Commentary

ROI Stats Are In -- Email Is Rated 3 Times Better Than Mobile, Twice As Good As Social

It's very easy to throw away unqualified lines around email marketing offering brands the best ROI available in digital. Those involved in the sector know it's true, but sometimes it's worth having some handy stats to throw there next time a client or someone within your marketing team has been to a conference and wants to throw the kitchen sink at social.

So here goes. Econsultancy has been out there asking marketers which channels they like, and crucially, how they rate them for ROI. The latter point is fundamental for any executive who realises the company wants to hear about what happens when they put money into a digital marketing niche. They want concrete feedback rather than talk of a few more people liking or sharing status updates than the week before.

The results are categorically clear. Of the marketers surveyed, the top spot for "excellent" ROI went to email with 27%, and second spot went to SEO with 20%. The two channels, as well as content and PPC, have roughly the same amount of marketers giving a "good" ROI rating. If you were to whittle it down to channels where two in three marketers rate ROI as excellent or good, you are left with email on top with SEO just behind. If you want to hand out "well done" badges, content and PPC are just behind. 

But then you have a gaping hole for ROI, which you can sum up in a number of ways. At one extreme you have two in three marketers thinking display gives an average or poor ROI. Perhaps no surprises there, but -- and don't adjust your screen -- the same very nearly applies to mobile and social, with just over and just under 60% (respectively) of marketers summing up the wonder channels at "average" or "poor."

Need some more ammunition? OK -- let's just look at "excellent" ratings. Email gets just over one in four, at 27%, with display and mobile each only getting 4% and social reaching 10%. That means marketers are more than six times as likely to rate email as excellent compared to mobile or display, and nearly three times as likely to rate email over social.

So there you have it. When you don't listen to the latest conference speaker and instead ask marketers at the coal face what gives them the best return, email is far and away the winning channel. We may all already know this, but it's always useful to have a line about the channel being eConsultancy's number one for ROI the next time budget is challenged or a shiny new widget demanding investment comes along.

2 comments about "ROI Stats Are In -- Email Is Rated 3 Times Better Than Mobile, Twice As Good As Social".
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  1. Kim Stuart from AtlasRewards.net, January 6, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.

    The real problem I see here is that your "marketers at the coal face" who think that mobile is not working remind me of the Henry Ford quote about people wanting faster horse, not automobiles.  


    More than 50% of search, email, shopping research are already done USING mobile.  


    Lumping mobile into a category that only covers terrible ads that take up the entire screen, make it so that users can't access content and generally suck does not mean that mobile is bad.  It means that either marketers are so lazy they aren't testing what's being coded, or they are so stupid they don't grasp that users will close the door on ads and content that prevent them from seeing that content.  

    When 75% of people are reading an email on mobile, marketers would be well served by making sure their content is readable across devices and doesn't require horizontal scrolling; using larger fonts, more line breaks and negative space are also a wise idea.  


     

  2. Kim Stuart from AtlasRewards.net, January 6, 2017 at 2:04 p.m.

    That came off a tad more negatively than I meant for it to - but the overall issue is not whether anything is better than mobile; it's that mobile is the new standard and failing to take it into account when designing campaigns or reading deliverability and other stats is only shooting one's self in the foot. 

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