Email remains the top channel, but it slowing down slightly, according to a study by Econsultancy and Adestra. Worse, few email marketers are embracing artificial intelligence.
Of over 700 marketers polled, 74% rate their email ROI as good or excellent. But 30% say it is excellent — a decline from last year. In addition, 44% rate it as good, 21% as average and 5% as poor. The average and poor percentages are higher than in 2017.
Still, email beats the second-highest channel, SEO, which is ranked as excellent by 25% and as good by 45%.
Online display advertising is rated as excellent or good by only 34% overall.
According to Econsultancy, 91% use click-through rate as a metric.
In a sign that email be less siloed, 46% say it is now run by teams as part of wider marketing responsibilities. That’s up from 45% in 2017 and 38% in 2014. In contrast, 27% report that email is now run by an individual as part of wider marketing responsibilities, down from 40% in 2014 and 30% last year.
The top email innovation for 2018 is making more creative uses of behavioral targets, chosen by 60% — up 2% from last year. Also growing is greater user of dynamic elements, including video content, GIFs, countdown clocks, etc., up to 55% from 52% in 2017.
However, the sharpest growth is in using automation to enable one-to-one communication-- up to 53% from 45% last year.
But only 17% are using artificial intelligence to improve performance.
Declining slightly is the use of the email address as an identifier — 16%, versus 20% in 2017.