According to the DMA Email Marketing Council’s fourth National Client Email Report, the trend for content-driven emails is diluting the use of tools to track the impact of a message on purchase rates.
“Considering the combined effect of these factors, one can be facetious and say that it’s actually impossible to estimate the revenue generated by email,” said Mark Brownlow, author of the report. “These measurement problems also affect an organisation’s ability to estimate the value of an email address. When asked if they could calculate this value, 86 per cent said ‘no’ and nobody was able to give a definitive ‘yes’.”
Commenting on the findings, Dela Quist, chair of the DMA Email Marketing Council’s Email Benchmarking Hub, said: “As the report shows, it is difficult for companies to measure the revenue that their email marketing generates. This is because many marketers are using email in ways other than to specifically generate sales. Email is now a crucial tool for brands to engage with consumers on many different levels, to build relationships and to provide genuine value, as well as to drive sales.”
The report also found that average response rates are falling and click-through rates are at a two-year low. For 28 per cent of those surveyed, lack of data was cited as a barrier to success.
Guy Hanson, member of the DMA Email Marketing Council and director of email services at dbg, commented: “The appeal of email for me has always been the ability to track and measure each action, pinpointing your strong and weak areas within the marketing process. Another indicator of the importance of data is that when it comes to tracking, nearly 50 per cent can’t track the customer journey from open to purchase, making the value of email difficult to justify.”