Email evolves to accommodate content, social, mobile


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A little more than a quarter of marketers surveyed by BtoB said they are developing a mobile strategy as part of their email-marketing program. The mobile interface requires adaptations to both content and design, with 39% of marketers indicating they are scrubbing images from their messages, adding “mobile-version” links and mobile landing pages (36%) and redesigning their messages for a touch interface (31%). They are also moving to single-column formats. As for performance metrics, more than half of marketers track click-through rates, open rates, click-to-open ratios and unsubscribe rates. Marketers place the most emphasis on click-through rates, cited by 72% of respondents, and open rates (67%), but they also value results-based metrics that link marketing to tangible results, including leads and sales. Other findings from BtoB's study include:
  • Homegrown lists trump other methods of list acquisition by far among respondents. More than 80% said they build their own lists, followed by 31% who rent lists and 24% who sponsor mailings sent to a third-party list.
  • More than 60% of respondents currently use a single email database, an asset that allows them to segment their audience and better manage email frequency. About a third of marketers who currently do not have single email databases are working to integrate their lists over the next two years.
  • Only 16% of respondents incorporate promotional marketing messages in all or most of transactional messages, including bills and service notices.
  • Marketers send an average of 252,000 email messages each month, though that number may be skewed by large marketing organizations responding to BtoB's study. More than 85% of respondents said that their organizations send fewer than 250,000 messages monthly.
BtoB's study is based on an online poll completed by 424 sales and marketing professionals in February and March. Representatives of companies with less than $100 million in annual revenue made up about two-thirds of respondents. A quarter of respondents represented technology companies, with such other verticals as financial services (10%), consulting (10%), nontechnical manufacturing (6%) and agencies (5%) also represented. A full copy of "2013 Email Marketing: An Established Channel Evolves" can be downloaded from BtoB's Intelligence Center.
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