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From looking at the overall best performer (Publishing & Media) we’re going to the ‘Most Improved’, a category taken by the Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit sector.

2015 produced mediocre results for the sector, but our 2016 Sector Census shows them to moving forward leaps and bounds.

Do Bigger Budgets Mean Better ROI?

The Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit sector has made improvements again with ROI, and this year it is the best performing sector in this category. With 84% of respondents believing the email channel to be good or excellent in terms of ROI, the sector is certainly working it hardest and with three years of growth this is promising for the future.

However, despite the success in terms of ROI Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit has the lowest email budget of all sectors, at only 12% of their marketing budget. Despite the return being a healthy +7%, both lie below the industry averages. Three other sectors have a bigger budget and get greater returns, is it time for the sector to put more trust in the email channel by backing it financially?

2016 Sector Census budget

Email Performance Leaps Forward

The only negative to come from the sector report about Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit’s email performance is that even with a 56% increase…it still only comes second across the industry. From being in the bottom half of the sectors last year, its result of 65% for 2016 shows email performance to be in rude health.  This is unsurprising, given ROI is so strong.

The majority of sectors have also seen similar improvements, but even so, it’s an overwhelming positive for the email channel and what it can deliver.

2016 Sector Census email performance

Following the Crowds for Technology

Like the other sectors there is a popularity for personalisation and measurement & analytics. Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit is also making use of automated campaigns and mobile device recognition, like star performer Publishing & Media and not-so-star performer Technology & Telecoms.

So what more can they do?

The majority of sectors are still not using segmentation to a high level, and as our 2016 Industry Census shows, there are huge dividends to gain from adopting it into your marketing strategy. Deliverability audits and analysis is also an area to look into. Publishing & Media are doing things right with email marketing, so taking a leaf out of their book isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

Too Much Time on Tactics

There are two areas where some improvements could be made. The first, for Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit, lies with the amount of time they spend on internal email related activities. The sector is second highest for time spent on the three highlighted activities – design & content, data and transmission – with the majority on design & content. Technically, this could be outsourced, however that can often raise costs and high overheads can be difficult to justify within this sector. In comparison to the other sectors, the amount of time spent on data is bloated, and if it can be reduced to be in line with the industry it could cut roughly a third of the time spent working with it.

Too Stationary with Mobile

The second area for improvement is a strategy for optimising email for mobile devices – as, despite a small two percentage points rise, the sector lags behind leading sectors and even the industry average (-6%). The sector isn’t neglecting mobile optimisation though, being best in terms of creating a mobile responsive templates (74%) and adapting design to be better for mobile devices (67%).

However, it would be wise to ensure that a strong strategy is in place moving forward, because it’s a dangerous area to be lagging in. Something clearly acknowledged by the sector, with mobile optimised email journeys being a priority for innovation in 2016.

2016 Sector Census mobileWhat does it all mean?

Charities, Government & Not-for-Profit certainly take the ‘Most Improved Sector’ award. This is thanks to huge jumps in email performance, being the top sector for ROI after yearly improvements and strong use of email technology, and a clear awareness of where improvements need to happen. And although there is a need for improvements, this isn’t an issue for just this sector, as the same can be said for the whole industry.

This year’s sector report is very positive for Charities, Government & Not-for-Profits, and this is reflected perfectly in the 85% jump in love for their email provider. Hopefully there is still more to come from the sector in 2016!