Email marketing programs are critical for business growth and strong customer relationships, according to a Mailjet by Sinch (Sinch AB (publ) – XSTO: SINCH) survey of over 3,200 email senders. The 2023 Inbox Insights report found that 76% of senders can directly connect email marketing to their organization’s success. However, lack of time and focus (32.7%) as well as lack of internal support and investment (26.7%) are among the biggest constraints for respondents.
Nearly 60% of global businesses consider their email marketing programs successful. When asked which metrics are most important for measuring the success of an email program, respondents selected open rate (42.7%), clickthrough rate (42.1%), and conversion rate (26%) as their top three.
“Popular metrics like open, clickthrough, and conversion rate aren’t perfect,” cautioned Kate Nowrouzi, VP of Deliverability & Product Strategy at Mailjet by Sinch. “They can be unreliable, limited in scope, and hard to standardize. We typically recommend a mix of these and other metrics — like inbox placement rate or read/skim/delete rates — to provide a stronger gauge of success.”
Other takeaways from the survey include:
- Tactics contributing most to email success: 34.4% pointed to improving deliverability as well as strong design and copy, followed closely by a cohesive strategy (32.1%). Despite deliverability being a top success factor, delivery rate and inbox placement rate were ranked fifth and ninth respectively as success metrics, suggesting more senders need to focus on this area.
- Top goals for email programs: Content distribution (49.5%) was the top objective for senders, followed by transactional communication (35.3%) and promotions and selling (30.5%). In the current business climate where customer retention is just as important as acquisition, there is an opportunity for email marketers to elevate onboarding (17.3%) and customer loyalty (21.3%) as key objectives.
- Constraints to email success: Standing out in the inbox took the top spot (37.3%), with inbox placement issues (32.7%) and lack of time/focus (32.7%) tied for second. Lack of support/investment came in fifth globally, but it was the top limitation in the U.S., with nearly 40% of senders citing it as an issue.
Looking toward 2023, survey results show senders are focusing on personalization (41.3%) and subscriber segmentation (34.9%) to improve their programs. Notably, 13.7% plan to adopt AI-powered tools this year, which could help underfunded teams accomplish more with limited time and resources. Considering that 41.8% of businesses believe email will have the best ROI of any marketing channel during an economic downturn, there has never been a better time to focus on email.
“Email is a powerhouse communication tool that can drive business results with the right strategy, partners, and tactics in place,” said Josh Odom, President of Sinch Developer and Email. “While budgets are fluctuating with today’s economic climate, it’s clear email is integral to companies’ business goals, and tools available to streamline email delivery, development, and design processes can ease workloads on strained marketing teams.”
In November and December of 2022, Mailjet by Sinch surveyed customers across the Sinch Email portfolio to collect insights and benchmarks on strategy, tactics, processes, measurement, and degrees of email program success. The results include responses from more than 3,220 completed surveys.