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Executive summary

Email continues to be highly valued with impressive ROI

• Email marketing remains critical to business, with 89% of respondents declaring email to be “important” or “very important” to their organisation

• Email marketing’s ROI is strong: it returned an estimated average of £21.48 for each £1 spent in 2012

• For roughly a third of respondents, email marketing accounts for 50% or more of all digital business revenue

• Click and conversion rates are the factors that marketers rate most often as important to achieving business goals

More budget and in-house resource set aside for email marketing – but marketers still feel constrained

• Budget allocation to email marketing increased slightly in 2012, with 15% more marketers spending at least 30% of their budget on email than in 2011. Over half expect their budget to increase across 2013

• More organisations are managing email marketing in-house, with staff hours dedicated to email marketing rising accordingly

• Marketers are more comfortable with email marketing basics than in 2011, but there is still a need for more customised, advanced training and education opportunities

• The disconnect between email’s value and email’s position in the organisation continues, with internal resources and budget the top two constraints to success cited by respondents: marketers need to better communicate email’s value internally

Customers respond positively as email tactics mature

• Just over half of respondents reported open, click and conversion rates improved in 2012. Even more expect their numbers to improve in 2013. Only less than 12% reported any decline in these metrics

• Despite relatively low volumes, trigger email campaigns accounted for 21% of email revenue. Over 75% of email revenue is now generated by alternatives to generic one-size-fits-all campaigns

• Marketers are making use of a far wider number of email marketing approaches, but there is still significant room for improvement. For example, just under half still don’t send a welcome email

Marketers finesse their list-building and usage strategies

• Marketers are getting better at using different techniques to build their lists. Organic website traffic and transactions remain the top two acquisition sources

• Marketers are also increasing their use of segmentation: the number segmenting into more than six different audiences rose 28% in 2012

• The growth of diverse email streams has also encouraged marketers to develop strategies for maximum email contact levels. Some 11% more have such a strategy than in 2011

• Maximum contact frequencies have risen significantly, with the number of organisations never sending more than one email a month to subscribers almost halving to 14%

More sophisticated integration of email with other channels

• Marketers are using email for an increasing range of objectives beyond straightforward revenue generation, including retention, engagement, acquisition and brand awareness

• Marketers report that the best other channels to integrate with email are online marketing, social networks, direct mail and mobile marketing – both for ROI and profitable relationship building

 National client email report 2013

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