Email is the most automated function of all marketing processes. And it is becoming increasingly automated, judging by the State of Marketing Automation 2022, a study by Ascend2.
Of the marketers polled, 55% now use marketing automation for email, up from 40% in last year.
Other increases were for SMS marketing from 18% to 25%, content management from 22% to 29% and push notifications from 16% to 20%.
In contrast, paid ads declined from 32% to 29%, live chat from 21% to 17% and lead scoring from 18% to 11%. Most other areas were more or less consistent.
Why is email seeing this growth?
“Marketers are finding email effective and are now using automation to make it more efficient,” says Todd W. Lebo, CEO of Ascend2. “Maybe because of COVID moving more marketing to digital, so now companies are using email more broadly.”
In addition, email applications are tied for first in usage of artificial intelligence in conjunction with marketing automation:
How good are brands at using marketing automation to achieve their objectives?
Of those polled, 22% of marketers rate themselves as successful, or best-in-class, and 64% say they are somewhat effective, while 14% rate themselves as unsuccessful.
How easy is it to measure this success? Only 11% say it is extremely easy, and 59% say it is somewhat easy. But 30% rate it as difficult, and 4% say it's extremely tough.
Only 9% are now fully automated, 22% mostly, 47% partially and 22% not at all.
Meanwhile, 31% will be shopping for an automation solution in the next 12 months. Another 26% will not, and 43% are unsure. The primary factors driving the purchase decision are:
The effort will be worth it, judging by these perceived advantages of automation:
Ascend2 surveyed 393 marketers from February 15-23, 2022. Of these, 22% were B2B and 52% were B2C, while 26% were equally B2B and B2C. In addition, 23% were in firms with more than 500 employees, with 20% in firms that had 50-500 employees and 57% from firms with fewer than 50.