Email continues to produce the best ROI of any channel — 59% say so, according to the 2018 Email Marketing Industry Report, a study by Campaign Monitor.
But it raises a question. Is this for real, or does it reflect the fact that few companies are investing in advanced technologies?
Case in point: Only 53% are using automation to trigger email campaigns. And a mere 5% plan to invest in AI or machine learning this year.
And there are many lapses in best practices. Only 24% use automation to trigger a welcome email or series, and 24% utilize it for multiple workflows.
In addition, 53% never conduct A/B testing. Only 3% do so 75% of the time and 21% do so half the time. Only 11% say they conduct this testing almost always.
Moreover, 39% never use personalization and 21% do not even segment their email lists. Only 8% personalize almost all of their emails.
Still, 25% plan to spend significantly more on email this year. So there is opportunity.
Campaign Monitor surveyed over 200 marketers and interviewed 25 experts.
After email, 21% say social media produces the best ROI. And 15% cite display ads. Barely placing are video (5%) and mobile/SMS (1%).
The most important indicator of success? For 58%, it is increasing sales or bringing in leads. Another 34% cite engagement, and 8% cite reach or traffic.
As opposed to myths that say most brands focus on prospecting or retention, the study shows that 42% expend equal time and resources on both. In addition, 29% say they spend and devote resources to prospecting, and 29% to retention.
Things are different on the B2B side. Among the business marketers polled, 68% say email produces the best return. And 30% expect to spend more on email this year. Still, only 47% are utilizing machine automation.
In the restaurant sector, email and social are tied at 45% apiece for producing the best ROI — 45% apiece. And email is a low priority — 64% devote less than a tenth of their time to it, working with small teams.
Here’s one more stat that should warm the hearts of email vendors: Few are investing in chatbots, AI, live video or influencer marketing: 73% have no plans to do any of it.