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Benchmarking your Email and marketing automation capabilities – how do you compare?

Chart of the Day: New Smart Insights research comparing how businesses manage their email marketing activities

Email marketing remains one of today’s core customer communications channels with analytics showing that, for most types of business, alongside search marketing, it is one of the main drivers of customer acquisition - for generating new online sales and leads. While the beauty of email marketing is that you can quickly start by sending promotional emails and newsletters, businesses will only get the full potential delivered by their email service providers they choose if they deploy marketing automation.

In a major, global research project with our partners GetResponse, Content Marketing Institute and Holistic Email Marketing, we were interested to see how many businesses are taking full advantage of email marketing capabilities. The free research report Email Marketing and Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 was published this week and included the views of over 2,500 marketers - thank you if you shared your experiences of email marketing.

One of the main questions we were interested to answer, was how the sophistication of email marketing varied on a scale of 1 to 5, using the Smart Insights standard capability review (this and other reviews are available in our free download of digital marketing benchmarking templates for different channels).

Survey results on benchmarking

Our research showed a range of capabilities in Marketing Automation as shown in the chart. It was good to see more business are now making effective use of automation with over one-quarter (27.5%) rating themselves positively. Kudos to these marketers and businesses who have put in place the projects to plan and deploy lifecycle automation.

However, the chart also shows that many businesses have a lot of potential to improve their email marketing by deploying marketing with over one-half, 53.9%, rating themselves in the bottom three categories. For these companies to use more of the features of marketing automation explained in the report will need time to be ringfenced to plan automation projects. Once these are set up they will deliver benefits to the business in acquisition, conversion and retention every single day without the need for manual intervention. So the initial investment in time and money is likely to be recouped several fold.

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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