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Most Effective Emails Least Used: Salesforce Survey

By Ken Magill
A sad statement on permission-based email marketing was published today. 
The most effective email marketing tactics are the least used and the least effective tactics are the most used, according to the results of a survey published by Salesforce.
Sixty three percent of the more than 5,000 marketers surveyed said they deploy email newsletters and 66 percent said they are effective or very effective, according to the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Report.
Meanwhile, just 24 percent said they deploy abandoned-cart emails and 72 percent said they are effective or very effective.
This is despite the anecdotal evidence that abandoned-cart emails routinely have shown to convert in double-digit ranges.
Also, just 28 percent said they deploy win-back emails, according to Salesforce. 
Win-back campaigns were a staple of the cataloging industry long before email emerged as a marketing channel. But whereas win-back campaigns for catalogs were aimed at avoiding the expense of sending catalogs to people who were not likely to buy, email win-backs are aimed at reducing low inbox placement rates.
But marketers who exercise list hygiene by removing inactive addresses from their files without first attempting one or more win-back campaigns risk removing potentially valuable email addresses from their files—addresses that may have been expensive to acquire.
Meanwhile, 34 percent of those surveyed said they deploy reengagement emails, according to Salesforce.
Somewhat less troubling, but troubling nonetheless, 42 percent said they deploy welcome-series emails. It’s not clear in the study whether or not those who said they don’t deploy welcome series do deploy single welcome emails.
But welcome emails should be a part of every permission-based program. They remind recipients they subscribed, tell them what to expect, get them engaged with the brand right away and cut down on spam complaints.
In other head-scratcher findings, just 21 percent of marketers surveyed said email produces significant return on investment while 32 percent said it produces “some” ROI, according to Salesforce.
Even more strangely, 20 percent said email “will eventually” produce ROI while 18 percent said it “indirectly” produces ROI, according to Salesforce. Three percent said email was unlikely to produce ROI, according to Salesforce.
[Editor’s note: If anyone has a plausible explanation how it is possible not to get ROI from email, I’m all ears.]
On a positive note, 73 percent of marketers in the survey of 5,000 cited email as core to their business, Salesforce reported.
When asked why email is core to their business, 60 percent said email is a critical enabler to their products and services and 20 percent said: “Our business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to email operations,” Salesforce reported. Twenty percent said email indirectly impacts their business performance, according to Salesforce.
In other findings, one third of marketers said their subscribers read their emails on mobile devices at least half the time, according to Salesforce.
Also, 59 percent of marketers said they plan to increase their email budgets in 2015, according to Salesforce.
Get the whole study here.

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