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Given the fact we’ve all seen emails containing our first name, it’s not news that email marketing is the most common channel for personalization. But that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges. Ascend2’s new survey [download page] reveals that while personalized messages are highly effective, they also rank as the most difficult type of email to deploy.

Three in 5 (62%) email marketers chose personalization as being among their most effective types of email. Popular personalization tactics like tailoring messaging or promotions by audience segment are why three-quarters of marketers believe that personalization has a positive impact on customer relationships.

The problem with personalization is that it’s not simple to put into action. In fact, it is considered the most difficult tactic for email marketers to execute, by nearly half (47%) of survey respondents.

Adding to the challenges of personalizing email is the idea that there is a possibility that emails can become too personalized. In an earlier survey, respondents indicated that when emails get too personalized they can be a bit creepy – with this emerging as one of their top-three email-related annoyances.

Increasing Engagement is Both A Top Objective and A Top Challenge

Marketers are also finding that their number one objective is also their number one challenge. Nearly 7 in 10 marketers named increased engagement as their primary objective. This is not the first time that increasing engagement has been on the top of the list for objectives. Just last year another Ascend2 survey showed that 55% of respondents were making it their top goal.

When marketers were asked to name their most critical challenges to the success of an email strategy, half (50%) named increasing engagement, making this their top challenge. Again, increased engagement has also been a continuous challenge. As far back as 2016, marketers were naming it as one of their top challenges.

Six in 10 marketers listed improving brand awareness as an objective, putting it second on the list. However, as opposed to increased engagement, improving brand awareness turns out to be the least of the critical challenges, with only 28% of marketers struggling with it.

To read more about email marketers priorities, objectives and challenges, download the survey here.

About the Data: Ascend2’s Strategies, Tactics and Trends for Email Marketing is a survey of 272 marketing professionals ranging from owners/CXOs, management roles, and non-management professionals. They represent B2B (40%), B2C (37%) and B2B/B2C equally (23%) organizations.

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