Marketing Insight Report 2011 shows email remains essential tool

“Email remains an essential part of the marketing mix”. This statement is based on the 2011 Email Marketing Insight Report published yesterday by email software provider Newsweaver in conjunction with the Marketing Institute of Ireland. The report also reveals that over three quarters (84%) of Irish marketers believe email is either “important” or “very important” to their overall marketing strategy.

“We are delighted to once again collaborate with the Marketing Institute on this report and see that email remains still a “very important” or “important” part of the marketing strategy” said Andrew O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Newsweaver. “We are also encouraged to see Irish marketer’s use of email has become more advanced, evidenced by the increase in outsourced solutions to create, deploy and measure results of email campaigns”.

The report which is in its third year highlights that like other years, email continues to be used by marketers to “maintain customer relationships, build brand awareness and increase website traffic”. However, since 2009 there has been a slight increase in the number (10%) using it to drive online sales; “this reflects a growing sophistication in the market” O’Shaughnessy advises.

The research also highlights that while the figure is down from previous years, a large proportion of marketers (30%) are still using desktop solutions such as Outlook instead of specialist email-marketing systems to run their email marketing campaigns. “Whilst desktop solutions meet the basic needs of an email campaign, they don’t allow for tracking, segmentation or personalization; missing the real power of email” commented Andrew O’Shaughnessy. This is borne out of the rest of the findings which showed that like previous years, Irish marketers are still only using the minimum personalization – 40% personalize only by name and 31% do not personalize at all.

For the first year ever, the report took into account Irish marketer’s use of social media in their email campaigns and found that there is almost a perfect divide between those using social media in email (51%) and does that do not (49%). O’Shaughnessy advises that while “social media is an exciting development; many are unsure how to market their products and services in these new channels. Many look at campaigns as either email or social when the real power is social and email working together”.

Promising results from the report found that the vast majority (88%) said their expenditure would either “increase” or “stay the same”. There was also a drop in the number of marketers who said their budgets would decrease, suggesting that despite current tough economic circumstance, marketers trust the ROI potential of email marketing. “This report will give Irish Marketers valuable information about the techniques, trends and attitudes towards email marketing in Ireland and will hopefully give readers the inspiration to invigorate their own email marketing strategy” said Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of The Marketing Institute of Ireland.

Other interesting results from the report include:

  • A 16% increase in the level of importance B2C place on email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy
  • 48% of marketers do not expect their organisation’s expenditure on email to change in the next 12 months.
  • Links to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the number one use of social media in email marketing.
  • As with previous years “inbox overload” and “spam” remain the biggest challenge perceived by respondents for email marketing, closely followed by “deliverability” and “unwillingness of people to opt in to new email lists”.
  • In both B2B and B2C there is a significant increase in the number of organisations using outsourced solutions.
  • The majority of B2C respondents had open rates in the 10-30% rate, while B2B respondents showed open rates of 31-51+ %.

To support the research, Newsweaver will this year host an interactive webinar presented by Newsweaver lead consultant Denise Cox. During the 30 minutes webinar Denise will review how Irish marketers are using email in 2011 and offer tips and takeaways as to how they can improve their email marketing efforts.