Email conversion ‘is top priority’

Email marketers have put concerns over deliverability and click rates to one side, to concentrate on the far tougher problem – converting sales – which the authors of a new report say is a sign that the industry is maturing.
The DMA Email Marketing Council’s fifth annual National Client Email Report, sponsored by Alchemy Worx, shows 48% of email marketers state that conversion rates are now their biggest concern, followed by click rates (43%) and deliverability (39%).
However, in a trend that reveals the email marketing industry is maturing, issues related to deliverability and click rates fell by a third compared with the results of the 2010 report. For example, concerns about return on investment from email campaigns fell from 61 per cent in the previous report to 31% in the latest research.
Internal resource is cited by 38% of brands as the biggest barrier for success, with 74% of respondents stating they manage their email marketing programme in-house. In second place was budget, at 26%.
The study also reveals the future is positive for the email marketing industry with over 90% of respondents rating it as strategically important or very important to their businesses, while 63% expect to increase expenditure on email marketing in the future.
“There are two areas in this survey which we found particularly interesting”, said Dela Quist, chair of the DMA Email Marketing Council’s Email Benchmarking Hub and chief executive at Alchemy Worx.
“The first was the marked shift in priorities from deliverability and click rates to conversion rates. Since 2010 concerns about click rates and deliverability dropped by over a third, meaning conversion – and the revenue that results from it – is now the most pressing priority, particularly for B2C businesses.
“That suggests marketers are coming round to what we’ve been saying for some time now – that the end result is where we need to be focusing our attention and our resources if email marketing is to continue maturing.
“The services gap is another area which has been highlighted by this survey. Organisations are increasingly finding that while they would like to expand their email operations, they often don’t have the resources to make it happen. For instance, email volumes increase considerably over the Christmas period – but how do organisations resource for that? The 2011 results show that increasingly, organisations are beginning to plug the resource gap by outsourcing to specialist email marketing agencies.”
The fifth annual National Client Email Report can be downloaded from www.dma.org.uk/research

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