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2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report
Practical instructions to generate, New Research and Insights for qualify and nurturePerformance Accelerating Email new business leads based on proven, real-life marketing
Note: This is an authorized excerpt from the full Marketing Sherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report. To download the entire Report, go to: Sherpastore.com/2011Email MarketingBMR1 or call 877-895-1717

2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report
New Research and Insights for Accelerating Email Performance Lead Author Sergio Balegno, Director of Research Contributing Authors Jen Doyle, Senior Research Analyst Jeffrey Rice, Research Analyst Production Editor Brad Bortone, Reporter David Kirkpatrick, Reporter

2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report
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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents .................................................................................................................... ii Executive Summary ................................................................................................................ 2
New Research and Insights for Accelerating Email Performance ......................................................... 2 Research highlight 1. Email marketing maturity – a key indicator of success ....................................... 3 Three Phases of Email Marketing Maturity .................................................................................... 3 Chart: Half of all organizations stuck between Trial Phase and Strategic Phase of maturity ......... 3 Research highlight 2. Perception of ROI drives email marketing investment ........................................ 4 Chart: How organizations perceive email marketing ROI at budget time, by maturity phase......... 4 Research highlight 3. Facing significant obstacles to email marketing success ................................... 5 Chart: Most significant challenges to email marketing effectiveness, by primary channel ............. 5 Research highlight 4. Top tactics for delivering relevant content .......................................................... 6 Chart: Three dimensions of relevancy tactics - effectiveness, difficulty and use ........................... 6 Research highlight 5. Trends in email deliverability .............................................................................. 7 Chart: Deliverability improvements offset by continued challenges ............................................... 7 Research highlight 6. Metrics that matter most ..................................................................................... 8 Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked by percentage of organizations tracking them ................. 8

Chapter 1. The State of Email Marketing .............................................................................. 9
Facing significant new obstacles to email marketing success............................................................. 10 Chart: The significance of challenges to email marketing effectiveness ...................................... 11 Chart: Most significant challenges to email marketing effectiveness, by primary channel ........... 11 Chart: Most significant challenges to email marketing effectiveness, by organization size.......... 12 Chart: Most significant challenges to email marketing effectiveness, by maturity phase ............. 13 Marketer insights on their most difficult email marketing challenges................................................... 14 What email marketers are really trying to achieve .............................................................................. 17 Chart: The importance of email marketing objectives .................................................................. 17 Chart: Most important email marketing objectives, by primary channel ....................................... 18 Chart: Most important email marketing objectives, by organization size...................................... 19 Chart: Most important email marketing objectives, by maturity phase ......................................... 20 Marketer insights on their most important objectives for the coming year........................................... 21 Objectives email marketers are achieving most effectively ................................................................. 24 Chart: The effectiveness of email marketing at achieving objectives ........................................... 24 Chart: Objectives email marketing achieves most effectively, by primary channel ...................... 25 Chart: Objectives email marketing achieves most effectively, by organization size..................... 26 Chart: Objectives email marketing achieves most effectively, by maturity phase ........................ 27 Email marketing maturity – a key indicator of success........................................................................ 28 Three Phases of Email Marketing Maturity .................................................................................. 28 Chart: Half of organizations between Trial and Strategic phases of email marketing maturity .... 28 Chart: Organizations in each phase of email marketing maturity, by primary channel................. 30 ii © Copyright 2000–2010 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions contact service@sherpastore.com.

MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Chart: Organizations in each phase of email marketing maturity, by organization size ............... 31

Chapter 2. Email Budgets and Bottomlines ....................................................................... 32
The perception of ROI drives email marketing investment .................................................................. 32 Chart: Email marketing ROI a reality for more than a quarter of organizations............................ 32 Chart: How organizations perceive email marketing ROI at budget time, by primary channel..... 33 Chart: How organizations perceive email marketing ROI at budget time, by organization size ... 34 Chart: How organizations perceive email marketing ROI at budget time, by maturity phase....... 35 A method for quantifying ROI .............................................................................................................. 36 Chart: Organizations with a method for quantifying email marketing ROI are in the minority ...... 36 Chart: Organizations with a method for quantifying email marketing ROI, by primary channel ... 37 Chart: Marketers with a method for quantifying email marketing ROI, by organization size ........ 38 Chart: Marketers with a method for quantifying email marketing ROI, by maturity phase............ 39 Email marketing ROI benchmarks ...................................................................................................... 40 Chart: Email marketing ROI as percentage as reported by majority of respondents .................. 40 Chart: Email marketing ROI as percentage, by primary channel ................................................. 41 The changing marketing budget landscape ........................................................................................ 42 Chart: Organizations increasing and decreasing marketing budgets - the impact on tactics ....... 42 Chart: Net change (organizations increasing minus decreasing budgets), by primary channel ... 43 Chart: Net change (organizations increasing minus decreasing budgets), by organization size . 44 Chart: Net change (organizations increasing minus decreasing budgets), by maturity phase ..... 45 Chart: Marketing budgets don't include staffing costs for majority of organizations ..................... 46 Online’s share of the marketing budget .............................................................................................. 47 Chart: Share of marketing budget allocated to online marketing by majority of organizations ..... 47 Chart: Share of marketing budget allocated to online marketing, by primary channel ................. 48 Chart: Share of marketing budget allocated to online marketing, by organization size................ 49 Chart: Share of marketing budget allocated to online marketing, by maturity phase ................... 50 Email’s share of the online marketing budget ..................................................................................... 51 Chart: Share of online budget allocated to email marketing by majority of organizations ............ 51 Chart: Share of online marketing budget allocated to email marketing, by primary channel........ 52 Chart: Share of online marketing budget allocated to email marketing, by organization size ...... 53 Chart: Share of online marketing budget allocated to email marketing, by maturity phase.......... 54 Substantial email marketing budget increases projected for 2011 ...................................................... 55 Chart: Extent of changes to email marketing budgets in the coming year ................................... 55 Chart: Extent of changes to email marketing budgets in the coming year, by primary channel ... 56 Chart: Extent of changes to email marketing budgets in the coming year, by organization size.. 57 Chart: Extent of changes to email marketing budgets in the coming year, by maturity phase ..... 58

Chapter 3. Getting Relevant by Being Personal ................................................................ 59
Top tactics for delivering relevant content ........................................................................................... 59 Chart: Three dimensions of relevancy tactics - effectiveness, difficulty and use ......................... 59 Relevancy tactics used ....................................................................................................................... 60 Chart: Tactics organizations are using to improve relevancy....................................................... 60 Chart: Tactics used to improve email relevancy, by primary channel .......................................... 61 iii © Copyright 2000–2010 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions contact service@sherpastore.com.

MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Chart: Tactics used to improve email relevancy, by organization size ......................................... 62 Chart: Tactics used to improve email relevancy, by maturity phase ............................................ 63 The time, effort and expense required of relevancy tactics ................................................................. 64 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics - degree of difficulty ........................................................ 64 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated difficult, by primary channel ................................... 65 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated difficult, by organization size.................................. 66 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated difficult, by maturity phase ..................................... 67 The effectiveness of relevancy tactics ................................................................................................ 68 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics - level of effectiveness .................................................... 68 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated very effective, by primary channel ......................... 69 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated very effective, by organization size ........................ 70 Chart: Relevancy improvement tactics rated very effective, by maturity phase ........................... 71 Marketer insights on the most effective relevancy and personalization tactics ................................... 72 Satisfying subscriber preferences ....................................................................................................... 75 Chart: Satisfying subscriber preferences starts with collecting data ............................................ 75 Chart: Organizations collecting and using subscriber preference data, by primary channel ........ 76 Chart: Organizations collecting and using subscriber preference data, by organization size ...... 77 Chart: Organizations collecting and using subscriber preference data, by maturity phase .......... 78 What it takes to personalize email ...................................................................................................... 79 Chart: Data collected for email personalization goes beyond subscriber name........................... 79 Chart: Collecting and using subscriber personalization data, by primary channel ....................... 80 Chart: Collecting and using subscriber personalization data, by organization size...................... 81 Chart: Collecting and using subscriber personalization data, by maturity phase ......................... 82 Case briefing: Personalization tactics increase conversions ............................................................... 83

Chapter 4. Driving Email List Growth.................................................................................. 84
Top tactics for increasing subscriber lists ........................................................................................... 84 Chart: Three dimensions of list growth tactics - effectiveness, difficulty and use......................... 84 Email list growth tactics used .............................................................................................................. 85 Chart: Tactics organizations are using to grow email lists ........................................................... 85 Chart: Tactics used to drive email list growth, by primary channel .............................................. 86 Chart: Tactics used to drive email list growth, by organization size ............................................. 87 Chart: Tactics used to drive email list growth, by maturity phase ................................................ 88 The time, effort and expense required of list growth tactics ................................................................ 89 Chart: Email list growth tactics - degree of difficulty..................................................................... 89 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated difficult, by primary channel ............................................... 90 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated difficult, by organization size .............................................. 91 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated difficult, by maturity phase ................................................. 92 The effectiveness of list growth tactics ................................................................................................ 93 Chart: Email list growth tactics - level of effectiveness ................................................................ 93 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated very effective, by primary channel ..................................... 94 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated very effective, by organization size .................................... 95 Chart: Email list growth tactics rated very effective, by maturity phase ....................................... 96

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Marketer insights on their most effective list growth tactics ................................................................ 97 Social media as a list growth tactic ..................................................................................................... 99 Chart: Organizations using limited number of social sharing buttons in email campaigns ........... 99 Chart: Social sharing buttons used in email campaigns, by primary channel ............................ 100 Chart: Social sharing buttons used in email campaigns, by organization size ........................... 101 Chart: Social sharing buttons used in email campaigns, by maturity phase .............................. 102 Trends in email list growth ................................................................................................................ 103 Chart: Email list growth continues positive trend during the past year ....................................... 103 Chart: Email list growth trend, by primary channel .................................................................... 104 Chart: Email list growth trend, by organization size ................................................................... 105 Chart: Email list growth trend, by maturity phase ...................................................................... 106 Case briefing: .................................................................................................................................... 107 Solutions and providers for sending house email list ........................................................................ 108 Chart: Advanced solutions and service providers the top choice among email marketers ........ 108 Chart: Type of email solution or provider used, by primary channel .......................................... 109 Chart: Type of email solution or provider used, by organization size ......................................... 110 Chart: Type of email solution or provider used, by maturity phase ............................................ 111

Chapter 5. Making it Into the Inbox ................................................................................... 112
Top tactics for improving email deliverability ..................................................................................... 112 Chart: Three dimensions of deliverability tactics - effectiveness, difficulty and use ................... 112 Deliverability tactics used .................................................................................................................. 113 Chart: Improving email deliverability starts with removing inactive subscribers ......................... 113 Chart: Tactics used to improve email deliverability, by primary channel .................................... 114 Chart: Tactics used to improve email deliverability, by organization size .................................. 115 Chart: Tactics used to improve email deliverability, by maturity phase ...................................... 116 The time, effort and expense required of deliverability tactics .......................................................... 117 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics - degree of difficulty................................................... 117 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated difficult, by primary channel ............................. 118 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated difficult, by organization size ............................ 119 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated difficult, by maturity phase ............................... 120 The effectiveness of deliverability tactics .......................................................................................... 121 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics - level of effectiveness .............................................. 121 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated very effective, by primary channel ................... 122 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated very effective, by organization size .................. 123 Chart: Deliverability improvement tactics rated very effective, by maturity phase ..................... 124 Trends in deliverability issues ........................................................................................................... 125 Chart: Deliverability improvements offset by continued challenges ........................................... 125 Marketer insights on the state of deliverability and tactics for improving it ........................................ 126

Chapter 6. Metrics that Matter Most .................................................................................. 128
Measuring email marketing performance .......................................................................................... 128 Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked by percentage of organizations ................................... 128 Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked, by primary channel ..................................................... 129 v © Copyright 2000–2010 MarketingSherpa LLC, a MECLABS Group Company. It is forbidden to copy this report in any manner. For permissions contact service@sherpastore.com.

MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked, by organization size ................................................... 130 Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked, by maturity phase ....................................................... 131 A year of change in key performance metrics ................................................................................... 132 Chart: Organizations seeing measurable changes in email response rates .............................. 132 Chart: Net change (increases minus decreases) in response rates, by primary channel .......... 133 Chart: Net change (increases minus decreases in response rates), by organization size ......... 134 Chart: Net change (increases minus decreases in response rates), by maturity phase ............ 135 Marketer insights on using metrics to improve email performance ................................................... 136 How marketers measure emails delivered ........................................................................................ 140 Chart: How email marketers calculate 'Delivery Rate' ............................................................... 140 Chart: 'Delivery Rate' defined, by primary channel .................................................................... 141 Chart: 'Delivery Rate' defined, by organization size ................................................................... 142 Chart: 'Delivery Rate' defined, by maturity phase ...................................................................... 143 How marketers measure emails opened........................................................................................... 144 Chart: Calculating 'Open Rate'................................................................................................... 144 Chart: 'Open Rate' defined, by primary channel ........................................................................ 145 Chart: 'Open Rate' defined, by organization size ....................................................................... 146 Chart: 'Open Rate' defined, by maturity phase .......................................................................... 147 How marketers measure emails opened........................................................................................... 148 Chart: Calculating 'Click-Through Rate' ..................................................................................... 148 Chart: 'Click-Through Rate' defined, by primary market ............................................................ 149 Chart: 'Click-Through Rate' defined, by organization size ......................................................... 150 Chart: 'Click-Through Rate' defined, by maturity phase ............................................................. 151 How marketers measure emails converted ....................................................................................... 152 Chart: Calculating 'Post-Click Conversions' ............................................................................... 152 Chart: 'Post-Click Conversions' defined, by primary channel..................................................... 153 Chart: 'Post-Click Conversions' defined, by organization size ................................................... 154 Chart: 'Post-Click Conversions' defined, by maturity phase....................................................... 155 Benchmarking email newsletter performance ................................................................................... 156 Chart: How the average email newsletter campaign performs .................................................. 156 Chart: Performance rates for email newsletter campaigns, by primary channel ........................ 157 Chart: Performance rates for email newsletter campaigns, by organization size....................... 158 Chart: Performance rates for email newsletter campaigns, by maturity phase .......................... 159 Benchmarking email (other than newsletter) performance ................................................................ 160 Chart: How the average email campaign that is not a newsletter performs ............................... 160 Chart: Performance rates for email campaigns that are not newsletters, by primary channel ... 161 Chart: Performance rates for email campaigns that are not newsletters, by organization size .. 162 Chart: Performance rates for email campaigns that are not newsletters, by maturity phase ..... 163

Chapter 7. Putting Email to the Test ................................................................................. 164
Testing and optimizing email marketing performance ....................................................................... 164 Chart: Minority of organizations routinely test email campaigns ................................................ 164 Chart: Organizations routinely testing email campaigns, by primary channel ............................ 165

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

Chart: Organizations routinely testing email campaigns, by organization size .......................... 166 Chart: Organizations routinely testing email campaigns, by maturity phase .............................. 167 Campaign elements tested ............................................................................................................... 168 Chart: Campaign elements routinely tested to optimize performance........................................ 168 Chart: Campaign elements routinely tested to optimize performance, by primary channel ....... 169 Chart: Campaign elements routinely tested to optimize performance, by organization size ...... 170 Chart: Campaign elements routinely tested to optimize performance, by maturity phase ......... 171 Marketer insights on methods typically used to test email campaigns .............................................. 172 Methodology for email testing and optimization ................................................................................ 174

Appendix 1. Benchmark Survey Demographics .............................................................. 175
Chart: Survey respondents by primary channel ......................................................................... 175 Chart: Survey respondents by industry sector ........................................................................... 176 Chart: Survey respondents by organization size ....................................................................... 177 Chart: Survey respondents by marketing role and decision-making authority ........................... 179

Appendix 2. Email Marketing Glossary ............................................................................. 180 Appendix 3. Research Partner ........................................................................................... 198

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
NEW RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS FOR ACCELERATING EMAIL PERFORMANCE
Email has long been established as one of the hardest working tools in the marketing toolbox. Strategically, email plays an important role in achieving a wide range of marketing objectives. Tactically, email appears to have unlimited potential especially when integrated with emerging marketing channels like social media. As a mature tactic, performance improvements are no longer measured in quantum leaps but in incremental steps. But when multiple improvement tactics are combined, performance is accelerated. And helping you understand which email marketing tactics will be most effective is the purpose of this study. For the eighth consecutive year, MarketingSherpa has conducted new research and comprehensively rewritten the 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report to provide marketers the data and insights needed to make informative marketing decisions. In this study, more than 1100 marketers shared their valuable experience about what’s working (and what‘s not) in email marketing today, to help you better understand how to accelerate email performance. In addition to learning more about the state of email from a strategic and tactical standpoint, you’ll also gain a deeper knowledge of the following key issues from the most comprehensive study of email marketing available. Benchmark Reports MarketingSherpa Benchmark Reports provide marketing executives and practitioners the comprehensive research data and insights needed to compare an organization’s practices and performance against industry benchmarks, to guide strategic decisions and tactical planning.

The impact of email marketing maturity This study has revealed a clear correlation between the phase of an organization’s email marketing maturity and the effectiveness of its email programs. Throughout this report, findings have been segmented by phase of maturity to demonstrate the disparity in performance of organizations in each phase. This information allows you to determine the practices and follow the lead of marketers with proven success. Three dimensional views of email tactics We found that, in many cases, marketers are more likely to use email tactics that are fast and easy to implement than those that are most effective. By incorporating and analyzing three sets of data from the study (effectiveness, difficulty and use) on some of email marketing’s most significant challenges, marketers are able to correct their course of actions to improve performance. All new metrics and benchmarks Email marketers wanted more data for comparing their email marketing performance with similar organizations and we’ve delivered. The 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report has taken a deeper dive into the metrics that matter most to email marketers, and segmented this information by organization size, primary channel and phase of marketing maturity for comparative purposes. The research highlights contained in this Executive Summary section of the 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report are a very small sample of the more than 150 charts with in-depth analysis from MarketingSherpa researchers and the hundreds of insights from real-life marketers like you.

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 1. EMAIL MARKETING MATURITY – A KEY INDICATOR OF SUCCESS
Throughout this report, we have segmented data by phase of email marketing maturity. Each phase represents how systematic an organization is in its approach to email marketing. The phase of an organization’s maturity is determined by the process they use (or don’t use) to plan, execute, measure and report on email marketing programs. The purpose of this segmentation is to demonstrate the disparity in the performance of email marketing programs by organizations in each phase of maturity, and the relationship between the phase and an organization’s email marketing success.

Three Phases of Email Marketing Maturity Trial Phase Organization does not have a process or guidelines for performing email marketing. Transition Phase Organization has an informal process with a few guidelines they sporadically perform. Strategic Phase Organization has a formal process with thorough guidelines they routinely perform.

Chart: Half of all organizations stuck between Trial Phase and Strategic Phase of maturity

We do not have a process or guidelines for performing email marketing (Trial phase) 14%

We have a formal process with thorough guidelines we routinely perform (Strategic phase) 37%

We have an informal process with a few guidelines we sporadically perform (Transition phase) 49%

Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 2. PERCEPTION OF ROI DRIVES EMAIL MARKETING INVESTMENT
How executives perceive email marketing's ability to produce a return on investment will determine the investment they are willing to make. Organizations in the strategic phase of email marketing maturity are about twice as likely to believe that email marketing is producing a ROI as are their counterparts in the transition and trial phases. Consequently, strategic phase organizations are more than twice as likely to increase email marketing budgets liberally in 2011 for continuous improvement. At the other extreme, organizations in the trial and transition phases of maturity are much more likely to believe that email marketing is basically free and intend to keep it that way. These organizations are destined to get what they pay for. Chart: How organizations perceive email marketing ROI at budget time, by maturity phase 38% 20% 19%

Email marketing is producing a ROI. Let's increase the budget liberally for continuous improvement.

Email marketing will eventually produce a ROI. Let's increase the budget but do it conservatively.

38% 43% 41%

6% Email marketing is unlikely to produce a ROI. Why invest more? 10% 8%

Strategic phase Transition phase Trial phase

18% Email marketing is basically free. Let's keep it that way. 28% 32%
Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 3. FACING SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES TO EMAIL MARKETING SUCCESS
Email marketers continue to struggle with the challenge of delivering highly relevant content to their target audiences. Whether you are marketing to consumers, businesses or both, the more targeted your email campaigns, the more content is required. Developing a sufficient amount of content is a time-intensive process that many marketers do not have the resources to produce. While relevancy will be the most significant challenge to email marketing effectiveness in 2011, there is a range of second tier issues - from quantifying email marketing ROI to growing email lists - that are equally challenging to marketers in all channels and have been addressed in this study. Chart: Most significant challenges to email marketing effectiveness, by primary channel 68% 66% 56% 44% 37% 44% 41% 39% 31% 40% 46% 42% 38% 35% 36% 33% 33% 40%
Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

Targeting recipients with highly relevant content

Quantifying email marketing ROI

Improving email deliverability

Business channel (B2B) Consumer channel (B2C) Both channels (B2B2C)

Getting people to opt-in to email lists

Legitimate email being perceived as spam

Lack of an effective email marketing strategy

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 4. TOP TACTICS FOR DELIVERING RELEVANT CONTENT
The popular use of an email marketing tactic does not always reflect its effectiveness. We've taken a deeper dive into the analysis of tactics throughout this study to gain a better understanding. This chart incorporates three sets of data on relevancy tactics. The level of effectiveness is shown on the vertical axis while the degree of difficulty to implement the tactic is shown on the horizontal axis. The size of each sphere represents its level of usage. This chart shows, for example, that the tactic of segmenting email campaigns based on behavior is used more often than automatically sending email based on triggers, which is more effective and less difficult to implement. Chart: Three dimensions of relevancy tactics - effectiveness, difficulty and use

70%

Usage indicated by sphere size
Automatically send email based on triggers Segmented email campaigns based on behavior

60%

Level of Effectiveness

50%

40% Allowed subscribers to specify email preferences

30%

Dynamically personalized email content

Segmented email campaigns based on sales cycle

20%

10%

0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

Degree of Difficulty
Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 5. TRENDS IN EMAIL DELIVERABILITY
Making it into the inbox involves a complex set of issues and is a perennial challenge for email marketers. While many organizations are experiencing measurable improvements, nearly as many are experiencing worsening conditions. The net result overall is a slight change for the better. The effectiveness of tactics used to improve deliverability varies significantly and many marketers have shared their insights in this study on what works best for them. For example, as one marketer told us, “Removal of non participating subscribers has had the most influence on improving deliverability and email performance rates in all aspects of email marketing. In other words, get rid of the deadbeat email addresses and everything improves, and the spam companies leave our email alone.” Chart: Deliverability improvements offset by continued challenges Measureably worsening Bounce-backs and undeliverable email Missing rate (not delivered anywhere) 15% Measureably improving 27%

12%

22%

Inbox placement rate

11%

21%

Junk folder placement rate

18%

19%

Emails not opened in more than 6 months Emails not clicked in more than 6 months -20%

18%

18%

15%

16%

-10%

0%

10%

20%

30%

Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

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MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT 6. METRICS THAT MATTER MOST
Measuring the performance of email campaigns enables marketers to benchmark and optimize results. But which metrics are worth tracking? The vast majority of organizations track the fundamental delivery, open and click-through rates. But, as well established as these traditional metrics are, we found there is still no clear consensus on the formula used to calculate each of these metrics. The more comprehensive an email program becomes, the more reliant a marketer becomes on incremental downstream metrics like post-click conversions and revenue per email. These downstream metrics are essential to tracking ROI back to email campaigns, and gaining the budgets necessary for continuous email marketing improvements. Chart: Email marketing metrics tracked by percentage of organizations tracking them Click-through rate Open rate Delivery rate Clicks per link in email Clicks per email Post-click conversion rate Response by list segment Revenue per email Social sharing rate 92% 90% 81% 51% 51% 44% 36% 33% 18%
Source: MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Methodology: Fielded Sep 2010, N=1,115

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