How are different industries using email marketing (as well as marketing automation and content marketing)? How am I using email marketing in relation to my industry peers? The Email Marketing & Beyond: Global Industry Benchmarks 2017 report helps to answer these questions, as well as make recommendations and improvements.
The purpose of the study
The goal of the study was:
- to discover how different industries use email marketing, and each industry’s benchmarks
- to help marketers compare against industry peers and improve within their industry
- to identify specific areas where marketers can improve their email marketing effectiveness.
The study we conducted in January of this year, in partnership with Holistic Email Marketing, Smart Insights, and the Content Marketing Institute, surveyed 2,510 email marketers from across the globe. They were from businesses of varying size and industries. Of the marketers we surveyed, we found that:
- 1% worked in B2B marketing
- 8% worked in B2C marketing
- 1% worked in businesses that marketed to both consumers and businesses
The breakdown of these percentage by industry finds that the largest group of B2B marketers is in the Technology and High Tech industry, with the largest percentage of B2C marketers is in the retail sector, followed by the healthy & beauty industry. The industry with the largest amount of B2B and B2C marketers was the legal services industry by far.
Some key findings that crossed industry lines include:
- 58% of marketers plan to increase budgets
- 51% of marketers don’t test or optimize their email marketing efforts at all (but of the remaining 49%, 26% test subject lines and 14% test landing pages)
- Email still delivers top ROI as a channel.
What’s new in this report?
This is the second year we’ve delivered a report with industry-specific information. We’ve updated things because email marketing has evolved in the past year, so we need to study it again. This report, we’ve included how small businesses use marketing automation and content marketing in their overall strategies.
Some of the most interesting facts come to light when you dig into the data.
Email marketing success metrics
- 29% of marketers view an increase in subscribers as the ultimate success metric for their email marketing efforts
- 21% consider top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) metrics, such as opens and clicks, as their success metric.
- 23% of marketers don’t focus on any success metrics at all.
From cross-industry data like this, you can make general recommendations like “measure your email success.” And that’s absolutely true – you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and you certainly can’t discover what works and what doesn’t – so how can you improve?
But this gets more interesting when you break down these statistics by industry, because the tracking of success metrics varies widely by industry. For example, only 12% of agencies don’t track metrics, but that figure is 37% in the real estate industry. And, in the retail industry, 23% of marketers report that bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) activities – like sales – are their ultimate measure of success (which is quite logical for retail), yet only 3% in the communications industry view BoFu activities as the most important measure of success. What can one learn about marketing in these industries from this kind of information?
Is it possible that, for an industry like real estate, email marketing is not necessarily the proper tool for sales but more for relationship building? Could this data hint at that conclusion?
ROI by industry
Who gets the biggest bang for their buck for email marketing? The answer we got from our survey respondents may surprise you.
The legal services industry reports the highest ROI of all the industries represented. One might find that strange for one of the last industries to go digital at all, but their success could be attributed to that newcomer status. The marketers within the legal industry already had a knowledge base for email marketing as a discipline, and could then apply that more advanced knowledge once the legal industry was ready to use it.
But this is only part of the story.
You can read the whole report by downloading the Email Marketing & Beyond: Global Industry Benchmarks 2017 report here.
You can also watch the recording of our recent webinar with Kath Pay, the report’s author, where she discusses the findings and gives her recommendations for improvement.
We always hope that our reports do more than update you on the facts within our marketing disciplines, but also spark some discussion about what the research reveals. That’s what I’d like to invite you do to in the comments section below, or via social media via the #GRAutomationHub hashtag. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Enjoy the report & let us know what you think!