Study: Email Marketers Are Unhappy With Tech Suites

Email marketers are only partly satisfied with their technology vendors, according to Email Marketing Satisfaction Report, a study by Tripolis and Holistic Email Marketing.

Of the marketers polled, 74% feel they are getting value from their email platform or cloud marketing suite.

That number jumps to 87% for marketing/enterprise ESP users. But it drops to 62% for firms that utilize email marketing suites.

Suite vendors score highest on functionality. But users are unhappy with the cost, complexity, service response and receptivity to requests for modifications. Only 22% use over half of the features in a given suite.

Maybe it would help if they planned better — less than half have a “definitive, written” marketing strategy in place.

The survey sample includes email marketers from the UK, the U.S. and Europe.

Their main complaints with their vendors overall? For 18%, it’s that the platform is not user-friendly (18%). In addition, 17% say they have to pay extra to use new features, and 16% that their account manager contacts them only to upsell, and doesn’t help them achieve better results with what they already own.  

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“Some of the dissatisfaction by respondents using suite tools arises from the platform itself,” writes Kath Pay, founder and CEO of Holistic Email Marketing and author of the report.

She adds: "If your marketing program relies on one channel more than others – say, email as the hub of your entire program -- and that tool is not the best one to meet your needs, dissatisfaction is inevitable."

The study continues that email rendering tools and CRM apps are the most popular plug-ins. But marketers are less likely to utilize list hygiene and A/B testing, tools that would shed light on email performance.

Overall, they are most satisfied with helpful consulting services (55%), followed by good functionality and features (29%).

Of those surveyed, 51% use one ESP platform and 22% use two. Only 10% use five or more.

Why use more than one? To split the work between marketing and transactional emails.

But only 30% use more than 60% of their ESP’s functionalities. That means 70% do not.

While small-to-medium ESPs attract firms with less than 15 employees, 8% of large companies also use them.

Why do marketers choose tech platforms?

  • Functionality and features — 19%
  • Ability to integrate with existing software — 15%
  • Inherited the platform — 14%
  • Cost — 13%
  • Usability — 10%
  • Decision maker had previously worked with platform and liked it — 5%
  • Personal preference — 5%

Pay urges marketers to “find a technology platform that is in line with and advances your strategic needs and vision — not to go with the cheapest option or the one with the most dazzling tools.” 

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