According to Econsultancys Email Marketing Platforms Buyers Guide 2010, email marketing continues to flourish because it is highly cost-effective, and more accountable and measurable than many other areas of marketing. Email marketing provides high return-on-investment at a relatively low cost.
Econsultancys Research Manager Aliya Zaidi said: Marketers have become more strategic in their approach to email marketing, with the channel being used to foster long-term relationships with customers, rather than just for short-term quick wins. Email marketers are moving away from email as an acquisition tool, to focus on retention and increase customer lifetime value.
Another trend is the increased understanding of the need to integrate email with other types of data. Within a multichannel world, email is becoming a more strategic tool for building customer relationships.
Econsultancys valuation includes revenue earned by email service providers (ESPs), money spent on agency services (in addition to ESP revenues), and the cost of internal staff resources relating specifically to email.
The research has found that the rise of social media, in particular the increasing popularity of social networking, has not had a negative impact on the email marketing sector.
Zaidi added: The evidence shows that social media and email activity complement each other. The ability to distribute and share content is built into email, and this supports social media activity. Many email service providers are now offering services and technology related to social media.
Apart from basic broadcast of email, services relating to marketing offered by email service providers and agencies include: measurement and analytics, personalisation, segmentation, automated campaigns, campaign optimisation, email data provision, strategy and planning, design and copywriting, dynamic content solutions and behavioural response marketing.
Publication of the buyers guide follows the Econsultancy / Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2010 released earlier this year which found that companies are spending 17% of their digital marketing budgets on email marketing. This compares to 14% in 2009, a significant increase.
Looking at spending in real terms, the census found that the proportion of companies spending at least 10,000 a year on email marketing now stands at 51%, while 11% of companies surveyed are spending at least 100,000 a year on email marketing.
Key market trends in 2010
Email becomes more strategic as market matures
Social media provide fresh opportunities for growth
Integration of multichannel data holds key to personalisation
Increased demand for training and education
More relevance and engagement to reduce inbox clutter