April 10, 2012

Marketing Research Chart: Email marketers who quantify ROI are in the minority

SUMMARY: We asked more than 2,700 organizations whether they have a method for quantifying the ROI from email marketing programs.

Surprisingly, only one-third could answer in the affirmative. In this week’s chart discussion, we look at who has succeeded in quantifying email marketing ROI.
By W. Jeffrey Rice, Senior Research Analyst

Marketers with a method for quantifying email marketing ROI are in the minority

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It’s difficult to determine the financial contributions of an email marketing program to the C-suite unless you have a reliable method to quantify email’s impact. Nearly seven of 10 organizations do not have a method.

While it may be a formidable task for marketers to collect the needed data, identify outcomes, and garner the resources required to execute the project, in these economic times it is critical that organizations have a method to quantify ROI to justify an investment in email marketing.

Some organizations do better than others. It was eye-opening to discover that a higher percentage of B2B organizations (34%) have a method to quantify ROI compared to their B2C colleagues (27%). This may be a result of the B2B industry’s relentless focus on optimizing the funnel to identify contributions made at each stage of the buying process.

More than half of SaaS businesses have a method to quantify ROI, compared to 21% of Education/Healthcare organizations, 26% Professional/Financial Services firms, and 32% Retail/E-commerce outfits.

A reasonable amount of resources is required to collect, control and report on email marketing ROI, making medium and large businesses (46%) better equipped to perform these tasks, in comparison to small businesses (27%).

Finally, the more an email marketing process can be calculated, the greater the production. In each maturity stage of funnel optimization and ROI practices, the likelihood of being able to quantify ROI more than doubles:

  • 12% of Trial Phase email marketers can quantify ROI from email marketing

  • 33% of Transition Phase email marketers can quantify ROI from email marketing

  • 71% of Strategic Phase email marketers can quantify ROI from email marketing

For additional research data and insights about email marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report – Research and Insights for Engaging Email Subscribers.

Useful links related to this research

Word-of-Mouth: Email tactics power referral program with 111% ROI

Email Marketing: Delivery rate increases from 60% to 99% by separating inactive subscribers

Email Marketing Trends: The results from 6 live polls conducted at Email Summit 2012

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