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Basic segmentation ranks as the most broadly adopted email marketing practice among company marketers, according to the annual Email Industry Census from Econsultancy and Adestra. Some 82% of respondents worldwide (though predominantly from the UK) use basic segmentation, up from 80% last year.

Most decision-makers agree that segmentation is important to their email marketing efforts, a separate new report finds, with 88% say it would have an impact on customer focus.

The Econsultancy and Adestra survey results also indicate that it’s become common practice for marketers to optimize email for mobile devices: 70% already do, and another 18% are planning to do so. In fact, mobile optimization takes less time than other email-related activities including reporting, data and strategy and planning, per the survey’s in-house company marketer respondents.

However, strategies for optimizing email marketing for different devices continue to be fairly basic. Far fewer this year (10%) than in 2014 (22%) say they have no such strategy, but for the vast majority these strategies are “basic” (40%) or “moderate” (34%) as opposed to advanced.

Marketers are employing a variety of strategies to optimize email for different devices, most commonly by creating a responsive email template (66%), adapting email design to have a simpler template that renders well on all devices (59%) and through shorter subject lines (59%).

Meanwhile, other email marketing practices used by a majority of company marketers include regular list cleansing (63%), encouraging sharing of content on social networks (52%), remarketing (53%) and lead nurturing (53%). Fewer are personalizing content (45%) or using advanced segmentation (38%), though the results suggest increased use of the former.

Notably, while more marketers this year are encouraging sharing of content on social networks, just 4% measure email shares on social media as a success metric.

Email Still Tops for ROI

Separately, marketers continue to be enthusiastic about the ROI of email marketing, which has been shown to top all other direct media.

This year roughly 3 in 4 company respondents (74%) rate email marketing as “excellent” (30%) or “good” (44%) for ROI, putting it at the top of a list of 9 channels.

SEO (organic search) is next on the list again, rated as “excellent” (25%) or “good” (45%) by 7 in 10 respondents, outdoing paid search (62%).

Marketers have less confidence in the ROI of their mobile marketing (45%) and social media (39%) efforts, a result that aligns with US CMOs’ views of these platforms.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 704 company and in-house marketers (68% share) and supply-side respondents (32%). (This article examines only the responses from company/in-house marketers.) A majority (56%) are based in the UK, while 13% are based in North America.

Respondents came from a variety of industries and company sizes, and leaned more towards B2C marketing (47%) than B2B (34%) or B2B and B2C equally (19%).

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