Marketers say that email return on investment (ROI) has has risen significantly since the arrival of GDPR, according to new research.
The DMA says its findings suggest that marketers now feel broadly positive about the new laws – and estimate that ROI for every pound spent on email reached £42.24 in 2018, up from £32.38 in 2017.
The Marketer Email Tracker 2019 report, from the DMA, found that email remained the most important channels for marketers, with 91% rating it as important. Most (56%) say that GDPR, introduced last in May 2018, has had a positive impact on their email campaigns, while only 20% believe its effect has been negative. Most also reported higher email open rates (74%) and click through rates (75%) over the last year, while some saw a fall in opt-out rates (41%) and spam complaints (55%) in comparison to previous years.
Marcus Gearey, chair of the DMA Email Council’s research hub, who is also analytics manager at Zeta Global, said: “Before the GDPR’s implementation something not unlike panic had set in amongst many. Was legitimate interest or informed consent the best strategy - or both? Would marketing lists be decimated or would a new era of opted-in consumers show those lists to be largely chaff in the first place? Less than a year into the new regime, marketers appear to have transitioned from wary to hopeful. Perhaps this will change when the ICO make their first big prosecution under the new legislation, but the disaster it was sometimes pitched as a precursor to, looks to have been wildly exaggerated.”
The research also suggests that many marketers are now confident that their organisation can measure ROI (62%) - and they put that figure at £42.24 in 2018, up from £32.38 in 2017, before GDPR was introduced. The estimated lifetime value of each email rose to £37.32 in 2018 research.
“Despite the challenges the GDPR have posed to those of us working in the data and marketing industry, it’s positive to see that sentiment towards the changes is already broadly positive,” said Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the DMA. "The good news for proponents of email marketing is that ROI is increasing; marketers are predicting an increase in investment in the channel; they’re also bullish about their ability to measure its effectiveness and their overall competence in the discipline of email marketing."