Marketers say that email remains central to their campaigns, according to new research that also suggests factors from resources to strategy and GDPR may hold them back from using it most effectively.
The DMA (Direct Marketing Association)’s Marketer Email Tracker 2018 found that 86% of respondents said email was important or very important to them, and that return on investment had reached £32.28 for every pound spent. That’s up from £30.03 the previous year. But email marketing efforts are being held back by factors including a lack of internal resource (39%), limited budgets (24%), inefficient internal processes (23%), a lack of data (23%) and strategy (22%).
Skip Fidura, strategy and insight director at dotmailer and chair of the DMA’s responsible marketing committee, said: “Like consumers, marketers still love email and we love it because it works. All the standard process metrics, open rates, click rates and most importantly conversion rates are up. This is in turn driving up ROI.”
Another barrier may be the lack of email testing, with a surprising one in five (19%) of marketers say their organisation has no competence at all, with a further 15% saying they don’t conduct any tests on the emails they send to customers – almost double the 8% last year.
GDPR appears to pose a challenge for marketers, with 36% feeling positive and 43% feeling negative about the new regulations, which come into force next month. Most (72%) email marketers say they are at least somewhat prepared.
Rachel Aldighieri, managing director at the DMA, said the new legislation presented both challenges and opportunities. “By placing the customer at the heart of your business, we can ensure consumers receive the timely and relevant communications they crave," she said. "In doing this, marketers will be able to go beyond simply adhering to the new rules and engage customers in an honest and transparent way. Enabling them to foster long-term relationships and increased loyalty, creating an environment where both the business and customer can benefit.”