Email remains the top ROI channel for marketers, with 68% of companies rating it “good” or “excellent” in terms of return on investment, according to a new Econsultancy report. However, marketers are spending just 16% of their budgets on email.
Econsultancy surveyed over 1100 marketers in January, 2014. Fifty-four percent of respondents were from small to mid-sized businesses with under $10 million in annual revenue, 32% of those from small businesses with under $1 million. The chart above illustrates their answers to the question, “How do you rate the following channels in terms of return on investment?”
As you can see, marketers are almost equally satisfied with their ROI for both email marketing and SEO (search engine optimization).
Social media, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing and online display advertising were all neck-and-neck for the least satisfactory channels in terms of ROI. Content marketing, though the new(ish) kid on the block, is still in the top 3 channels for marketers’ satisfaction with ROI.
Stop Listening to Email Naysayers
In their announcement, Econsultancy prominently featured a large screencap of search results on the term “email is dead.” Indeed, everyone from AdWeek to Huffington Post to PCMag has hammered on the “email is dead” drum recently, though in fairness, some were only trying to jump on the hot search trend and don’t believe it themselves.
There are some who do believe it though, and want to convince you of the same. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, for one, is on a mission to convince the world we’ve reached “peak email” and it’s all downhill from here. Sorry, but people have been declaring email dead for over a decade and it’s still going strong.
The truth is, marketers who thought they had to choose between email and social media marketing have realized (or very shortly will realize) it’s not an either/or issue. With Facebook’s organic reach spiraling downward, consumers craving custom content and marketers struggling to connect with social audiences in meaningful ways, email is more important than ever.
Ninety-one percent of consumers check their email every day; so long as that’s the method of communication they prefer, it’s not going anywhere.
Last year, email marketing was the third overall lead generation source for marketers, producing 13% of all leads. Econsultancy found in this latest report that on average, companies attribute 23% of their total sales to email marketing, compared to 18% in 2013. Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents attribute 30% or more of their sales to email marketing, up from 18% two years ago.
Email is not dead. Don’t buy into the clickbait headlines. It’s not on life support, or flailing, or even in danger – but your online marketing strategy may be if you choose to ignore it.
The Email Marketing Industry Census report is available (for sale) on the Econsultancy website.
Headstone image credit: SXC.hu