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E-Mail Beats Out Social Media in Marketers' ROI Assessments

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A March 2012 study indicates that marketers believe email has superior ROI to social media.

A March 2012 study indicates that marketers believe email has superior ROI to social media.

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  • 1. Market Data / Supplier Selection / Event Presentations / User Experience Benchmarking / Best Practice / Template Files / Trends and InnovationSAMPLE: EmailMarketing IndustryCensus 2012In association with Adestra Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census
  • 2. SAMPLE:EmailMarketingIndustryCensus 2012Published March 2012 Econsultancy London Econsultancy New York 4th Floor, 91-93 Farringdon Rd 41 East 11th St., 11th Floor London EC1M 3LN New York, NY 10003All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be United Kingdom United Statesreproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording Telephone: Telephone:or any information storage and retrieval system, without +44 (0) 20 7269 1450 +1 212 699 3626prior permission in writing from the publisher. http://econsultancy.comCopyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012 help@econsultancy.com
  • 3. Contents 1. Executive summary and highlights ................................. 5 2. Foreword by Adestra........................................................ 9 2.1. About Econsultancy .................................................................. 10 2.2. About Adestra ............................................................................ 10 3. Acknowledgements ......................................................... 11 4. Methodology .................................................................. 12 5. Findings ......................................................................... 13 5.1. Approach to email and use of email service providers ............. 13 5.1.1. Approach to email marketing ................................................ 13 5.1.2. Use of ESP beyond basic broadcast of email ......................... 15 5.1.3. Range of ESP services used ................................................... 17 5.1.4. Proportion of email functionality used.................................. 22 5.2. Volume of email and budget ..................................................... 24 5.2.1. Number of emails sent ........................................................... 24 5.2.2. Online marketing budget split ............................................... 27 5.2.3. Annual spend on email marketing ........................................ 28 5.3. Effectiveness and practices ........................................................ 31 5.3.1. Ranking of channels for return on investment ..................... 31 5.3.2. Email marketing practices ..................................................... 35 5.3.3. Use of triggered emails ..........................................................40 5.3.4. Amount of testing .................................................................. 42 5.3.5. Types of testing ...................................................................... 45 5.3.6. Barriers to effective use of email ........................................... 47 5.4. Deliverability .............................................................................. 51 5.4.1. Impact of priority inbox features........................................... 51 5.4.2. Impact on improving email deliverability ............................. 53 5.5. Data security .............................................................................. 57 5.6. Integration ................................................................................. 60 5.6.1. Level of integration ................................................................60 5.6.2. Barriers to effective email integration ................................... 65 5.7. Social media............................................................................... 67 5.7.1. Relationship between email and social media activity ......... 67 5.7.2. Generating social media activity through email ................... 69 5.7.3. Social media and the future of email ..................................... 71 5.8. Mobile ........................................................................................ 74 Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 In association with Adestra Page 3 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 4. 5.9. Email marketing focus .............................................................. 766. Appendix – Respondent Profiles ................................... 78 6.1. Email marketing role................................................................. 78 6.2. Number of employees ............................................................... 79 6.3. Business sector .......................................................................... 80 6.4. Types of audience targeted ........................................................81 6.5. Geography.................................................................................. 82 6.6. Turnover .................................................................................... 83Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 In association with Adestra Page 4All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storageand retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 5. 1. Executive summary and highlights The sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, sponsored by Adestra, is based on the findings of a survey of more than 800 digital marketers. Since 2007, this research has surveyed both those working directly for companies (i.e. in-house or client-side), and those supporting them on the supply-side (i.e. email service providers and agencies). This has given us an unparalleled opportunity to observe the trends and changes within the industry over the past five years. The good news for email marketers is that, five years on, email is still seen as a channel that offers a good return on investment, with 70% of company respondents rating email as “excellent” or “good” in terms of ROI. No other channel, except SEO, is rated so highly. For comparison, only 44% believe social media offers an “excellent” or “good” ROI. Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census Topics covered in the sixth Email Census include:  The approach to email marketing taken by companies and agencies (i.e. using a hosted service vs. an in-house service).  The use of email service provider (ESP) services, including which ones are used.  The number of emails sent.  How much money is spent on email marketing, both in total and as a proportion of the online marketing budget.  The effectiveness of email in terms of return on investment compared to other channels.  The email marketing practices being undertaken by marketers, and which triggers they are using for automated messages.  What testing and how much testing is being done by email marketers.  What the most significant barriers to the use of email are.  How many marketers have adapted to the wider adoption of priority inbox features.  How many email marketers have policies and processes in place with regards to data security.  How many companies integrate email with other business functions, along with what they consider the most significant barriers to integration.  The relationship between social media and email activity, along with what leads to success and failure.  The opinions of email marketers on what social media and social networks mean for the future of email.  How many emails are read on mobile devices, and the extent to which companies have a strategy in place to deal with mobile.  What areas email marketers will be focusing on in 2012. SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 5 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 6. Other related Econsultancy reports and content2012: Email in Actionhttp://econsultancy.com/reports/2012-email-in-actionEmail Marketing Best Practice Guidehttp://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-best-practice-guideEmail Marketing Request for Proposal (RFP)http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-request-for-proposal-rfpEmail Marketing Business Casehttp://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-business-caseEmail Marketing Platforms Buyer’s Guidehttp://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-buyers-guideEmail Marketing Statisticshttp://econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-statisticsThe Innovation Reporthttp://econsultancy.com/reports/innovation-report SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 6 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 7. 2. Foreword by Adestra 2011 has been the year when email marketing has proven that it will not be killed, surpassed, or pushed to the sidelines by social media. Instead, we have seen record growth in the industry, with companies and agencies sending more email, becoming more integrated and embracing email alongside new and emerging channels. The UK market for email marketing platforms and services grew by an estimated 15.5% year-on-year to a value of £388 million by the end of 2011 (according the Econsultancy Email Marketing Platforms Buyer’s Guide 2012). So, what key trends are we seeing from this year’s census, and also importantly, what aren’t we seeing? Emphasis on data (lack of) In response to the question, “Which three areas of email marketing do you really need to focus on in 2012?” segmentation came up top, but worryingly list/data quality has moved to fourth place. We all know it, but data is the key to effective email marketing. Having a good quality, up-to-date email database puts you up front in terms of deliverability and optimising your results. It’s also the basis for delivering relevant communications. Then once you have this data, that you have worked so hard to collect, manage and improve, what steps are in place to protect it? Astonishingly, only 56% of companies and 47% of agencies have a plan in place for protecting their email data – while 16% of companies (and 24% agencies) don’t even know if they have a plan. With high profile data breaches being a theme in 2011, 2012 should be the year of improving and protecting your data for ESPs and their clients alike. Make sure you have the necessary processes in place to prevent your data falling into the wrong hands. Introduction of priority inbox placement Gmail priority inbox, along with similar offerings, in its basic sense is making engagement the priority. It automatically sorts “important mail” to the top of your inbox, which is the mail from senders who you engage with most. So, if you get a new subscriber, and don’t send a welcome message, or programme, you are automatically at the bottom of the pile. This is why it’s a shocker that only 3% of people surveyed adapted their email strategy as a result of this coming in. Plus, only 31% send welcome programmes and only 28% have an auto-responder to website sign up / visit, means they are missing a vital opportunity to have their emails delivered to their new subscribers inbox, as soon as they subscribe. Simple to set up, easy to automate, it’s puzzling why marketers aren’t taking advantage of the technology available to them. Apparent disconnect between the ESPs and the marketer A key point that has arisen from this year’s census is the sheer number of “don’t knows” that we have received in response to many questions. What this appears to demonstrate is the disconnect between the marketer and the email sector. Looking at the change in questions, and sheer speed at which the sector is developing, are we leaving most marketers behind and confused? Last year’s census clearly showed a ‘back to basics’ approach is vital to develop successful email marketing, however it appears marketers are not heeding the (‘don’t-run-before-you-can-walk’) advice. One explanation may be that the always-accelerating technological ‘race’ seems to have overtaken the knowledge that marketers have. The need for education and training, then, particularly in implementation and measurement, is even more topical. This year, delving deeper into the data, shows a direct result of using best practices is better ROI. So doing more segmentation, more testing, and integrating email with CRM/web analytics/sales data, all show significant revenue growth. Get the basics right, and you will sell more. Again, the census has shown new trends in email marketing. While last year was all about the impact of social, this year it seems is more about automation, integration, security and focusing on the data. Looking forward to next year. Henry Hyder-Smith Managing Director, Adestra SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 7 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 8. 2.1. About Econsultancy Econsultancy is a digital publishing and training group that is used by more than 300,000 internet professionals every month. The company publishes practical and timesaving research to help marketers make better decisions about the digital environment, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers. Econsultancy has offices in New York and London, and hosts more than 100 events every year in the US and UK. Many of the world’s most famous brands use Econsultancy to educate and train their staff. Some of Econsultancy’s members include: Google, Yahoo, Dell, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, Deloitte, T-Mobile and Estée Lauder. Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works. Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 699 3626 (New York). You can also contact us online.2.2. About Adestra Who are we? Founded in 2004, Adestra set out from the beginning to be the most respected Email Service Provider (ESP). Today, Adestra is a market leader, with offices in Oxford, London and New York. Over 300 organisations globally and more than 4,500 marketers work with our technology, people and deliverability solutions to generate effective email marketing that delivers results. What makes us different? Our Technology Developed entirely in-house, Adestra’s MessageFocus gives clients a highly scalable and configurable email platform that consistently delivers. Our multi-tiered account structure is the only one in the industry, which means that you can model your MessageFocus account around the structure of your business, regardless of volume. Our People At Adestra, we seek to provide the highest possible levels of technical customer support and intelligent, innovative consultation. We ensure that you can easily reach your Adestra MessageFocus Support team, by phone, live chat or email. Coupled with our account management teams, this ensures that each client receives regular and relevant strategic assistance. In 2012 we released our customer charter, the first of any UK ESP, which is our promise to our clients. Our approach to client service has helped us to maintain our client retention rate at 98.7%; something we are very proud of. Our Deliverability Adestra offers a very honest approach to deliverability. We work hard to maintain the highest possible inbox placement rate – peaking at 99.8% - as quite simply, there is no silver bullet. We have our own in-house deliverability team based in our Oxford office, which is supported by email deliverability specialists. This creates a package of service and support that gives your emails the best chance of arriving in the destination inbox. Why not give us a call on +44 (0)1865 242425 or email us on moreinfo@adestra.com to discuss how we can help you to deliver results on your email marketing campaigns. SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 8 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 9. 3. Acknowledgements Econsultancy and Adestra would like to thank the following people for their contributions to this report:  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 SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 10. 4. Methodology This is the sixth annual Email Marketing Industry Census published by Econsultancy in association with Adestra. Many of the questions in the census have been repeated over this time period, enabling us to compare data and look at trends. There were 846 respondents to the 2012 Census, which took the form of an online survey 1 in January and February 2012. Respondents included both client-side (in-house) marketers, as well as email service providers and agencies. Most questions were optional, which led to reduced numbers of respondents in some cases. Information about the survey, including the link, was emailed to Econsultancy’s user base and publicised via Twitter. The incentive for taking part was access to a complimentary copy of this report. If you have any questions about the research, please email Econsultancy’s Research Director, Linus Gregoriadis (linus.gregoriadis@econsultancy.com). Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census 1 Econsultancy uses Clicktools for its online surveys SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 10 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 11. 5. Findings5.1. Approach to email and use of email service providers5.1.1. Approach to email marketing The increased use of web-based email has reached a plateau, indicated by the fact that half of company respondents (50%) stated that they are using an application service provider or a hosted service, with this figure staying relatively constant for the past four years [Figure 2]. Those using an in-house system remained at 20%, the same level for the past two years but lower than the 30% who reported such an approach in 2007. Company respondents Figure 1: Which of the following best describes your organisation’s approach to email marketing? Respondents: 543 Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 11 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 12. 5.2. Deliverability5.2.1. Impact of priority inbox features Questions regarding the priority inbox have featured in the Email Census for the first time in 2012. The majority of respondents (both client-side and supply-side) have not adapted their email marketing campaigns based on priority inbox features. Worryingly, over a quarter of company- side respondents (26%) and almost a third of supply-side respondents (32%) said they did not know if any adaptations had been made. Only 3% of company respondents said they had adapted their campaigns, whilst only 5% of agencies stated their clients had made any changes. Company respondents Figure 2: Have you adapted your email marketing campaigns on account of priority inbox features now available to consumers? Respondents: 439What the respondents said Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 12 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012
  • 13. 6. Appendix – Respondent Profiles6.1. Email marketing role The majority of respondents taking part in this survey are client-side marketers, who made up 595 of the survey respondents. The other 251 respondents classified themselves on the supply- side as an Email Service Provider (ESP) employee, agency or consultant. Figure 3: Which of the following most accurately reflects your role? Respondents: 846 Sample only, please download the full report from: http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census SAMPLE: Email Marketing Industry Census 2012 in association with Adestra Page 13 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Copyright © Econsultancy.com Ltd 2012