It's never too early to start planning for 2010. MarketingSherpa's newly released benchmark study on e-mail marketing reveals the changing environment for business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-mail marketing professionals. Understanding how your peers utilize and perceive e-mail today will help you to generate better results from your current campaigns in the future.
What stands out the most in MarketingSherpa's study? The accuracy of Website Magazine's feature story for November on the future of email marketing.
Past E-Mail Marketing Challenges Will Increase In Importance: Far and away, the greatest challenge for e-mail marketers continues to be delivering highly-relevant e-mail content to recipients. Competing with social media for recipients' time and attention however, now presents a significant challenge as well. Fortunately, e-mail deliverability seems to be less of an issue perhaps to the efforts taken by ISPs - bringing the topic to greater attention with marketers. Presenting greater challenges this year than last include 1) measuring and proving the ROI of e-mail marketing programs, getting people to opt-in to e-mail lists, and the integration of databases with e-mail systems.
E-Mail Marketing Budgets Increased in 2009: The effectiveness of e-mail as a marketing tactic can't be denied - and we look to budgets as the ultimate indicator. According to MarketingSherpa, a much larger percentage of organizations increased their e-mail marketing budgets this year than decreased them.
Greater Challenges Result In Bigger Payoffs: Nobody said your career as an Internet professional would be easy. The study revealed that the tactics more challenging to implement resulted in greater payoffs. For example, while including ads in third-party newsletters or sharing e-mail on social networks requires little effort, the level of effectiveness is low, whereas sending e-mail to house lists and delivering relevant content to segmented lists are complicated but highly effective.
Social Media Helps, Not Hurts, E-Mail Marketers: According to the study, about eight in 10 marketers agreed that social sharing, an e-mail tactic that allows e-mail recipients to share email content on social networks and social media sites, "extends the reach of e-mail content to new marketers" and "increases brand reputation and awareness." Not everything is sunshine in the universe of e-mail marketers when it comes to social sharing; 47 percent are unsure or disagree that social sharing increases the ROI of e-mail programs, 53 percent are unsure or disagree that social sharing accelerates the growth of e-mail lists, and 60 percent are unsure or disagree that it generates more qualified leads.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.