Making emails come alive with moving Gifs and video is second place, while using automation for one-to-one communication (pretty sure that's personalisation, isn't it?) comes in third.
So the top three aren't a huge surprise. Sending out automated emails that respond to a trigger, be it a welcome salutation or a cart abandonment "did you forget something?", is a top requirement and there is no bigger growth online now than video. Personalisation is, and always will be, the goal for email marketers looking to move beyond "batch and dispatch" to closer one-on-one communication.
The bit that surprised me was that optimising mobile journeys and using email as an ID marker in other channels are only a priority for 38% and 20% of email marketers, respectively.
For me, the mobile journey is what particularly lets down many email campaigns, in customers' eyes, and not being able to identify someone by their email address on another channel must be a massive waste of a golden opportunity on the marketer's side.
I guess at least the figures show that nearly half of email marketers are working hard to ensure their campaigns operate better in a mobile-first world. There's nothing more frustrating than tiny type, or my favourite, a call to action that requires you somehow cut and paste a bunch of numbers and commit your customer reference to memory before you can take the next step. Guys, I can access my bank account with my thumbprint -- surely I can add speedy boarding to my plane ticket without impossible feats of memory agility?
So the main surprise for me was email ID. Regular readers will know this is an area that represents a massive untapped opportunity. Most emails are opened on mobile devices, and so if somebody goes on to interact with your brand, there is no cookie. If someone you've emailed comes back to your mobile site on the commute home without clicking on the email, you would have no means of tying in that potential customer with the email marketing messages you've been sending.
You never know --- it could have been that message earlier that prompted a subsequent visit, so wouldn't it be good to be able to orient the page around that, or at least what their previous behavioural information tells you about them/ Wouldn't it be an idea to have a note mentioning the offer has been saved so there's no need to dig out a code on an email at checkout?
Identifying a customer online through their email address could also seriously help with retargeting, or perhaps prompt you to bid on the MPU they will see on a rival's site, if they are shopping around.
So it's a big surprise to me that this type of work is only a priority for one in five. Sure, it's above and beyond what eConsultancy calls the "business as usual" categories that are in the top three spots -- but there's a wealth of opportunity with email.
If you can track a customer through different sites and devices, that has to be a capability worth having in a mobile-first world where the cookie is rapidly crumbling.