Most Email Marketers Will Invest This Year Despite Challenges: Study

Most email marketers plan to invest in the email channel to some extent this year. But they face many challenges, judging by Email Marketing Effectiveness: Strategies, Tactics & Trends, a study by Ascend2.

Of the marketers polled, 56% will continue to invest moderately and 17% plan to invest significantly. In addition, 12% are planning to start and 16% are not investing. 

The study shows that 57% describe themselves as somewhat successful at achieving their key priorities with email marketing, and 31% describe themselves as very much so, or best in class. Only 12% say they are unsuccessful.

Moreover, 69% say they are becoming more effective, and 16% say they are becoming very much more effective. But 24% feel their effectiveness is decreasing marginally, and 7% feel that it is declining significantly.  

The respondents measure success in several ways, including: 

  • Click-through rate — 55%
  • Open rate — 48%
  • Post-email conversions — 43%
  • List growth/list decline — 31% 
  • Forwarding/social sharing—26%
  • Number of unsubscribes — 25% 
  • Bounces/spam complaints — 20%

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What are brands trying to achieve with their email marketing? The main goals are:

  • Increasing sales revenue — 59%
  • Increasing leads generate — 49% 
  • Improving email engagement — 39%
  • Increasing conversion rates — 36% 
  • Improving lead nurturing — 29% 
  • Increasing email list size — 21%
  • Improving deliverability/inbox placement — 16%

The barriers to email marketing success are similar, but not identical:

  • Improving email engagement — 45% 
  • Increasing leads generated — 43%
  • Increasing sales revenue — 39%
  • Increasing conversion rates — 35% 
  • Increasing email list size — 29%
  • Improving deliverability/inbox placement — 29%
  • Improving lead nurturing — 23%

So what are they doing to improve things? Here are what they see as the best tactics:

  • Better content — 66%
  • More personalization — 65%
  • Better email design — 37% 
  • More list segmentation—27%
  • More automated/event triggered emails — 24% 
  • More video and animation — 22%
  • More testing — 12% 

Meanwhile, 49% say it’s best to use a combination of outside help and in-house resources. But 37% favor in-house only, and 14% favor outsourcing to specialists.

Ascend2 and its Research Partners surveyed 287 marketing professionals -- 37% in B2B, 43% in B2C and 20% in both equally. 

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