3 in 4 US Orgs Say Social Media Poses Challenge to Email

February 6, 2012

econsultancy-dma-email-challenges.jpg75% of US organizations say that competition with social media for recipients’ time and attention is either “very challenging” or “somewhat challenging” to their future success in email, according to [download page] a report released in February 2012 by Econsultancy in partnership with the Email Experience Council of the Direct Marketing Association. Other challenges to email’s success include young people abandoning email as their primary channel (69%), getting the deserved budget and attention (65%), and integrating email with other marketing channels (61%).

Despite these challenges, 60% of agencies say that their clients’ use of email marketing is growing.

7 in 10 Using Social Sharing Icons

econsultancy-socialemail-integration.jpgData from Econsultancy’s “2012: Email in Action” indicates that 69% of marketers are including social sharing icons in emails, while a further 13% have a plan in place to do so. The remaining 18% not including sharing icons or planning to do so may want to look at analysis released in January 2012 by GetReponse, which examined more than 2 billion emails sent by its clients, and found that emails that include social sharing buttons have a click-through rate 115% higher than those do not (5.6% vs. 2.6%).

Meanwhile, the Econsultancy report notes that the majority of organizations are creating content that is unique to email and social channels, although less than one-quarter have incentives in social channels to subscribe to their email programs.

According to a December 2011 study conducted by StrongMail in conjunction with Zoomerang, when asked what channels they are planning to integrate email with in 2012, two-thirds of business leaders cited social media marketing, beating out mobile (44%), search (17%), and display (14%).

Marketers Lacking Testing, Metrics Sophistication

Econsultancy insight suggests that while most marketers are performing standard campaign level tests such as subject lines (71%) and offers/calls to action (67%), the adoption of opportunities that require more data and more tests, such as send time/day of week (56%), landing pages (53%), and from lines (43%) is less widespread.

Similarly, while marketers are measuring standard metrics such as open rate (90%), click-through rate (89%), and deliverability rate (78%), less are looking at conversion rate by marketing channel (57%) and clickstream data from email clicks (29%).

And although 63% track email marketing ROI, only 39% track revenue per email and just 26% examine the customer lifetime value of email recipients.

ESPs Get Bulk of Budget

Marketers devote the largest portion of their budget to their email service provider (31%), followed by content creation (19%), although that is a larger spend for B2B than B2C marketers (22% vs. 14%). Spending on an agency for creative and/or strategic service makes up on average 12% of the budget distribution, led by consumer marketers (15%). Lists represent 14% of marketers’ budgets, with B2C and B2B marketers relatively on par in this category.

About the Data: The Econsultancy/DMA results are based on a survey of 469 North American email marketing experts, including 239 organizations.

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