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The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census has just been published and it brings with it a flurry of exciting insight into our industry.

And one of the heroes of this year’s report is undoubtedly personalization. We’ve said it time and time again, today’s consumers don’t just appreciate communications that are personalized to them, they expect them. And it seems that marketers are catching up with the task!

This year’s report highlights personalization as a key focus for 2017 chosen by 30 percent of in-house respondents, bumping automation from the top spot it occupied in 2016. The results are similar for agency marketers too – 25 percent of respondents in this category chose this as a focus, close behind the top focus of behavioral response marketing (28 percent).

2017 Census company focus

Marketing plans are highly impacted by personalization

When asked what they can’t currently do to their satisfaction, marketers in both camps (66 percent companies and 56 percent agencies) expressed the wish to be better with personalization as their top choice. And they’re not wasting time on it! Seventy-one percent of company respondents and 73 percent of agency marketers are utilizing (or planning to use) content personalization beyond the first name.

2017 Email Census Agency no satisfaction

Looking ahead to five years from now, most responses also focused on this aspect of email in many of the responses, including:

“Personalization – emails completely built based on an individual’s demographics and needs. There will be no ‘bulk’ emails.”

“More automated email content creation, allowing truly personalized emails created with significantly less human oversight.”

“Increasingly linked to business engagement triggers, and personalized with relevant dynamic content options rather than regularly scheduled ‘mass’ mailings.”

Use of relevant messaging at scale doubles 

When asked about their ability to provide personalisation, the majority of respondents place themselves in the early stages of implementation. Only 15 percent of in-house marketers believe they can send emails based on individual activities and preferences throughout the funnel at scale, but this number has almost doubled since last year and is higher than the 14 percent who are not working towards personalisation. This is positive news for the industry as it highlights it as a key area for marketers.

2017 Census ability to personalise

Supporting the benefits of focusing on personalization is the fact that almost three-quarters of companies adopting it at scale report an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ performance from their email campaigns, compared to only 35 percent for companies who say they ‘are not yet working towards this’.

An increased awareness of scalability and implementation across the customer lifecycle also shows that marketers are considering how personalization fits in the marketing puzzle. At Adestra, we promote First-Person Marketing as the way to deliver one-to-one communications at scale. And personalization is one of the four core parts of this approach alongside automation, integration and optimization.

Check back in the coming weeks to find out how these key aspects are reflected in the results of 2017 Email Industry Census. Or download a copy of the report and find out now!

2017 Email Census banner