Only 18.8% said e-mail performed lower than other channels, while 25.9% said it was about equal with other channels. In fact, 80% said e-mail marketing performs strongly for their company; the closest runner-ups were search advertising, with 70.6%, and display advertising, with 37.6%. Of those that responded, 67.1% think e-mail has helped boost sales through other channels.
It is possible respondents’ success comes from how they are using the medium, said Lana McGilvray, VP-marketing at Datran Media.
For example, 80% use e-mail to send newsletters, 78.8% use it to drive sales and 67.1% use it to increase up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. More than half, or 52.9%, are using e-mail to reactivate dormant customers, while 64.7% rely on e-mail to increase brand awareness.
Marketers are equally as careful about using other media outlets to boost and complement e-mail marketing, according to the study. More than 71% said that search works well in conjunction with an e-mail campaign; 51.8% said the same of display advertising, and 41.2% of direct mail.
Of course, the real benefit of e-mail marketing, according to the study, is targeting. More than eight out of 10 respondents said they send targeted e-mail campaigns. Of those, 63.5% base targeting on demographics and geography, while 56.5% target e-mails based on actions.
Few marketers surveyed are actually using behavioral marketing—an area where marketers need to concentrate their efforts in the coming year, McGilvray said.
“The reality is marketers are still struggling to make it happen, which is why you see demographics and geographic targeting still outpacing things like analytics use and behavioral marketing,” she said.
McGilvray suggested marketers consider working—even temporarily—with an outside vendor that can help them succeed with behavioral marketing.
Another likely place for improvement is the use of transactional marketing. More than 63% of marketers said they plan on integrating marketing messages into transactional messages this year, with only 23.5% saying they would abstain from the practice and another 12.9% saying they didn’t even know this was possible, according to the survey.
Marketers will succeed here, she said, as long as they make the benefits of such offers very clear and tie them directly to the transaction at hand. Marketers should assess such a program on a customer-by-customer basis, McGilvray said.
“If someone is responsive to such discounts, then definitely continue to market,” she said. “But if a customer is showing a lack of affinity, switch up what you’re sending, or even stop marketing to them this way.”