Email, by the Numbers

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Email tactics are among the most measured in marketing--and among the most used, commanding one-fifth of digital budgets. Read on for more inbox intelligence from 2015.

Email is a hot topic among direct marketers for good reason: It works—and at a reasonable cost. Despite its benefits and successes, its popularity means that marketers are always looking for an edge; a new strategy or tactic or tool they can use to stand out in the inbox and improve email performance. For that reason email marketing is an ever-present topic of research and conversation. Here are some of DMN's most read and shared email-related infographics from 2015. —Ginger Conlon

Email Marketing: A True Diamond in the Rough
Marketers are experimenting with different methods to increase their click-through rates, according to Ascend2's “Email Marketing Trends” report. For instance, 65% of respondents claim that including a meaningful call-to-action offer is the most effective tactic for boosting click-throughs. List segmentation for targeting (47%), message personalization (42%), and testing and optimization (35%) were also deemed effective. But once again, the most brilliant methods prove to be the most difficult. According to the report, 41% of respondents say list segmentation for targeting is the most difficult method for increasing click-through rates. Other complicated tactics include featuring meaningful call-to-action offers, running drip/event-triggered campaigns (32%), and personalizing messages (31%).

Digital Is a Marketer's Wonderland
What, exactly, are marketers spending their digital dollars on in 2015? According to Forrester Research, B2B and B2C marketers intend to allocate 20% of their digital budgets to email marketing, 18% to search, 16% to display, and 12% to social. Other areas of focus include video (10%), mobile search and display (7%), mobile apps (5%), and other (6%).


Email Marketers Aren't Out of the Woods
More than three fourths (76%) of marketers say basic segmentation is part of their email marketing efforts. Optimizing email for mobile devices (61%), prompting content sharing on social media (56%), and routine list cleansing (50%) were also popular practices, finds the “Email Marketing Industry Census 2015” by Econsultancy and Adestra. Are these efforts paying off? According to the report, 44% of marketers consider their email campaign performance average—compared to 37% who consider it good and only 4% who consider it excellent. And even though 44% of marketers can only attribute 10% or less of their total sales to email, 22% of marketers consider email excellent in terms of return on investment.

Marketers Are on the Prowl for Better Customer Experiences
For customer experience to be king, data must become a “mane” focus. Marketers and agency representatives surveyed for the “Customer Experience Optimization Report,” by Econsultancy and Ensighten, say email (62%, 67%), social media (37%, 49%), and search (35%, 47%) are their top off-site sources for data collection to enhance their customer experiences, respectively. Marketers and agencies use this information to improve customers' experiences with email (67%, 54%) and mobile websites (50%, 68%), respectively. As for offline channels, marketers and agencies use customer data to better their call center (68%, 55%), print (36%, 34%), and in-store experiences (33%, 46%).

Email Continues to Score Some Love
Email has proven to be a true marketing ace. Consider the following data from The Relevancy Group: Out of 300 email marketing executives surveyed, 91% found email somewhat or highly effective in terms of delivering revenue. In fact, many marketers are doubling up and relying on third-party vendors to help serve up better messages. For instance, 60% of respondents currently use email marketing analytical services and 55% depend on email marketing strategic services.

Businesses Are Hungry for Technology Stacks
According to a recent study by Ascend2, nearly two thirds (64%) of the 215 marketing, sales, and business professionals surveyed say they're increasing their marketing technology budgets. And why wouldn't they? The company's “Marketing Technology Strategy Survey Summary” report unveils that 73% of respondents consider their marketing technology successful at achieving objectives, and 87% say technology is boosting their company's marketing performance. Email marketing technology seems to be the real meat in the technology stack—with 82% of professionals claiming to use it; however, tools for social media marketing (67%), marketing analytics (60%), and CRM/sales automation (54%) are also adding flavor to the mix.

Is Email Useful All Year Round?
HubSpot analyzed more than 20 million emails sent over a 10-month period to help marketers pencil in important dates for next year. Based on its analysis featured in the company's 2015 email report, the best times to send email to drive engagement include 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 9pm on Sunday, and the week after New Year's; the worst include weekends in general and Christmas Day.

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