The barrage of repermissioning emails in the run-up to GDPR might not have been legally necessary but it seems they have given the email marketing industry a major boost, resulting in a marked increase in returns and other key measurement metrics for the channel.
According to the ‘Marketer Email Tracker 2019′ report released by the DMA, in partnership with dotdigital, email remains the key strategic channel for most marketers – 91% rating it as important.
Despite the challenges many felt with the incoming GDPR, most marketers (56%) feel positive about the impact the new laws have had on their email campaigns, with just a fifth feeling the contrary (20%).
While marketers have observed decreases in list sizes, the majority of report an increase in email open rates (74%) and click-through rates (75%) in the past 12 months. Most organisations have also seen a reduction in opt-out rates (41%) and spam complaints (55%) in comparison to previous years, further evidence of the GDPR effect.
The research also reveals that almost two-thirds (62%) of marketers are now confident in their organisation’s ability to measure return on investment (ROI) – the highest-ever proportion since the DMA started asking the question back in 2012. According to these marketers, the estimate of ROI for every £1 spent on email has increased by almost £10 since the previous pre-GDPR study – up from £32.28 in 2017 to £42.24.
DMA Email Council research hub chair Marcus Gearey, who is also Zeta Global analytics manager, said: “Before the GDPR’s implementation something not unlike panic had set in among many. Was legitimate interest or informed consent the best strategy – or both? Would marketing lists be decimated or would a new era of opted-in consumers show those lists to be largely chaff in the first place?
“Less than a year into the new regime, marketers appear to have transitioned from wary to hopeful. Perhaps this will change when the ICO makes its first big prosecution under the new legislation, but the disaster it was sometimes pitched as a precursor to, looks to have been wildly exaggerated.”
Marketers’ confidence in calculating the lifetime value (LTV) of each individual email address also rose sharply over the past year, with nearly twice as many organisations able to calculate these figures now (41%) than before the new rules came into force (21%). The estimated LTV for each email also increased in 2018 to £37.32.
Dotdigital chief marketing officer Phil Draper said: “What struck me most in this year’s figures is that email ROI has shot up from £32 to £42 – email’s return on investment is undeniable. As such, marketers are measuring ROI more than ever before; many are able to access the tools they need to quantify the impact of email. Moreover, marketers may have benefited from better quality email addresses in their arsenal, post GDPR.”
DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri concluded: “The good news for proponents of email marketing is that ROI is increasing; marketers are predicting an increase in investment in the channel; they’re also bullish about their ability to measure its effectiveness and their overall competence in the discipline of email marketing.”
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