’ve decided to examine and focus on were:
- Email Marketing Sophistication
- The effectiveness of email marketing versus other digital channels
- Key benefits of email marketing
- Investment in email marketing
- Email marketing capabilities
Marketing professionals often perceive email marketing as an inexpensive and reliable communication method that can increase efficiency, profitability, and reduce costs. With the development of more automated features, that allow for syncing email with other channels, such as social media, landing pages, or text, mailings seem to have gained even more attention than ever before.
Prior to conducting the survey, we have learned to believe that despite the obvious advantages, that email marketing offers to businesses of all sizes, it’s still mainly underutilized.
The effectiveness of email marketing versus other digital channels
In spite of these assumptions, the results seem to favor email marketing when compared to other digital marketing techniques. Its effectiveness has been rated as Good/Excellent by 64% respondents. Other methods, such as Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, or SEO, received similar ranking by 51%, 50%, and 47% of participants respectively.
Key benefits of email marketing
When it comes to the benefits of this particular communication channel, the clear winners were: generating more leads (23%), improved sales (19%), and improved conversion rate (17%). Other benefits such as reducing the cost or sales cycle time received much lower ratings.
Investment in email
Overall, marketers perceive investment in email campaigns as a positive decision. Similarly, over half of the businesses (57.1%), plan to increase their resource allocation in the upcoming years. However, only 1.5% have decided to reduce their marketing budget share for this particular channel.
Email campaigns assessment
We’ve provided marketers with a number of factors and email marketing techniques based on which they could evaluate their own campaigns. The following five different stages of email marketing excellence were determined:
- Initial “Pray and spray”
- Managed “Targeted emailing”
- Defined “Starting to automate”
- Quantified “Starting to integrate”
- Optimized “integrated lifecycle targeting”
Through these self-assessment audits, we’ve been able to find some interesting, and at time surprising, stats:
- Just under a quarter (23%) used integrated tracking from their email marketing service to track website marketing outcomes such as sales.
- Just 15% of those surveyed track responses by segment to see whether their campaigns are resonating with their audience.
- The top-rated list management activities are list growth (53%) and proactive content social media campaigns to increase sign-ups (25%).
- 42% respondents don’t use any form of targeting and 37% use basic criteria, such as demographics, industry role, or category of interest
- Only 21% marketers send out customer survey emails and 11% reactivate their audience through emails
- Over two-thirds (66%) of marketers are already using mobile-optimized templates
Recommendations and the webinar
The report includes a set of recommendations marketers can use to improve their email marketing efforts. Each capability, technique, and finding that has been listed was thoroughly explained and followed up with quick tips one can use to ensure marketing professionals know how to further develop their campaigns.
Upon sharing the report with you, we’d like to invite you to a webinar (register here) that will be taking place on 22nd of October at 12:00 PM EST. Dr Dave Chaffey from SmartInsights, and the author of the report, will join us to present the key findings of the joint GetResponse – Smart Insights research. The meeting will be wrapped up with practical ideas to improve your campaign response from our Email Expert.
You will learn:
- About the CRITICAL areas of Email marketing that boost response
- How your email marketing compares with other businesses
- What options can improve targeting to deliver more responsive emails
- About examples that will inspire improvements in your email creative and content
- Email marketing optimization masterclass techniques towards email marketing sophistication.
Wait no more. Download the report and join us for the upcoming webinar. Better hurry – seats are limited!
The State of Email Marketing 2015
Global benchmarking research to support email marketing excellence. This report will help you review your strategic approach and take full advantage of the power of email marketing.