Over the course of the past two years, marketers and professional communicators have been inundated with a message – your email campaigns show a decreased return on investment. As a result, companies directed their people to turn around and either reboot email campaigns or to scrap the budget associated with this message delivery system.
However, new research seems to indicate that marketers may have hit the brakes on email campaigns a bit too early. A new report by Economist Intelligence Unit and Lyris has found that email holds more sway in purchasing decisions than social media, blogs and mobile outlets. Research has found that marketing executives in the U.S. and the U.K. with modern resumes have a skewed perception of how consumers want to engage with brands and what strategies are influencing purchase decisions, reported Marketing Profs.
Initial findings of the report show that consumers enjoy social media for promotions by 62 percent, but they would much rather learn about an organization and products via websites by 51 percent, email by 19 percent and independent websites by 19 percent.
Consumers’ preference for initial introductions to product by channel:
• Email by 37 percent
• Printed catalogs by 35 percent
• Personal referrals by 33 percent
• Referrals by a trusted website by 30 percent
• In-store promotions by 24 percent
• Company’s social media or blogs by 21 percent
• Third-party social media or blogs by 18 percent
• Postal mail by 16 percent
• Product inserts by 8 percent
• Mobile devices by 3 percent
• Telephone by 1 percent
Email is highly rated for brand engagement by consumers who are between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, reported Marketing Profs. One of the greatest reasons that marketers may have been swayed into thinking that email was dead as a key communications tool was the lack of available big data. Tracking the success of an email campaign is much more difficult than using analytics tools to determine the ROI of social or websites. Almost 45 percent of marketing executives claim they lack the ability to analyze big data and 50 percent indicate a lacking budget for digital marketing/database management.
For those marketers who are using analytics tools, two-thirds or 66 percent of those surveyed indicate that email delivers excellent or good ROI, Econsultancy reported. These findings came from the Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census for 2013, which highlighted key trends in email marketing trends.
How respondents of this survey rated email marketing in terms of ROI:
• Excellent by 22 percent
• Good by 44 percent
• Average by 27 percent
• Poor by 7 percent
The findings of this survey were based on the responses of more than 1,300 digital marketers. According to the study, the main barriers reported by respondents to an effective email marketing campaign include:
• Lack of quality email database by 55 percent in 2012 and 50 percent in 2013
• Lack of strategy by 51 percent in 2012 and 43 percent in 2013
• Lack of time by 41 percent in 2013 (no data for 2012)
• Lack of segmentation by 47 percent in 2012 and 39 percent in 2013
• Lack of staff by 33 percent in 2013 (no data for 2012)
• Lack of skills and training by 33 percent in 2012 and 32 percent in 2013
• Poor measurement & analytics by 37 percent in 2012 and 32 percent in 2013
• Lack of integration by 32 percent in 2013 (no data for 2012)
• Lack of relevant content by 30 percent in 2012 and 29 percent in 2013
• Lack of budget/finances by 24 percent in 2012 and 23 percent in 2013
• Poor email technology by 27 percent in 2012 and 23 percent in 2013
• Deliverability issues by 23 percent in 2012 and 18 percent in 2013
• Lack of senior management buy-in by 19 percent in 2012 and 16 percent in 2013
Marketing professionals who are evaluating current campaign successes to determine future plans might find that email strategies might need more attention than previously thought. Mobile devices and social media have allowed consumers to access a brand in new ways. However, people are still taking the time to check their email multiple times a day – so don’t forget to optimize this tool.