Press Release: Survey shows emarketers need to ‘get back to basics’

Press Release: Survey shows emarketers need to ‘get back to basics’

Survey shows emarketers need to ‘get back to basics’

Release Date: 13 March 2008

– 2/3 of UK companies don’t email abandoned baskets

A new survey highlights major flaws in email marketers’ strategies – the key message is ‘get back to basics’. Findings show many email marketers are looking to implement more sophisticated marketing practices, such as using dynamic content and advanced segmentation, yet there are fundamental problems with the basics – quality of their data, deliverability and lack of systems that automatically trigger campaigns for abandoned carts.

The E-Consultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2008 (published March 08) shows over 2/3 of companies are not using email effectively. The key reasons behind this are cited as lack of budget and poor quality of database. Targeting contacts with relevant messages from an accurate database is fundamental. Without clean, complete and accurate data, messages can never be relevant and targeted despite one’s best intentions. Only 57% of respondents carry out regular list cleaning which is a major contributory factor why many respondents have experienced problems with effectiveness and deliverability.

Paul Crabtree, Marketing Director at Adestra, comments: “In the industry, we wrongly assume many email marketers are on top of the basic fundamentals that underpin the marketing process. Our research shows there are gaping holes in data, deliverability, action-based marketing, ROI tracking – and most businesses admit themselves they aren’t using email effectively.

“The message is clear: get your house in order first and then move forward, otherwise companies will continue to miss out on major revenue opportunities and their poor practices will get worse over time.”

Action-based email marketing/behavioural targeting is in its infancy (most marketers still rely on old segmentation methods, pigeon-holing customers using demographics, age, sex – rather than tracking user behaviour). Many companies do not send ANY email campaigns following triggers from customers. For example, over 2/3 don’t email when a customer abandons a basket and 57% don’t email if someone clicks-through but doesn’t purchase (implying a lack of integration with the website). These are major lost revenue opportunities from interested buyers/prospects and ignoring them is lazy and poor practice.

Although budgets are increasing, another worrying finding is the continual lack of ROI measurement (43% of emarketers still don’t track it). Without accurate tracking, testing programs cannot be measured. Without measurement, improving your email marketing to the level where it is achieving an ROI of over 500% will always be slow progress.

Companies are still not fully exploiting email. The majority of marketers (6/10) are not getting the most from their ESPs (ie they are using their ESP just for the basic broadcast of email, although this is better than last year, at 7/10); and most marketers are using under half of their email system’s functionality (which is a slight improvement over last year).

Across the industry, email is still being used at a basic level – less than 1in7 do behavioural targeting and 1in5 do advanced segmentation. “Until widespread implementation of the basic email marketing practices occurs, the more advanced and ‘clever’ functions that really utilise the power of email marketing cannot be unleashed,” concludes Paul.

The full E-consultancy report is available now from