International email marketing trends: UK marketers are most likely to increase budgets in 2011

UK email marketers are most likely to increase their budgets in the international community, compared to email marketers from other countries.*

44% of UK email marketers said they plan to raise spending on email in 2011.  Some of the most popular tactics employed by email marketers in the UK include segmenting and targeting users based upon geographic (42%) and demographic data (41%), co-ordinating emails with website content (42%) and online display ads (42%).

Throughout the rest of the world, email marketing priorities and tactics vary, country by country;

Tight government regulations and strong history of privacy protection make German email marketers focus heavily on giving email recipients the utmost control over content. This is why 40% of German email marketers allow their recipients/users to select what they’re interested in when they register as subscribers.

French email marketers are hot on list hygiene: 37% of email marketers in France clean email lists of recipients whose addresses have bounced and 34% segment and target recipients based upon the products and services they have requested information on.

Surprisingly, one of the most common shortcomings in the global email marketing arena is unsophisticated segmentation and targeting. Just a quarter of all marketers (from a survey sample of 250*) segment their users on past purchase behaviour. An even smaller proportion manage to do so on past interactions with email campaigns. Astonishingly, despite the high functionality of email marketing platforms on the market, most email marketers in our international sample fail to use basic segmentation, such as targeting recipients based on their location. The study also revealed that may email marketers still fail to integrate their email marketing efforts with other channels.

Considering the potential for lift in campaign returns such integration can create, this is a gaping hole in the strategic thinking of far too many email marketing campaign managers, and an opportunity for others - for example, marketers who use consumers’ social media behaviour for segmentation have reported average open rates of 33% and conversion rates above 7%.

Lack of vigilance in list maintenance is also a common problem. With just 15% of marketers cleaning email lists of users who haven’t opened or clicked on email messages recently, there is a lot of dead data floating around, clumping up your campaigns!

Lucilla de Sarlo, interactive marketing analyst at Forrester Research suggests email marketers should take care not only to implement segmentation tactics which will create relevant, well-targeted messages, but to also focus on creating ways to ease into integrated email campaigns with SEO in mind. Rather than working to the tune of external benchmarks related to opens and clicks, email marketers would do better to build their own benchmarks in order to measure their email marketing health.

(Data source:  Lucilla de Sarlo for NMA March 2011 'Lack of proper list management is hurting the ROI of email marketing')