Which Email Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns Do Marketers Find Most Effective?

January 9, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits | Digital | Email | Marketing Budgets | Mobile Phone | Return on Investment | Tablet

ExactTarget-Email-Lifecycle-Marketing-Campaign-Success-Ratings-Jan2014Email marketing is far from dead, according to ExactTarget’s 2014 State of Marketing [download page] report. Instead, 68% of respondents to the survey say that email marketing is core to their business; by comparison, 46% say the same about social. With 88% of respondents saying that email currently – or eventually will – produce ROI, email is set for a spending increase. As part of the study, marketers assessed the effectiveness of the various email lifecycle marketing campaigns they engage in.

Among the 15 campaign types listed, users rated the following 5 as their top-performing:

  • Loyalty, with 47% rating its effectiveness as excellent or very good;
  • Birthday (43%);
  • Welcome series (42%);
  • Abandoned cart (42%); and
  • Browse retargeting (42%).

It’s interesting to see birthday emails rated so highly; a recent survey from Fulcrum Marketing found that 3 in 4 consumers feel more positively about companies that send them birthday greetings, and that almost 9 in 10 recipients of birthday wishes report increased brand loyalty.

Returning to the ExactTarget survey, two lifecycle campaigns stand out as being more ineffective than the others: marketers appear significantly less enthused with win-back and reengagement campaigns, with more users rating the success of those campaigns as fair or poor than very good or excellent.

As often is the case with research that examines both usage – and perceived effectiveness – of marketing tactics, the most commonly-used ones aren’t always seen as the most effective. In this study, newsletter (66%), promotional (61%) and web opt-in (54%) emerged as the most popular lifecycle campaigns; neither of those types were in the top 5 by effectiveness. Conversely, some of the most highly-rated campaigns, such as birthday, abandoned cart, and browse retargeting, are only currently used by less than one-quarter of respondents.

Of note, when asked their top lifecycle marketing challenges, more respondents pointed to increasing subscriber engagement and revenue (65%) than to acquiring new subscribers (58%). That order of preference was also found in a recent survey from StrongView, which examined email marketers’ top initiatives this year.

Other Findings:

  • Although many research sources are now saying that most mobile opens occur on a mobile device, only one-quarter of the ExactTarget survey respondents said that their emails are opened on a mobile device more than half the time.
  • 4 in 10 respondents said they use mobile responsive design in emails always (22%) or often (19%).

About the Data: The 2014 State of Marketing survey was conducted online from October 24, 2013, until November 1, 2013. The survey was sent to more than 48,000 marketing professionals and a total of 2,651 marketers started the survey, with 1,959 surveys completed (74% completion rate).

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