Marketing automation and personalisation ‘should be key focus areas for email marketers’ » Charity Digital News

Marketing automation and personalisation ‘should be key focus areas for email marketers’

Email reigns supreme when it comes to delivering ROI and the increased appetite for marketing automation and personalisation means that more organisations are reaping the benefits, according to research published by Econsultancy and Adestra.

The eleventh annual Email Marketing Industry Census report takes an in-depth look at email practices being adopted, the resources being dedicated to email, and the channel’s effectiveness compared to other types of marketing. The research is based on a survey of 1,200 client-side marketers and agency professionals, and contains insights from a number of email marketing experts.

Personalisation, marketing automation, optimisation for different devices and the future of email are all themes that are revisited in this year’s Census, and there are also new questions about the use of metrics, the application of artificial intelligence and the impact of Brexit on how companies are approaching the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Asked to identify the three most important features of an email service provider’s technology platform, two-thirds (66%) selected marketing automation capability. This has now overtaken user-friendly interface (60%) as the single most important attribute of an email service provider.

There is increasing evidence that marketers are getting to grips with automation, as the proportion of marketers saying they have been ‘very’ or ‘quite’ successful in implementing automated email marketing programmes has increased from 62% in 2016 to 67% this year.

The research also found that the proportion of companies who say they can send emails based on individual activities and preferences throughout the funnel at scale has almost doubled, from 8% to 15%. Almost three-quarters (71%) of companies adopting personalisation to this degree report an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ performance from their email campaigns, compared to only 35% for companies who say they ‘are not yet working towards this’.

Personalisation (30%) is the area of email marketing where most respondents say they need to focus on during 2017, ahead of automated campaigns (28%), which was the number one priority area last year.

Despite email’s continuing ability to deliver, companies are still under-investing in this channel. The gap between sales (22%, on average) and marketing budget (15%) does not appear to be closing, which suggests that marketers are still not taking advantage of email’s ability to drive revenues. Email peaked at 16% of marketing budget in 2014, and has not made much headway since then.

Monica Savut, Head of Research Services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation.

“However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer. The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full Email Marketing Industry Census report is available for download here:

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  • Skye

    Interesting research. It’s good to see that email marketing can still be viewed as a reliable way to contact with the customers. It’s also a good idea to add marketing automation to the mix. GetResponse has a good solution.