Companies in the UK are still failing to prioritise e-mail deliverability issues, despite the hundreds of millions of pounds in lost sales that are the result of non-delivery of messages to customers and prospects, according to the 2008 Email Marketing Industry Census from E-Consultancy and Adestra.
Just over half of the e-mail marketers surveyed (51%) said that their organisation had experienced serious problems reaching recipients' e-mail inboxes within the past 12 months. Worryingly, only 40% of marketers said that e-mail deliverability was a priority area for their organisation.
Only 20% of the respondents knew what percentage of their marketing budget had been lost through non-delivery of e-mail but, calculated from those who were able to attach a figure to this loss, some 11% of the average company's e-mail budget is currently being lost through non-delivery.
Adestra estimated that e-mail marketing generated more than 5 billion worth of online sales in the UK during 2007 alone. Paul Crabtree, marketing director for Adestra, explained: "By fixing deliverability, the UK's e-mail marketers could collectively boost their sales revenue by as much as 11%, which equates to more than 550 million in sales each year."
Poor list cleansing habits
The study also found that only 57% of respondents carry out regular list cleansing activities, and that the failure of many organisations to do this has become a major factor contributing to problems with e-mail marketing effectiveness and deliverability.
E-Consultancy's head of research, Linus Gregoriadis, said: "Too many organisations are still failing to carry out essential e-mail practices such as list cleansing and basic segmentation of their e-mail databases. The issue of deliverability continues to be a stumbling block for many companies."
More effective use of e-mail
Some 68% of e-mail marketers admitted that they were not using e-mail marketing as effectively as they could, compared to only 24% who said they definitely were. However, even this relatively small proportion is a significant improvement over the 2007 study's number (13%).
Among the study's other key findings:
- E-mail's share of the digital marketing budget has gone up from an average of 19% in 2007 to 23% in 2008;
- E-mail is estimated to account for approximately 10% of online sales;
- 63% of marketers rated e-mail as either "excellent" or "good" in terms of return on investment (ROI).
- Most companies are not sending e-mails based on triggers such as customer birthdays. Abandoned baskets, date-based messages, and click-through-but-no-purchase were found to be the least used triggers, with 69%, 66% and 57% respectively saying they do not use them.
The full report has been made available via E-Consultancy's web site - click here (pay-per-view, or free to E-Consultancy subscribers).