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Conversion Rates Top Concern for UK Email Marketers

By May 23, 2012

Improving conversion rates is top issue for email marketers across the pond, according to the UK DMA Email Marketing Council's fifth annual National Client Email Report.

Conversion rates were cited by 48% of respondents to the study, sponsored by Alchemy Worx, while 43% named click rates and 39% deliverability. Concerns about return on investment from email campaigns fell from 61% in the 2010 report to 31% in the latest research.   

Insufficient internal resources was cited by 38% of those surveyed as the biggest barrier for email success, with 74% of respondents stating they manage their email marketing program in-house.  In second place was budget at 26%.

Still, over 90% said email was strategically or very important to their businesses, and 51% expect to increase their email marketing expenditures.  B2B marketers ranked the importance of email slightly higher than B2C marketers, with 93% of B2B firms ranking it as very important, compared to 83% of B2C firms. Only 3.4% of B2B firms surveyed said email was unimportant, versus 9% of B2C firms.

Time is another area of investment in email for marketers; 53% of firms surveyed by the UK DMA said their staff spends zero to 30 hours per month working on email marketing. Nineteen percent spend 31-90 hours; 10% spend 91-180 hours monthly;  and 15% spend 181-360 hours. Three percent of respondents said their staff spends a whopping 361+ hours each month on email marketing.

The majority of respondents—74%—are handling their email marketing inhouse; 12% are outsourcing those tasks to an agency, while 14% are outsourcing to an ESP.

About 61% of respondents said they were able to accurately measure the percentage of revenue generated by email, up from 55% in the prior year's survey. There was marked differences on this statistic when it came to B2B and B2C; 79% of B2C firms have a handle on their email-generated revenue, compared to only 44% of B2B marketers.

This disparity is understandable, the report noted, given that many B2C emails lead to a direct sale, while the majority of B2B messages are only a small part of the lead generation strategy.

Forty-two percent said email generated about 10% of their revenue; 40% said it brought in 20% to 40% of their revenue, while 6% said it brought in half. Three percent of respondents said it was responsible for 100% of their revenue.

Which types of emails are generating the most income for UK marketers? Newsletters ranked number one, with 45% citing them as the most profitable, followed by limited time offers (36%), newsletters segmented by purchase habits (22%), alert breaking news messages (21%), welcome messages (15%) and surveys (14%).