Email marketing remains the king of return on investment (ROI), according to an annual marketing census by digital marketing company Adestra and market research firm Econsultancy.
Email marketing ranked as the best channel for overall ROI in a poll of over 1,100 client-side digital marketers and agency professionals, with 73% of respondents rating email as positive for overall ROI.
In contrast, only a small minority of 5% rated email as a poor performer for generating revenue.
Email was also the fastest-growing digital marketing channel year-over-year, according to the report -- with email marketers jumping from 66% in 2015.
It’s no question that email is a powerful digital marketing channel, but it remains surprisingly under-budgeted.
Global brands spend an average of 15% of their marketing budget on email, according to Adestra and Econsultancy’s study. Yet email accounts for 23% of all total sales.
That discrepancy widens when you consider that companies that invest 20% or more of their marketing budget on email are eight times more likely to see sales boosted by 50% or more. In addition, brands with a dedicated email marketing resource see an average jump of 17% in ROI.
"eConsultancy’s findings prove it’s time for marketers to reprioritize where email fits in their strategy and budget,” says Cynthia Price, vice president of marketing at Emma. “If you consider that email is less expensive and more effective than other marketing channels, it’s a little crazy that it gets such a small portion of marketing budgets. If $10 gets you more than $4,000 in return, imagine what $10,000 will get you.”
The paradox of email’s budget restraints is not lost on Vivek Sharma, chief executive officer of Movable Ink, who says that email still has untapped potential.
“Plain and simple, email is a channel that measures well and performs well,” says Sharma. “But from a bigger perspective, we’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much opportunity to get more yield from your email marketing.”
One key opportunity for email marketers is the power and efficiency of email automation, but Adestra and eConsultancy’s report reveals that companies that deem their email automation and implementation as ‘very successful’ remained unchanged year-over-year at just 7%.