Email marketers ‘losing £1/2 billion through lost mails’

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Mar 11, 2008

UK email marketers are missing out on half a billion pounds in extra sales through poor deliverability, according to a new survey.

The E-consultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2008 (published March 08), shows deliverability is a major problem with more than half having trouble getting into recipients’ inboxes AND 80% having no idea how much sales revenue they are losing through poor deliverability.

Of those that could measure it, email marketers estimated they were losing 11% of their budget and agencies put this figure higher at 14%.

Paul Crabtree, Marketing Director at Adestra, says: “By fixing deliverability UK email marketers could boost their sales revenue by at least 11% – for UK businesses that equates to over £550million.”

60% of emarketers say they don’t need to improve deliverability, yet 80% cannot measure how much they are losing through poor deliverability. Ensuring emails are delivered into inboxes is such a fundamental objective, yet it is their lowest priority – it appears emarketers would rather be doing more appealing things like behavioural targeting, dynamic content and strategy.

“Deliverability is being largely underestimated by marketers – but it is absolutely critical. The bottom line is deliverability equals sales revenue – a one per cent improvement, or even less, will boost revenues significantly. If email marketers don’t get this fundamental process right there is no point spending any more of their budget on email marketing – they may as well flush it away,” adds Paul.

With the value of sales generated by direct marketing running at £125billion, and of this total online sales via the internet reaching £52billion (source: DMA Economic Impact Analysis 2006), Adestra estimates email marketing to generate around 10%, or £5billion worth, of sales.

Emarketers need to be tracking, and staying on top of, deliverability on an ongoing basis as it can fluctuate up and down. It is not a ‘one-off fix’ – improving deliverability in the short term does not mean it is permanently improved. Best practice methods need to be implemented:

How to improve deliverability

There are a number of proven methods to improve that all-important deliverability rate. Applying a series of data management and technical ‘standards’ can make a significant difference in a matter of days.

· Work with an ESP that has the tools to identify and suppress previous bounce backs

· Implement good deliverability policies including:

· Technical: implement authentication and certification schemes.

· Data: suppress hard bounces and ‘report as spam’ requests from ISPs

· Pre-send testing: Check your message content via spam tools pre-send

· Monitoring: tracking deliverability rates to identify and remedy problems

· Invest in data cleaning campaigns and ensure accuracy in your database

The report also highlights the fact that a worryingly high number of marketers are not getting the basics right – a quality database, relevant content, good deliverability and follow-up trigger mechanisms are all essential for email effectiveness.

The full E-consultancy report is available now from www.adestra.co.uk/census