Almost 8 in 10 global company marketers rate search engine optimization (SEO) as either excellent (31%) or good (48%) in terms of return on investment (ROI), while 70% rate email marketing either excellent (23%) or good (47%), according to [download page] a report released in March 2012 by Econsultancy in association with Adestra. Among digital channels, more respondents rate SEO and email marketing highly than do paid search (PPC – 56%), affiliate marketing (44%), social media (44%), and mobile marketing (41%).
Offline direct marketing (36%) and online display advertising (28%) are rated highly by the smallest proportion, with 26% saying that online display advertising provides a poor ROI.
Agency respondents agree with company respondents’ top picks, though email marketing takes the lead among this group. 82% rate email marketing ROI as either excellent (37%) or good (44%), compared to 78% who score SEO as either excellent (32%) or good (46%).
The report notes that these figures to not include respondents who answered that they do not know.
Mobile Marketing Gains Appreciation
Looking at the change in proportion of companies rating channels as either excellent or good, the report finds a 7% upswing for mobile marketing from 2011, slightly ahead of the increase seen by SEO (6%), offline direct marketing (5%), and online display advertising (4%). When comparing the results to 2008, the change for mobile marketing is more dramatic: 23% more company respondents rated the channel either excellent or good for ROI than in 2008.
2 in 3 Companies Perform Basic Segmentation of Emails
Basic segmentation is the most common email marketing practice among respondents, with two-thirds undertaking the practice and a further 20% planning to do so. The next most widespread practice is regular list cleaning (52%), followed by encouraging sharing of content (48%), marketing on transactional emails (40%) and re-marketing (34%).
Many have declined in use from 2011. Basic segmentation (-9%), use of video content (-8%), and marketing on transactional emails (-7%) have seen the biggest declines, with the only seeing a rise in usage being the practice of encouraging share of content (4%).
However, company respondents indicate that segmentation is a focus for them this year: 30% cited it as one of their top 3 priorities, joined by strategy/campaign planning and measurement and analytics (both at 29%). According to a December 2011 survey of US and European online marketing professionals conducted by StrongMail in conjunction with Zoomerangimproving segmentation and targeting was a top 3 most important email marketing initiative to 44% of respondents, behind only increasing subscriber engagement (48%).
These marketers might be headed in the right direction. According to the Econsultancy report, company respondents who are undertaking basic segmentation are more than twice as likely to rate their email marketing ROI as good or excellent as compared to their counterparts not involved with the practice (84% vs. 38%).
Welcome Programs Most Popular Trigger
Data from Econsultancy’s “Email Census 2012″ indicates that 31% of respondents say they send out welcome programs for new subscribers, making it the most commonly used trigger. 28% send out emails as a response to a site visit or sign-up, and 23% to reactivate lapsed customers. Agency respondents report a higher adoption of triggered emails by clients. For example, 46% say their clients send out responses to site visits or sign-ups, while 37% say their clients send out welcome programs.
About the Data: The Econsultancy data is based on a survey of 846 respondents, of which 70% were client-side, and 30% supply-side. 77% of the company marketers are based in the UK, 9% in Europe, 6% in North America, 4% in Asia Pacific, 3% in the Middle East and Africa, and 1% in another region. 66% of the agency respondents are based in the UK, 10% in Europe, 10% in North America, 6% in Asia Pacific, 5% in the Middle East and Africa, and 3% in another region.