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The top marketing channels that achieve the best Return on Investment are Email Marketing and SEO – 25% of marketers say both rank as ‘excellent’ – according to the latest Email Marketing Industry Census 2015 from Econsultancy/Adestra.

In its ninth year, the research of over 1,000 in-house and agency marketers found that not only does email marketing continue to deliver consistently high results year after year, but that the structure of a marketing team has a massive effect on ROI.

Lack of resources is a major barrier to marketers across the board, and one that they often deal with on a daily basis. An individual or team dedicated to email marketing achieves three times better ROI than when those responsible also have a myriad of other marketing responsibilities on their plate. Yet the nirvana of a dedicated team is only available in the largest firms. If company structure makes it difficult to raise their game, marketers can lean on ESP expertise for missing services – such as access to teams specialising in email design, project management, and strategic account advice – all of which can help them overcome internal gaps to achieve the results they, and their organisations, need.

Furthermore, the evidence is clear that the more marketers can understand and use their email systems’ features, the higher the return. Companies using more than three-quarters of email system functionality are over six times more likely to achieve ‘excellent’ ROI.

While companies predictably make use of their ESP for data, measurement and automation services, one major growth area is being seen in design and copywriting. Such content marketing requirements are up 50% year-on-year for in-house marketers, and it’s even more important for agencies.

Henry Hyder-Smith, CEO at Adestra explains:

“As email marketing is such a valuable channel, companies often depend on using outsourced services available in the market to meet any shortfalls – that could be anything tactical or strategic. That’s why we’ve always focused on offering very strong client services alongside our solution. As is evident from the research, email success takes more than technology alone.”

Linus Gregoriadis, Econsultancy Research Director, says:

“Email continues to be a tremendously important digital marketing discipline despite the emergence of shiny new tools which can distract marketers. Companies neglect this channel at their peril because email continues to be the fulcrum of an integrated and successful approach to marketing. With email becoming increasingly personalised and automated, the research shows there is no sign of this stopping.”

Despite the email channel producing such a high return, many marketers admit their campaigns have drastic room for improvement. When asked how they rate their email campaign performance, 59% stated it was ‘poor’ or ‘average’, and only 4% said ‘excellent’. The biggest barriers remain quality of database, lack of strategy and lack of integration.

For a copy of the report visit

The Econsultancy survey of over 1,000 in-house and agency respondents was undertaken in January and February 2015.