Some 24% of marketers say they don’t use any tools to manage their email campaigns, according to a recently-released Marketo study [download page]. But that figure masks significant differences when sorting by company size, as small companies (0-50 employees) are almost twice as likely (43.5%) to eschew the use of email marketing tools. Among larger companies, by contrast, marketing automation platforms are a popular choice – and use of these tools is linked to greater emailing frequency.
When asked how often they email any segment of their database, two-thirds of respondents overall said they send less than 10 emails per month, and 45% reported emailing less than 5 times per month. Among those sending less than 5 emails per month, almost half – 46% – aren’t using any marketing tool, whether that be an email service provider (ESP) or a marketing automation platform.
Use of an ESP doesn’t seem to be tied to email sending frequency: in fact, 58% of those using an ESP were sending less than 5 emails per month. By contrast, only 27% of marketers using a marketing automation platform send less than 5 emails per month, and that figure drops to 15% among those who have been using a marketing automation platform for more than a year.
It may well be that the greater emailing frequency among marketing automation users is tied to their company size and marketing sophistication – at least half of mid-sized (51-100 employees) and larger companies use marketing automation platforms to manage their emails, compared to 36.5% of smaller companies, for whom cost may be a factor.
Indeed, according to preliminary results of a survey being run by VentureBeat and “marketing expert” Dan Freeman, the top 3 concerns about implementation of marketing automation software are:
- Whether the in-house skills are available to effectively implement it (55.4% choosing as one of top 5 concerns);
- Concerns over marketing automation software’s ability to produce real results (54.2%); and
- Budgets; not being sure whether it’s affordable (53%).
Meanwhile, the Marketo study also finds that document planning strategies also influence the number of email sends per month; those respondents without a strategy were far more likely to be sending fewer than 5 emails per month than those with a strategy.
Of course, it’s debatable whether increased email frequency is a good thing (although there’s a case to be made that it is), though Marketo argues that “while over-burning your database is an obvious no-no, you can also go too far in the opposite direction… If you don’t contact your database enough, you can’t stay top-of-mind.”
Email remains the most popular marketing channel out of those identified in the survey. Some 86% of respondents reported using email programs, with social channels (81%) next-most popular. Physical events such as trade shows and user conferences (77%) are being run by more marketers than virtual events (49%), while a majority are also using webinars (60%) and PPC (53%).
About the Data: Marketo surveyed 493 B2B and consumer marketing professionals from companies and teams of all sizes, and with all different levels of technology adoption. The survey was fielded at the end of 2013.