Marketers often ask themselves: Where should email fall in the media mix?
Here’s the answer to this warm-weather question: while email is not the most effective of all paid digital channels, it’s also not the least, judging by Era of Alignment: Future-focused strategies for brand building and customer acquisition, a study released earlier this year by Nielsen.
The question is not a fair one, given that email has both promotional and transactional uses, and can be deployed throughout the marketing funnel, which is more than can be said by some other channels.
Marketers sometimes think of email as a traditional channel, like direct mail, but it’s very much in the digital camp. So what did Nielsen say?
Of the marketers polled, 51% are confident in email, with 19% saying they are extremely confident and 32% saying they are very confident.
Of course, email loses out to:
The numbers are similar when it comes to confidence in measuring ROI across channels:
Marketers are extremely confident in email measurement, and 32% very sure of it.
Moreover, email will see a 30% aggregate increase in budget in the year ahead. Again, it falls behind several other channels:
Social media — 53%
Display: online/mobile — 50%
Search — 45%
OTT-TV/connected TV — 37%
Streaming audio — 35%
Podcasts — 35%
Email — 30%
OOH — 29%
Native advertising — 30%
Direct mail — 21%
Linear TV — 20%
Print — 13%
Cinema — 15%
AM/FM radio — 13%
But 38% expect a 0-49% boost in email spend, and 11% foresee 50%+. The budgets are significantly lower in EMEA and higher in North America.
The takeaway? Stick with email — it has a place in the mix, and will continue to perform even after some of the flashier channels have started fading.
To get these results, Nielsen surveyed 1,943 global marketing professionals between December 2, 2021, and January 12, 2022.