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DMA says email marketing returned £38 on every £1 spent in 2014

26th Apr 2015
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The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has released its latest National Client Email report, with findings stating that return on investment (ROI) delivered from email marketing campaigns increased by almost 50% in 2014.  

The research, which combined email delivery data with survey responses from around 100 UK marketers, showed that ROI for email campaigns rose 53% to an average of £38 for every £1 spent last year; an increase from £24.93 in 2013.

And almost one-fifth (18%) of the DMA’s survey respondents stated their ROI was more than £70 for every £1 in their email marketing campaigns.

The increasing success rates are stated to be thanks to a combination of the improved targeting tools available to businesses, as well as increasing engagement levels from mobile users.

However, unsubscribe rates remain unchanged compared with 2013 data, and the figures appear to contradict DMA research from last November, which declared that many marketing campaigns were struggling to make an impact on their intended targets, and that click-through rates were at their lowest since 2011.  

Despite this, delivery rates, conversion rates and open rates all increased for marketers in 2014, suggesting consumers are becoming more trusting of email campaigns as the technology for targeting improves.

“Consumer trends are behind this change,” says Chris Combemale, executive director for the DMA. “Email is no longer a stand-alone medium - but something that integrates well with other media. Mobile in particular has changed the relationship between consumers and email and it is generally now a mobile-first medium.

“In addition, newer disciplines like Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) breathe new life into email to make it work harder while older techniques like segmentation help bring the right messages to the right audiences ever more effectively. New technologies like marketing automation software which matches behaviour to email triggers, can also have impressive results and prevent older ‘spray and pray’ approaches.

“Finally, email systems have become more and more successful at eliminating spam. Email is now reliably about the things that interest the recipient.”      

The importance of marketing automation is highlighted by the DMA’s figures which show that in 2012, 19% of revenue came from emails sent because of behavioural and lifestyle triggers, while for 2014 this increased to 30% of revenue.

Sales was the main goal for 26% of campaigns, engagement for 22%, followed by acquisition on 16%, lead generation on 12%, retention on 11% and brand awareness on 7%.

Recent statistics from Forrester found that marketers in the US and UK “rely on email as a mainstay of marketing campaigns”, but that 41% of these are worried they might lose sales by not delivering more innovation through their campaigns.

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