For those unaware, I sit on the email marketing council at the DMA here in the UK. A few weeks back, the council released its annual client benchmark report, which looks at the views of client side email marketers. With all the bashing on email in the last few years, it is easy to forget how well email continues to perform for marketers and unsurprisingly its continued (and expanding) use. Right now, from a user perspective, no other channel offers the same functionality of email but more on that in another post.
In fact, Justin Pearse – Editor of New Media Age after listening to the presentations commented that “Email marketing has proved its value but it needs to be viewed as more than your reliable marketing warhorse. Email marketing always delivers solid results. Its return on investment can be startling. However, to really leverage the power of this channel marketers need to ratchet it up a notch.” You can read all of his commentary here.
So what of the report. Well, most interesting to me was the dip in deliverability as the number one pain point. It has been up there at number one for a number of years now and would continuously be on the tip of an email marketers tongue, when asked about challenges. The report shows this has now shifted to a focus on conversion rates instead. That bodes well for the channel as the performance of the channel is second to none. Overall, it is positive.
The one other pain point that is highlighted is that of resource. This has consistently been an issue for email marketers over the years and I suspect worsened due to the rise of social media as a direct response channel. Whilst more channels (and more email) means there will always be a need for more content (and social requires more time than ever), I suspect technology can help more here with much tighter integration between the social, email, mobile and landing page platforms. This tighter integration should allow for better automation of cross channel behaviour and along with more intelligent reuse of content should lessen the resource burden further.
Quite simply though, more email marketing means more resource and given the potential returns still being missed out on by most, more investment is needed regardless of technology in people today.
For those interested in reading the report, you can download it here. Please be aware it is available to DMA members only.