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97% of companies ignore ‘Priority Inbox’ in email marketing campaigns

The largest annual survey of email marketers in the UK, The Adestra & Econsultancy Email Marketing Industry Census 2012, highlights important areas that are neglected in making the email marketing channel produce better results and raise revenues.

While email is providing a high ROI for companies across the board, there are key best practice areas that have a direct impact on ROI – particularly segmentation, testing, and systems integration – miss these out and revenue suffers. In addition, there is a low awareness in areas that can affect deliverability and reputation, one critical area being adapting email to Priority Inbox placement.

Best practice boosts ROI
Those companies who are putting careful effort into their email marketing activity are continuing to reap rewards – particularly those who understand the importance of best practice (including testing and segmentation) and integrating their email activity with other business areas.

  • Companies who are practising basic segmentation are 95% more likely to rate email ROI as excellent or good compared to those who do not use even basic segmentation, nor have plans to do so.
  • Only 31% of companies surveyed regularly test their email marketing campaigns. But 81% of companies who do regular testing for email marketing say their ROI from email is excellent or good, compared to 72% for those who do “occasional” testing, 65% for those who do “infrequent” testing and only 37% for those who “don’t test”.
  • Those who have their sales and conversion data “well integrated” with their email activity are 49% more likely to consider email as offering an excellent or good ROI.

Henry Hyder-Smith, comments: “Last year’s census clearly showed a “˜back to basics’ approach is vital to develop successful email marketing, however it appears marketers are not heeding this advice. This year, delving deeper into the data, shows a direct result of using best practices is better ROI. So more segmentation, more testing, and integrating email with CRM/web analytics/sales data, results in significant revenue growth. Get the basics right and you will sell more.”

Econsultancy Research Director, Linus Gregoriadis adds: “This year, for the first time, we have shown that companies observing some basic best practices are reaping the rewards when it comes to ROI from email marketing. While one would intuitively expect this to be the case, we hope that this research prompts more companies to invest more effort in a marketing discipline which is often neglected, despite its effectiveness. Put simply, those simply performing “˜batch and blast’ techniques are less likely to see ROI benefits.”

Lack of adaptation to priority inbox features

Gmail priority inbox, along with similar offerings such as Hotmail sweep, in its basic sense is making engagement the priority. So, if a company gains a new subscriber, but does not send a welcome message, or programme, its communications automatically go to the bottom of the pile. This is why it’s shocking that only 3% of companies surveyed adapted their email strategy accordingly. Plus, only 31% send welcome programmes and only 28% have an auto-responder to website sign up / visit, meaning they are missing a vital opportunity to have their emails delivered to the top of their new subscribers inbox, as soon as they subscribe.

Henry Hyder-Smith, Managing Director at Adestra, says: “With inbox prioritisation, if companies don’t change their approach, their investment in a great email strategy, powerful designs and a quality database may be for nothing – their marketing messages are simply sent to the bottom of the inbox by default. It is no longer good enough just to get delivered to the inbox, it’s now about placement.”

Simple to set up, easy to automate, it’s puzzling why marketers aren’t taking advantage of the technology available to them. Such changes can have a significant impact on open rates, but email marketers appear to have ignored this opportunity.

Request your copy of the 2012 Email census here >

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Press Contacts
Jim Buchanan – PR Consultant, , +44 (0) 7725 257194
Reena Mistry – Marketing Director,, +44 (0)1865 242425

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  • Thanks for bringing these shocking facts to light. It’s amazing how many people are not utilizing the data right in front of their face. For me, the most shocking is that only 31% marketers surveyed send welcome programmes! What a missed opportunity, for sure! Thanks for posting!