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StrongView-Top-Email-Marketing-Initiatives-in-2014-Jan2014Email marketing is slated for an increase in budgets, according to results from a recently-released StrongView study [pdf]. So what will be the top priorities for email marketers this year? Interestingly, the study reveals that respondents are paying more attention to increasing subscriber engagement (a leading 44% naming this one of their top-3 priorities) and improving segmentation and targeting (36%) than to growing their opt-in email list (31%). (See here for email marketers’ most popular – and effective – list growth tactics.)

When it comes to email marketing challenges, a plurality 40% said that one of their top-3 is accessing and leveraging customer data from multiple channels and data sources. Issues with coordination across marketing channels (34%) and developing more relevant engagements (32%) also appear towards the top of the list of challenges, with these pointing to the emphasis being placed on targeting and engagement. Of note, significantly fewer (17% of) respondents said that maintaining high email deliverability is a top-3 challenge this year.

The study looks further at how email marketers are using data in their programs, a particularly salient area given that leveraging data from multiple channels is their top challenge. According to the results, demographic (53%) and purchase history (49%) data are most commonly leveraged to power email marketing. After that, there’s a fairly steep drop off to the proportion using web behavior (31%), location data (26%) and life stage (25%) data. More respondents would like to use web behavior data, though: a leading 34% named this the most valuable type of data that they’re not currently able to leverage.

What’s holding email marketers back from using more data in their campaigns? The cleanliness and quality of their data is the top challenge for the largest share (22%) of respondents. Data hygiene (or lack thereof) was fingered as a pain point for marketers in a few studies last year, and ought to be a point of emphasis this year.

About the Data: The StrongView “2014 Marketing Trends Survey” was administered online in conjunction with StrongView’s survey partner SENSORPRO. The poll, which gathered feedback from 387 business leaders across a wide range of industries, was conducted from November 18 ”“ 27, 2013. 75% of respondents come from companies headquartered in North America.

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