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Email marketing: Census Sector Report 2018

  • How has email marketing evolved over the last year and what will be the challenges of the near future?

The Adestra annual Census, in collaboration with Econsultancy, has reached its twelfth edition, concerning the trend of the email marketing sector and the trends that characterize it. The result of an online survey in which 700 market participants participated, the report highlights the results of the survey and describes the changes that are affecting today's market. This study represents the largest and most in-depth industry report available to professionals and in the 2018 edition focused on the first six verticals, identified as primary by the interviewees, such as: Travel & Hospitality, Print/Publishing & Media, Retail/Mail Order, Charities, Governament & Non-Profits, Technology & Telecoms, Financial Services & Insurance. The highlights of the research have touched on topics such as:

- Marketing automation,

- Customization of content,

- Optimization for different devices,

- Predictive intelligence solutions (AI),

- Data collection following the GDPR,

- Interactive and animated forms for emails.

In each theme mentioned above, "Star Performers" have been identified that are characterized by their high performance.

Particular attention was also paid to the changes that have occurred over the past one or two years, highlighting the practices that have worked best in some sectors and others, instead, which have been reversed. Starting our analysis of the individual verticals, the Travel & Hospitality sector ranks at the top of the rankings in five disciplines: better ROI from email, content customization, advanced segmentation, transactional emails and device optimization. Excellent results are also achieved in the predictive solutions where Star Performance Travel stands out for being ever ahead for the management of email scheduling / frequency.

Overall, the Print/Publishing & Media sector has achieved good results, obtaining the first two places in two disciplines: tactics and email automation. It employs the greatest number of email tactics compared to any other sector and in the last three years has registered a trend of continuous growth, with the highest peak recorded in 2018.

Retail/Mail Order has had mixed results across all email marketing disciplines. On the one hand creativity is high thanks also to the use of animated GIFs and interactive content but on the other hand the ROI from the email and the campaign performances are below average. The vertical has generally grown by adopting sharing on social media, re-marketing and basic segmentation.

It stands out with a note on Governament & Non-Profits regarding the attribution of sales by e-mail assigning more sales to the channel than any other sector. However, attention to transactional email and behavioral targeting is scarce.

Technology & Telecoms finds it difficult to build a united multi-channel approach and with respect to optimizing content on multiple devices, it could all explain why the recorded ROI is so low. For example, it is below average in two key disciplines: ROI from email marketing and email campaign performance. The only significant increase is in re-marketing, while many critical aspects such as cleaning lists and mobile optimization have fallen by the wayside

More generally, email marketing is the most popular channel for return on investment, with 74% of marketers considering it "excellent". Last year, the Travel & Hospitality sector ranked first on the ROI charts with 89% of travel companies that recorded a "good" return: +16% compared to 2017

Even today, email marketing provides much higher sales revenue than the budget allocated to this channel. Charities have overtaken printing companies in the last 12 months: while maintaining the same investment in email, they have almost doubled their revenue, from 15% in 2017 to 27% in 2018.

When it comes to measuring the success of an email marketing campaign, keeping in mind the right KPIs is essential. The analysis showed that the three major parameters taken into consideration are: clickthrough, opens and conversions. However, each sector uses them differently: for example, almost 90% of travel companies monitor emails and only 69% of technology companies have this data.

However, few companies still spend their time measuring other KPIs in their email marketing campaigns, such as:

1)Buonce rate

That is the volume of email addresses that did not receive the message because it was rejected by the recipient server. The leading sector is Finance with 61% of companies monitoring the data while only half of Print/Publishing & Media and Retail/Mail Order pay attention to this percentage.

2)ROI from email marketing

A critical metric that only 25% of companies manage to use adequately overall.

3)Database growth

Here, too, growth is surprisingly descending in general. The interest in the growth rate of its members and data quality should represent a key long-term metric but only the Charities, Governament & Non-Profits sector shows a small positive growth.

One of the biggest challenges and opportunities that email marketing operators faced in 2018 was the proliferation of mobile devices and the consequent design of content on mobile platforms.

On an annual scale surely the greatest innovation has been recorded in the use of automation to allow one-to-one communication. On the contrary, the dynamic elements in 2018 (GIF, video, countdown, etc.) decreased by 20% compared to 2017. Furthermore, there was a huge spike in data security but at the same time a sharp drop in database quality and data cleanliness.

E-Business Consulting, which operates since 2003 in the world of digital communication, proposes itself as a partner for companies and individuals interested in promoting their brand, designing and supportingad hoc email marketing campaigns for customers, from choosing the most suitableplatform through for the creation of creativity and/or ad hoc landing pages, up to the analysis of the platforms. Request a free quote now!