Email plays a critical role in the marketing ecosystem. But there’s just one problem: There’s not a single correct way to send emails. With so many theories on how to drive clicks and opens, marketers are often forced to forge their own paths.
One way marketers get more familiar with the terrain is, simply, by sending more emails. According to the “Email Marketing Industry Census 2015” by Econsultancy and Adestra, while 41% of U.K.-based company marketers send less than 50,000 emails a month, 22% sends more than 1 million. Of course, sending all of these emails takes time and money—two things marketers are always running low on. Fortunately, most of the marketers surveyed manage to keep email spending in check: 61% of company marketers designate 10% or less of their marketing budgets to email. The investment in email is spent more in terms of time. Marketers surveyed will spend up to two hours per campaign working on the following related activities: reporting (71%), transmission (68%), and data (58%). And usually, marketers are forced to hike up these hills alone. For 37% of marketers, individuals are responsible for their organizations’ email marketing efforts as part of their wider email marketing responsibilities.
So what are these resources going toward? 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, according to the report.
But one question still remains: 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.
The root of many marketers’ email issues stems from internal barriers. For instance, the quality of their email database is a top challenge for 54% of marketers, followed by lack of strategy (46%), lack of integration (43%), and lack of segmentation (42%). However, marketers are prepared to tackle these problems head on as automated campaigns (29%), strategy (25%), list/data quality (25%), and measurement and analytics (25%) are key focus areas in 2015. What’s more, better personalization (64%), better segmentation (61%), and marketing automation (54%) are some email marketing practices that marketers would like to concentrate on that they can’t currently to their level of satisfaction.
However, marketers know that the email landscape is seeded in change. Thankfully, many are prepared to follow this winding trail. According to the report, 84% of marketers somewhat or strongly agree that email will be fully integrated with other marketing channels within five years time; 76% believe that all email communications will be personalized; and 74% say that email will continue to be one of the highest ROI-generating channels.
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