Industry’s “fear of self-loathing in email” declines as volumes hit all time high

A great report by those legends at the Direct Marketing Association who have found that marketing email volumes hit an all-time high during the first half of 2012, with over three billion emails sent on average monthly, according to latest available industry figures.
But what does this mean? Especially for my B2B employers The Apprentice Academy?

The DMA’s National Email Benchmarking Report H1 2012 reveals a 46% surge in sent emails while click through rates exceeded half a billion.

The report’s authors, the DMA’s Email Marketing Council, attribute a “willingness to send (more) email” and “a change in attitude” for the growth in email volumes. In addition, the report highlights that businesses are increasing integration of email and social in their marketing mix. According to the report, 87% of social media marketers use email marketing and 61% plan to increase their email efforts.

As volumes increased, the first half of 2012 also saw a 57% rise in campaigns with the total number sent increasing by 4,709 to 12,937 compared to H2 2011. Contact frequencies fell 4% from 2012 with consumers receiving no more than 2 emails per month per brand on average, even though conversion rates from email have overtaken search by 60%.

Additionally, the report found that the proportion of email addresses managed by ESPs increased by 35% compared to H1 2011 and given the success of social media, 71% of ESPs said that one in four of their clients collect email addresses using social media channels.

Dela Quist, CEO of Alchemy Worx, the sponsors of the report, said;

“A self-confident email marketing industry is beginning to throw off a ‘fear and self-loathing’ in email. This report shows that UK brands regard email as an indispensable marketing channel, delivering close to 3/4 of a billion visits to websites in H1 2012 alone.

“What these figures don’t highlight is the effort and sophistication behind these volume increases – brands are working hard to deliver better content to their customers and this is reflected not only in our own clients’ email campaigns, but also in the satisfaction with marketing emails recorded in the DMA Consumer Tracking study.”

James Bunting, Chair of the DMA Email Council’s benchmarking hub, said;

“Marketers should be capitalising more on social activity to drive email content by using appropriate tools to monitor conversations around relevant topics. Doing will help to understand their audiences’ priorities and interests, which can shape email content.

“Marketers need to focus on quality of content and using data to drive relevant content should be key for marketers. The volume and depth of data means that data-driven communications also present a great opportunity to drive up email frequency”.

The DMA’s 2012 H1 National Email Benchmarking Report, which surveys the UK’s top 15 ESPs, is the latest half-yearly snapshot of the email marketing sector to measure performance on a number of important metrics to give marketers insight into prevailing industry trends.

Download the 2012 H1 National Email Benchmarking Report

Perhaps what it means is the The Apprentice Academy could start doing emails to businesses in Manchester as well as helping them recruit apprentices.

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