Email Marketing Vendors Gaining Sophistication

by , Jul 16, 2012, 6:15 AM
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Forrester’s 37-criteria evaluation of email marketing vendors, in The Forrester Wave, identified six significant providers in this category, Epsilon, ExactTarget, Experian CheetahMail, Responsys, StrongMail, and Yesmail Interactive and researched, analyzed, and scored them. The report details findings about how each vendor measures up to help interactive marketers select the right partner for their email marketing efforts.

The study found a vibrant and volatile Email market, even though the email channel is so well established. The report says that even though Email marketers aren’t completely clear of list growth and boosting opens and clicks, their use of advanced email practices is much more prevalent than in the 2009 evaluation of email marketing vendors.

Addressing challenges and employment of tactics speaks to the “gaining sophistication” of Email marketers described by Forrester in the report:

Continuing Marketing Challenges in Next Two Years

Challenge

% of Respondents (Multiple Choice OK)

Integrating email with other channels

57%

Leveraging dynamic content

50%

Leveraging segmentation

43%

Managing email frequency and cadence

38%

Increasing open and click-through rates

38%

Finding new email subscribers

36%

Creating and managing email content

35%

Retaining current email subscribers

34%

Having adequate staffing resources

31%

Source: Forrester Research, Q1 2012

 

Frequency of Applied Tactics (% of Respondents)

Program

At Least Monthly

Daily

Run welcome email programs

93%

86%

Coordinate email with site promotions

85%

36%

Segment users based on past purchases

73%

47%

Segment users based on site behavior

68%

35%

Coordinate email with display

53%

19%

Clean lists of inactive users

51%

30%

Coordinate email with mobile

43%

16%

Source: Forrester Research, Q1 2012

According to the report, client references said that good account management mattered most when considering email vendors. But many also care about email vendors’ multichannel integration, customer database support, and ability to power non-email campaigns.

Account Management Matters Most In Email Vendor Selection

Vendor Offerings

Average Rank (8.0 “least important;” 1.0 “most important.”)

Good account management

1.96

Integration with other online tools

3.73

Automation of next-best action

3.85

Support for your database of record

3.96

Professional services

4.54

Support for channels outside of email

5.01

International campaign support

5.89

Proprietary offices around the world

7.05

Source: Forrester Research, Q1 2012, Email Marketing Customer Reference Survey

To address the implications of the changes in the email market, the study included those vendors that could manage marketers’ immediate email marketing needs and also know how and why to integrate email into cross-channel conversations. Six email vendors, out of an original pool of 48, met these requirements.

The report concludes by noting that this evaluation of email marketing vendors is based on the criteria deemed to be most critical to the market at this time and is intended to be a starting point only. The authors encourage readers to view detailed product evaluations and adapt the criteria weightings to fit their individual needs.

To access the complete study in PDF format, with additional charts, graphs and data, please visit here.

 

 

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