Email Marketers Looking to Increase Use of Analytics, Integrate Social Channels

September 20, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Email | Social Media

Email marketers are focusing on greater use of analytics in order to optimize their communications, with 37% naming this a top 5 priority for improving their email programs this year, according to [download page] a Return Path report released in September 2012, conducted by The Relevancy Group. 37% also said the same about integrating their email marketing into social channels and converting social fans and followers. Other priorities include improving email inbox delivery and placement of messages, improving transactional email messaging capabilities, improving segmentation and targeting, and increasing relevancy with dynamic email content (each at 35%).

A March 2012 report from Econsultancy and Adestra found that only 9% of company marketers surveyed believed that their company’s email activity and social media marketing were well integrated.

Optimization, Analysis Present Challenges

Marketers’ focus on analytics makes sense given that they are finding challenges in optimizing their email marketing. 26% of respondents to the Return Path survey said that knowing how to optimize their marketing was a top 10 email marketing challenge, while 24% cited campaign results analysis as a top 10 challenge. Other challenges cited included creative content development (21%), managing frequency across all channels (20%), list turnover (churning subscribers – 20%), and benchmarking email performance to peers (20%).

19% said that the lack of a demonstrated email ROI was a top-10 challenge.

Staffing Holding Back Measurement and Analysis

Return Path’s “The Email Marketing Measurement Imperative” finds that 1 in 5 respondents say that lacking the staff to dedicate to intelligence is a real paint point inhibiting their email marketing measurement and analysis. Another 47% described this as somewhat challenging.

Similarly, budgets are keeping marketers from making email measurement and analysis a priority: 19% describe budget limitations as a pain point, and an additional 47% say it is somewhat challenging.

Interestingly, many respondents said that they are focused on social media marketing because their email ROI is solid, with 10% saying this is a real pain point holding back email marketing analysis, and a further 55% saying this is somewhat challenging their focus on email metrics. A February 2012 report from Econsultancy and the Email Experience Council revealed that three-quarters of US organizations believe that competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention is either “very challenging” or “somewhat challenging” to their future success in email.

About the Data: The Return Path report describes the following methodology:

“The survey was conducted in August 2012 by The Relevancy Group using an online panel of marketing executives. Survey respondents were qualified based on their knowledge of and participation in their organizations’ email marketing efforts. The survey screened out executives who were unfamiliar with their organizations’ email marketing efforts as well as organizations with fewer than 10,000 customer records. The data set features a balance of business-to-consumer and business-to-business senders. The survey included randomization and skip ordering to ensure that the results and answers were normalized. The survey also focused on respondents in the retail, travel, financial services and the media/publishing industries. Quotas were used to ensure that there were at least 35 or more respondents in each of these industries. The balance of the respondents included a random collection of other industries. This survey and panel comply with ESOMAR codes and guidelines. Panels are recruited by email and online marketing with over 300 diverse online affiliate partners and targeted website advertising. The Relevancy Group employs a “by-invitation-only” recruitment methodology to invite pre-validated individuals to participate in these panels.”

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