Email marketing’s top priorities, in 5 charts

It isn’t easy being an email marketer. With inbox volume higher than ever, it seems our attention spans are falling to the level of gnat. Yet, email remains one of digital marketing’s most powerful and effective tools. With nearly 183 billion emails sent every day, email marketers must deliver value, entertainment and novelty — often at the same time.

To learn more about email marketing priorities, Campaign Monitor went straight to the source: the demand generation professionals who spend their days buried in subscriber lists, audience profiles and performance reports.

More than 300 email marketers were surveyed on the subject of their top challenges and priorities. They were also asked to identify, in their own words, their top concerns as they strive to deliver results in this dynamic industry.

 

Improving click throughs and/or open rates of my emails

Email marketers live and die by their open rates, which average around 20 percent depending on the industry. It’s no surprise, then, that “creating quality messages that are actually read” is a top priority among both agency and brand marketers:

campaign-chart1

As marketers can attest, engaging an audience is often more voodoo than science. Still, gut instinct and creative copywriting can only carry so much water. Messages must be  well-written and well-structured, they must deliver a clear call-to-action and they must be designed with engagement in mind.

For any number of reasons, even the most well-crafted email can still fail to find its audience. Of utmost concern is balancing engagement and oversaturation: “Fielding effective emails without overdoing it” and not sending “more email than is required” is a common challenge among email marketers.

 

Growing my email list

Time was — in the days before real-time metrics and audience tracking — marketers could rely on a “build it and they will come” strategy. Lucky them. Today’s email marketers are hustling to build their audiences:

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To grow their lists and “keep up with a shifting customer demographic,” demand generation pros rely on targeted marketing activities to find the right subscribers, not just more subscribers. They are laser-focused on “spam control” and are ever-mindful of “customers not wanting to be on the list.”

Additionally, they’re protecting their lists by “maintaining our security protocols” and remaining mindful of compliance as emails are sent “to the right people.”

 

Creating emails more quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality

Whether they’re delivering a morning news feed, daily deals or flash sales, all email marketers rely on compelling content. Being swift without sacrificing quality is a top priority:

campaign-chart3

It’s not just a matter of writing the great headlines; newsletters must boast beautiful designs that are responsive across a variety of devices and platforms.

The catch: everyone’s doing more with less, and email marketers are particularly worried about limited resources impacting their results. “Limited time and staffing” is a common concern, and who isn’t worried “that we won’t meet our goals”?

 

Integrating my email marketing platform with other technologies

The good news: Email marketers are presented with more tech solutions than ever before.
The bad news: Email marketers are presented with more tech solutions than ever before.

With multiple marketing technologies in play that need to be integrated to support email reporting, personalization and segmentation, it can be difficult to keep one’s own house in order:

campaign-chart4

As a cornerstone of digital marketing, email simply cannot be silo’d. Email marketing platforms must be seamlessly integrated with any number of other marketing technologies; with e-commerce systems, CRM and marketing automation systems representing just the tip of the iceberg, tech integrations are a common headache for modern marketers.

The other bad news: the world isn’t likely to sit still anytime soon. The time to catch up is now.

 

Better understanding the performance of email campaigns

What good are emails if they don’t, at some point in the marketing supply chain, help pay the bills? As one marketer said, the business must “achieve a higher response rate, which leads to increased revenue.” Measurement that fuels the optimization process, therefore, is a top priority:

campaign-chart5

“Determining success of email campaigns” is a top-three concern for agency-based marketers, but still a top-five priority for their non-agency counterparts. Of course, “success” isn’t measured by any single yardstick. Some marketers are dedicated to “driving more customers to our stores,” while others need “to identify ‘halo’ effect of marketing efforts.”

The average person spends more than 11 hours each week reading emails, and competition is fierce for every one of those 660 minutes. No matter their ultimate goals, it’s critical that all email marketers create an actionable game plan that includes process, delivery and measurements. In the end, it’s a matter of “determining true value.”

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