Email now accounts for 21.3% of the average marketing budget, according to the UK Data & Marketing Association’s latest Marketing Email Tracker 2021, a study conducted with Validity.
Moreover, 45% of firms now spend over 20% of their marketing budget on email, the highest percentage on record since the start of the series in 2015.
Just under half of businesses now spend over 20% of their marketing budget on email (45), the highest proportion on record since the DMA started the annual email tracking series in 2015.
In addition, email is the most-used channel for 72% of brands, beating social media (66%) and online ads (59%).
“The various restrictions in place throughout the year appear to have benefitted email, not least that budgets appear to have been directed (or re-directed) to email while other channels were not available,” states Tim Bond, head of insight at the DMA.
What’s more, emailers receive a return in investment of £38.33 for every £1 spent, up from £29.64 in 2016
But email marketers face challenges in several areas, including data (cited by 52%, up from 42% in 2020), and budget/resources (cited by 52%, down from 61% last year).
This shows that businesses should “not neglect investment in this precious resource, as well as the talent and technology that utilize it,” says Guy Hanson, deputy chair of DMA Email Council & vice president of customer engagement, Validity International.
“High quality data -- that is accurate, up to date, and aligned with the purpose for which it was collected – means companies can create relevant messaging that builds stronger relationships and delivers increased value,” says Hanson.
In addition, 38% are frustrated with technology -- up from 24% in 2020 -- and 42% have gaps in their leadership/strategy, roughly flat with last year.
Companies are focusing less on sales with their email (24%, down from 31% in 2020). In contrast, 13% are using email campaigns for customer service, compared to 9% last year.