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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Email Marketing Insight

2013

A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Contents

Introduction

2

Foreword by Tom Trainor Introduction by Marie Moynihan Executive summary

2 3 4

Section 1 – About the Organisations

5

About the organisation Budgets allocated to email Expected change in expenditure Where email budgets will come from

5 8 8 9

Section 2 – Use of Email by Irish Marketers

10

Importance of email in the marketing strategy What marketers use email for Email systems marketers are using Frequency of email campaigns Email database sizes Tactics used to grow subscriber lists

10 10 11 12 12 13

Section 3 – Email Benchmarks

14

Email metrics being tracked Average open rates Average click-through rates Use of personalisation in email marketing

14 15 15 16

Section 4 – Social Media and Email Marketing

17

Methods of social media integration Effectiveness of social media integration

17 18

Section 5 - Future Perceptions of Email Marketing

19

Future challenges facing email marketing Future opportunities facing email marketing

19 20

Section 6 - Thank You

21

Thank You

21

1


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Introduction

Foreword by Tom Trainor For the fifth year the Marketing Institute, in partnership with Newsweaver, has produced a significant report on Email Marketing. At the Institute we focus on delivering insights and expert content to our members that promotes and supports marketing as a key strategic business tool. The report is an important benchmark and gives valuable insights to marketers in planning and creating their email campaigns. The survey represents the views of business professionals over a cross section of industry type and sizes and includes those working in both B2B and B2C sectors. Email continues to be an indispensable channel for Irish marketers, enabling them to sustain relationships with their core audiences. Email remains a strong, trustworthy channel for marketers to engage with their customers, build brand awareness and increase website traffic. As marketers see the ROI in their email marketing campaigns their email marketing has expanded to include both customer retention and lead nurturing. This year’s results show a strong move to integration of email and social media. It reflects the position of Irish marketers adopting the fast paced digital changes and a greater awareness of the value of measurement. Email marketing has evolved and developed to become more sophisticated as Irish marketers include personalisation, segmentation and content targeting in their email campaigns. The impact of the rise in mobile is reflected with over half of the respondents’ still viewing mobile optimisation as an opportunity. Irish marketers are reacting to the rapid changes in device technology and email marketing offers exciting challenges and opportunities to businesses in the future.

Tom Trainor Chief Executive The Marketing Institute

2


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Introduction

Introduction by Marie Moynihan We are delighted to work once again with the Marketing Institute on the fifth annual Email Marketing Insight report. The report will be of interest to marketers who’d like to gain insight into the emerging trends and attitudes towards email marketing in Ireland. Once again, email marketing is an essential channel within the marketing mix. What we are seeing is a continued move from very basic email marketing tools to more sophisticated cloud-based software that can take advantage of advances in digital marketing such as the embedding of videos. It is no surprise that the result of this is a notable increase in the uptake in implementation of advanced email marketing techniques, including personalisation beyond the use of name and salutation. More complex segmentation of databases is also a real growth area within organisations as marketers see the increased ROI in any segmentation. This year social integration into email can be considered a given with marketers –the most common activity being driving subscribers to social channels. Mobile optimisation trends very strongly this year, with fifty-five per cent seeing it as an opportunity they must address in the next twelve months. As part of the growing trend towards personalisation and segmentation, it is no surprise to see that over sixty-two per cent say that targeted content holds the biggest opportunity for email success in 2014.

Marie Moynihan Marketing Manager Newsweaver

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Introduction

Executive Summary

In line with 2012, the popularity of email remains strong amongst marketers with over 80% describing email as either important or very important component of their overall marketing strategy. This reaffirms last year’s results, which at the time indicated a significant jump in the importance of email within the marketing mix. The cornerstone of any successful business is building brand awareness and maintaining customer relationships. With the majority of respondents citing email as a vital tool for maintaining these relationships, there is continued faith and trust in the power of the inbox. It is apparent that there are challenges for marketers in their use of email with swamped inboxes and spam eroding trust in email; however research is showing these issues are less prevalent among respondents that use advanced web based email tools for their sends. It is also apparent that companies with larger marketing departments and larger databases are less likely to use personalisation in their emails which might point to the challenges that exist in maintaining customer records. Furthermore, we have seen a significant rise in the use of targeted content in emails which presents opportunities for marketers, and with the ever-increasing penetration of mobile and tablet devices, unsurprisingly marketers have indicated ‘mobile email’ as another opportunity for success in the future.

Highlights: Customers use email marketing primarily for building brand awareness, maintaining customer relations and increasing website traffic. •

The number of companies who have 10+ full time marketing personnel has increased by 12% in 2013. •

Social integration is now an established part of email marketing with Facebook and Linkedin the most effective networks being integrated. •

There is an increase in the respondents using Cloud-based email marketing software and a decrease in the use of existing desktop solutions for email marketing. •

There has been an increase in the use of dynamic content for personalisation in 2013.

Open rates and Click-through rates remain the most popular metrics tracked. •

62% of respondents felt that targeted content holds the biggest opportunity for email success in 2014. Mobile optimisation (55%) is still seen as an opportunity.

4


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

About the Organisations

About the Research This is the fifth year of the survey which aims to identify trends and behaviours in the use of email marketing in Ireland. The research was conducted through an online survey sent to over 3000 marketers. 340 business professionals completed this year’s survey ranging from sales and marketing executives to company CEOs and owners of small, medium and large organisations. A cross section of industry type and sizes are represented and include those working in both B2B and B2C sectors.

Q

What is your job title?

Marketing Manager

Marketing Director

20%

32% CEO/ Business Owner

17% 14%

9%

8%

Marketing Executive

Other

Sales Manager Marketing Managers make up the majority of the survey participants, followed by Marketing Director and CEO/Business Owner.

5


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

About the Organisations

Which industry sector is your organisation in?

Real Estate

1%

Utilities

1%

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing

1%

Construction

1%

Energy

1%

Government

2%

Legal

2%

Non profit/Trade association

2%

Wholesale/distribution

2%

Arts/Entertainment/Recreation

3%

Hospitality

3%

Manufacturing

3%

Transportation/Travel

3%

Retail

4%

Pharmaceutical/Medical/Healthcare

5%

Consulting

5% 11%

Education/Training

12%

IT/Telecommunications

17%

Banking/Finance/Insurance

20%

Marketing/Media/Publishing/Advertising 0.0%

5.0%

10.0%

15.0%

20.0%

Marketing/Media/Publishing/Advertising make up the majority of respondents followed by Banking/Finance/Insurance and IT/Telecomms which remains consistent from previous years.

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

About the Organisations

Which of the following best describes your organisation’s marketing audience?

B2B and B2C

40% 36%

B2B

24%

B2C

40% operate in a B2B and B2C market, 36% in a B2B market and 24% in a B2C market.

Q

How many marketing personnel are there in your organisation?

In order to assess the scale of organisations participating in this year’s survey, we asked respondents to indicate how many marketing staff are employed in their business.

1 part-time person

1 full-time person

20%

31%

2-4 full-time people

21%

10+ full-time people

0.0%

This highlights the continuous growing positive trend in employment figures year on year.

12%

5-10 full-time people

don't know

In comparison to 2012 there was a significant increase (12%) in the number of companies with 10+ full time personnel, an increase in 2-4 full time (4%) and 5-10 full time personnel (1%)

13%

3% 5.0%

10.0%

15.0%

20.0%

25.0%

30.0%

35.0%

7


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

About the Organisations

What percentage of your marketing budget do you allocate to email marketing?

As with 2012 the majority of respondents spend less than 5% on email marketing. It is encouraging to see that 10-20% has increased by 2% from 2012; this may explain the increase in building brand awareness as a use for email marketing campaigns. 41%

0-5%

23%

5-10%

10-20%

11%

6%

20-50%

50%+

2%

18%

Don't know

Q

How do you expect your organisation’s expenditure on email to change in the next 12 months?

83% of respondents state that their budgets will increase or stay the same this year. Marketers are seeing the ROI in their email marketing campaigns. As email marketing expands to include both customer retention and lead nurturing, marketers are increasing budget to run more sophisticated campaigns around personalisation, segmentation and content targeting.

Stay the same

44% 39% 13%

Increase

5%

Don’t know

Decrease

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

About the Organisations

Where do you expect this increase in budget to come from?

SMS/Mobile budget

1%

TV/radio/cinema budget

2%

Telemarketing budget

2%

Field marketing budget

3% 11%

Social Media budget Print/press advertising budget

13% 15%

Don't know

18%

Direct mail budget New budget 0.0%

37% 5.0%

10.0%

15.0%

20.0%

25.0%

30.0%

35.0%

40.0%

Of those who state that their budget will increase, 37% say it will come from New budget allocation and 18% say it will come from Direct Mail budget. Upon cross analysis between B2B and B2C companies it is interesting to note that B2B state New budget as their source and B2C state Direct Mail budget.

9


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

Use of Email by Irish Marketers

How important is email as part of your overall marketing strategy?

The overwhelming majority of respondents 80% state that email continues to be very important (36%) or an important (44%) part of their marketing strategy.

36%

Very important

Important

44%

11%

Not sure

Not important

0.0%

Q

9%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

Which of the following do you use email marketing for within your organisation?

There is a slight shift in the use of email marketing from customer retention to building brand awareness; this indicates more of an emphasis on lead generation this year. We added the option of driving activity to social channels in this year’s survey and saw that 69% are connecting their social media accounts into their email marketing campaigns. Always

Sometimes

Never

Building brand awareness

47%

40%

13%

Increasing website traffic

38%

46%

16%

Driving activity to social channels

20%

49%

31%

Driving direct online sales

25%

29%

46%

Driving offline sales

37%

40%

23%

Customer retention

46%

40%

14%

Generating new sales leads

35%

46%

19%

Communicating with employees & stakeholders

37%

38%

25%

0.0%

20.0%

40.0%

60.0%

80.0%

100.0%

10


A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

Use of Email by Irish Marketers

What email marketing solution are you currently using?

We are seeing that there is an absolute move to Cloud-based email marketing software (41%). There is also a year on year decrease in desktop solutions as marketers are recognising the limitations of the solution they have and recognise the advanced technology that Cloud-based software offers such as personalisation, measurement and targeted content.

Existing desktop solution (Outlook, Lotus Notes etc)

24%

Cloud-based email marketing software

41%

In-house custom built system

15%

12%

Outsourced to an agency

Don't know

0.0%

8%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

Use of Email by Irish Marketers

On average, how often do you conduct email marketing campaigns? Daily

3%

Weekly

22%

Monthly

44%

18%

Quarterly

Twice a year

Once a year

0.0%

7%

6% 10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

Monthly (44%) and Weekly (22%) are the most popular frequency of send.

Q

What is the approximate size of your email database?

As with 2012 survey the majority of respondents have a database of less than 5000 email addresses. 60.0%

50.0%

40.0%

30.0%

20.0%

10.0%

0

<5k

5-25k

25-100k

100-250k

250k+

Don't know

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

Use of Email by Irish Marketers

How effective do you find these tactics in growing your email subscriber mailing list?

What’s interesting here is the most used tactics are not always the most effective. No matter what tactic you’re using the first step should be to create a powerful sign up form that incites subscribes. Then ensure the form is on the website, in the newsletter and on social media. From there, marketers are in a good position to test incentives and competitions.

Good

Excellent

Website registration 17%

33%

46%

37%

21%

27%

Facebook registration 7%

27%

22%

Incentive to forward to a friend 5%

39% 28%

46%

39%

23%

28%

Paid search 11%

16%

26%

33%

31%

Partnership programs 11%

22%

25%

29%

Competitions 25%

55%

28% 20.0%

13% 12%

33%

45%

Call-to-actions at online events 11%

15%

36%

Registration during purchase 29%

8% 11%

36%

40%

Call-to-actions at offline events 9%

0.0%

Poor

43%

Links on social platforms 7%

List rental 1%

Fair

40.0%

60.0%

80.0%

100.0%

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A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Email Benchmarks

What email metrics do you regularly track?

Social activity

18%

Click-to-open rate

34%

Delivery rate

40%

Conversion rate

41%

Bounce rate

50% 58%

Unsubscribe rate Open rate

77%

Click-through rate

78%

Don't know

13%

0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

70.0%

80.0%

Click-through rates (72%) and open rates (69%) are the top tracked metrics. Less people Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Know this year which indicates that there is an increase in the correct software being used.

Q

What do you view as the most important metric that you measure?

Open & Click-through rates are still the most important metrics, it is very positive to see an increase in conversion rates to track as we are now looking at ROI across the entire campaign.

Unsubscribe rate Delivery rate Social activity

1% 2% 4%

Click-to-open rate

7%

Conversion rate

22%

Open rate

31%

Click-through rate 0.0%

33% 5.0%

10.0%

15.0%

20.0%

25.0%

30.0%

35.0%

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A research project into Irish marketers’ use of email 2013

Q

Email Benchmarks

On average, what overall open rates do you get from your mailings? 11%

0-10%

26%

21-30%

Subject lines can play a big part on your open rate.

24%

31-40%

41-50%

Use A/B Split testing to test different subject lines on sample users. The subject line which gets the most opens will be sent to the rest of your list.

5%

51+%

0.0%

Top Tip from Newsweaver

25%

11-20%

9% 10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

Irish Marketers have become more effective with measuring their email marketing campaigns.

Q

On average, what overall click-through rates do you get from your mailings?

26%

3-5% 17%

6-10%

You should decide whether your email should come from your brand, your company, or the name of an individual (e.g. an Account Manager).

20%

11-15%

13%

16-20%

12%

21%+ 0.0%

The ‘From’ field can have an enormous impact on your open rate.

12%

0-2%

Top Tip from Newsweaver

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

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A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Email Benchmarks

On average, what level of personalisation do you use in your email marketing?

There was an increase of 15% in the number of respondents who personalise by targeted content for specific users; this is most likely the reason for the decrease in personalising by name (-11%) and those who do not personalise at all (-4%). Name only

More than name

26%

32% Targeted content for specific users

23%

12%

No personalisation

7%

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know

Q

Please indicate what area you use for personalisation?

The easiest personalisation elements; name (69%) salutation (49%) subject line (48%) and company name (43%) are the most popular areas of personalisation. What is surprising and encouraging to see is that more sophisticated areas such as content (38%) is seeing an increase in use. Behaviour Geolocation

4% 6%

Demographic

9%

Subscriber preferences

9% 13%

Custom data fields

14%

Personal or company address

20%

Professional title/role

21%

Welcome message

23%

Relationship Product and services

35% 38%

Content

39%

From address

43%

Company name

48%

Subject line

49%

Salutation

69%

Name 0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

70.0%

80.0%

16


A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Social Media and Email Marketing

How do you integrate social media in to your emails?

In 2012 there was a 60/40 split between the respondents that use social media in their email marketing campaigns and those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this year a staggering 91% of respondents are using social media. With the main networks unsurprisingly being Facebook (59%) Twitter (58%) and Linkedin (47%).

+1 feature Comment feature Like feature

2% 6% 10%

Google+

13%

Do not use social media

20%

YouTube

20%

LinkedIn

47%

Twitter

58%

Facebook

59%

0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

60.0%

17


A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Social Media and Email Marketing

What do you find to be the most effective?

Mirroring how marketers integrate social media in their email marketing campaigns, Facebook (40%) Linkedin (35%) and Twitter (17%) are deemed the most effective respectively.

Like feature

Google+

YouTube

1%

2%

5%

Twitter

17%

LinkedIn

35%

Facebook

40%

On cross analysis B2C companies find Facebook most effective while B2B find Linkedin to be.

B2C

B2B

8% Facebook 32%

45% LinkedIn 5%

13% Twitter 4% 0.0%

10.0%

20.0%

30.0%

40.0%

50.0%

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A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Future Perceptions of Email Marketing

What do you perceive to be the biggest challenges for email marketing in 2013/2014?

As with 2012 swamped inboxes is perceived as the biggest challenge (64%). Spam email (41%) and the unwillingness to opt-in (39%) are two other prominent challenges. The DMA 2013 Email Tracking Report finds that while marketers worry about inbox clutter and spam, and keeping up with advances in web-based filter technology such as Gmail tabs, what actually motivates people to open emails hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed. If they trust a brand and it consistently gives them value, they will find your content or make that purchase.

There is a lack of accountability/measurement

9%

Deliverability is becoming more difficult

19%

A lack of customer data is holding back email effectiveness

19%

Email doesn't get the attention/budget it deserves It is difficult to do effective email creative due to image blocking Unwillingness of people to opt-in to new email lists is increasing Spam is eroding trust in email Recipients' inboxes are swamped and all email suffers

23% 25% 39% 41% 64%

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A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Q

Future Perceptions of Email Marketing

What do you perceive as the biggest opportunities for email success in 2013/2014?

The decrease in integrating social networks as an opportunity mirrors the increase in respondents implementing it in their email marketing campaigns. The two main opportunities are Targeted content (62%) and Mobile optimisation (55%) It is encouraging to see Targeted content as an opportunity as it gives us an insight into Marketers becoming increasingly more sophisticated in the email marketing campaigns. Rather than a one size fits all content they are concentrating on sending more timely and relevant content and focusing on standing out in the inbox. The strong presence of mobile optimization as an opportunity suggests that it is still not being utilized. Mobile email is definitely a growing trend. But most consumers are still viewing emails on a variety of devices, depending where they are when receiving the emails.

A/B split testing Triggered emails Use of infographics Integration with social networks Use of video

16% 20% 23% 31% 33%

Mobile optimisation Targeted content

55% 62%

Top Tip from Newsweaver Before rushing into discussions on mobile design matters Marketers should start measuring how subscribers on their mailing list are consuming their emails. While going through this process, they should ensure emails they are currently sending render well on the most commonly used desktops, tablets and smart phones.

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A research project into Irish marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; use of email 2013

Thank You

Newsweaver in conjunction with the Marketing Institute would like to thank everyone who participated in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Email Marketing Insight Report. If you have any questions about the report, please contact: Newsweaver on email: info@newsweaver.com OR The Marketing Institute on email: info@mii.ie

Based in Ireland Newsweaver is an award-winning email communications software provider that helps over 4,000 users in 96 countries worldwide deliver relevant, targeted and engaging communications. Newsweaver clients range from large multinationals and government agencies to SMEs, charities and associations across the globe, and include Saudi Aramco, Shell, Zurich Insurance, Royal Mail, Aon Hewitt, Aviva, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), KBC Bank, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Sky, G4S and ACCA.

The Marketing Institute is the professional body for Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marketing people, in operation for over 50 years, and it envisions a professional marketing community that is qualified, effective and valued. With a mission to strengthen the profession of marketing in Ireland, the Institute aims to promote, support and elevate marketing as a key strategic business tool. It does this in three ways: by (1) delivering insights and expert content; (2) building the community of marketers; and (3) giving a voice to the profession. Content, Community and Voice are the three themes that underpin all Institute activities. Membership allows our community of marketing professionals to come together and network with like-minded individuals and provide them with expert content with will empower and enable them to develop their careers within the marketing profession. We also offer training solutions, marketing insights and resources and we have access to the best in class experts, reports and publications in the marketing profession.

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