Brands ‘in dark over email waste’

Some 88 per cent of marketers don’t know how much of their digital marketing budget they are wasting on non-delivery of email, while regular list cleaning and remarketing are both in decline.
These are just a few of the stark findings of a new study by Adestra and Econsultancy, which exposes at least three areas for concern: automation, deliverability and relevance.
The research, Adestra and Econsultancy Email Marketing Census 2011, was conducted between January and February 2011. The main findings are:

Automation has shown the biggest increase since 2007: Automated campaigns (+30 per cent), personalisation (+26 per cent) and measurement/analytics (+22 per cent). This shows while marketers are using ESPs for more automation, they are missing out on crucial basics that need to be part of their ongoing marketing – upsell, cross-sell, remarketing, abandoned basket triggers. For example, 86 per cent still don’t use abandoned basket triggers – which when implemented correctly can provide massive incremental revenue. Since 2008, every category of email triggers has declined except automated abandoned baskets – meaning there is a huge amount of missed opportunities.

In the current climate when marketers need to make sure every pound spent is working hard, there are some areas being neglected. For example, 88 per cent of marketers have no idea how much of their budget is lost through non-delivery of email. And it’s getting worse year on year. Clearly brands need to keep on top of this using best practice techniques, says the report.
When asked about ways to improve email deliverability, the survey shows “cleaning up lists” is top, while “relevance” takes second place. Although relevance does ultimately affect deliverability, marketers need to be getting emails into inboxes first, says the study. This highlights the need for marketers and agencies to get to grips with the jargon and best practice processes.

Looking at email marketing practices, since last year, the use of basic segmentation is down (-3 per cent) as is regular list cleansing (-5 per cent) while remarketing (-13 per cent) is also down. The report says this is surprising as, for emails to be relevant, segmentation and targeting are key. Overlook these simple processes at your peril – remarketing, for example, is very simple to do and, because it is inherently relevant, can provide excellent return.
With new channels such as social media growing exponentially, and a changing landscape with the take up of smartphones meaning m-commerce is now an established channel, a brand’s engagement and interaction with customers is more under the spotlight than ever before. This all means email has had to adapt – and it has done successfully – with more email campaigns being sent than ever before.
The Adestra and Econsultancy Email Marketing Census is the largest survey of UK email marketers with research results from almost 900 in-house and agency staff.
Adestra director Steve Denner said: “It’s time for marketers to get ‘back to basics’ – some crucial areas are dropping off marketers’ radars such as email triggers, deliverability and re-marketing. They need to be consistently covering all the basics – this is where their ESP can help.
“Get the fundamentals right, use the available technology and best practice advice and there’s no reason why email can’t evolve again over the next five years into an even better communication and customer engagement channel, delivering improved response rates.”
A full copy of the report is available at

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