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Our 2016 Email Marketing Census showed that email marketing has had spectacular ROI growth in comparison to other channels.

It’s not just the technology that’s evolved though, the way in which marketers think has evolved too – they focus customer-driven marketing aided by an increased integration between technologies and channels used over the last decade.

That is the general view among marketers across the board, however. To make the data more relevant, we’ve looked at the sectors which make up the industry. Up first is Publishing & Media.

ROI falls but remains above average

While a decrease in ROI is not the most positive of outcomes, email’s two percentage point drop doesn’t stop it from being above the industry average. The drop does also see it knocked from the top spot by content marketing however, leaving some work for email to do in the coming year.

2016 Sector Census ROI

This is no cause for alarm though as the report also shows that email still punches above its weight, in terms of sales against investment. The Publishing & Media sector achieves 33% of its sales from email marketing, yet only spends 22% of its total budget to achieve this. Compared to other sectors it shows that their investment is way above the average but, in turn, has given them a greater return.

Great gains in email confidence

In 2015, less than half (47%) of respondents believed their email campaigns to be good or excellent. Fast forward to 2016 and Publishing & Media is clearly having a bumper yield, with campaign performance deemed good or excellent by almost three quarters of respondents. The jump to 73% puts them ahead of all other sectors and is second only to the Tech and Telecoms sector in terms of improvement.

2016 Sector Census email performance

This rise in confidence brings the sector in line with its sales to investment data, and is a clear step forward for them. Hopefully this increased confidence can have a positive effect across the sector’s use of email marketing and their performance, bringing further gains in the future.

Making the most of email technology

Technology use shows the Publishing & Media sector to be very adept at getting the most from their email technology provider. Of the eight most popular technologies, the sector uses six of them – and they point to a very customer focused strategy. By using personalisation, automated campaigns and a mix of analytics Publishing & Media marketers are making sure they know how contacts interact with their campaigns, so that these can be tailored for greater engagement.

It is surprising then that segmentation is used by less than half of the sector, especially given the clear benefits shown in the 2016 census. Moving forward, this is something the sector should be taking a serious look at, to improve both efficiency and ROI.

2016 Sector Census email services

A mobile focus remains key

As it has so often been mentioned in the media, mobile optimisation is key to successfully marketing to most consumers in the 21st century. Marketers from the Publishing & Media sector know this, generally considering their sector to have a focused strategy. However, efforts across the industry are quite uniform, as all sectors combat today’s market with similar tactics.

Looking forward, the tactics for optimising will likely stay steady, however the extent to which the sector has a strategy for it will hopefully increase – as those who do not prepare for the growth in mobile usage tread a dangerous path.

What does all this mean?

With the Publishing & Media sector seeing dividends in both ROI and campaign performance, as well as making the most of the email technology they have at their disposal, it is unsurprising that this has led to a sharp increase in appreciation for the email provider. Only 42% ‘loved’ their email provider in 2015, placing them 4th across all sectors, but in 2016 this has risen to 69% and puts them top of the pile.

This relationship will likely continue to be strong if email providers keep supplying what the sector demands. With confidence and performance high, so will be the expectation.

Publishing & Media shouldn’t rest on their laurels either though, as there is certainly room for further improvements particularly with segmentation.