The 2015 DMA Email Report is now out, and it shows just how much email's role in the marketing mix has shifted. The breakdown of primary objectives for email shows just under half being for sales and engagement versus just 16% for acquisition and 12% for lead generation. This indicates email's role being targeted further down into the content marketing funnel to engage and convert prospects to sales.
The ROI from email has risen considerably (53%) over the previous year, with an average return of £38 per £1 spent.
The report concludes that this is a result of an increased focus on list growth, lead scoring and more triggered campaigns - all content marketing tactics.
So has email got better overnight? Well no, not really. It shows how focusing on one channel, or one part of a process can skew your view of marketing effectiveness. The fact is that email's role has changed. It is now nurturing and converting warm prospects. Those prospects will have been generated by a multitude of other activities and channels, and the nurturing process will rely on an on-going program of supporting content. So an analysis of the ROI from just the email channel becomes less valid a measure. A true picture of the ROI will come from an end-to-end analysis of the funnel, to which email will have contributed.
This may be reflected in the drop in the reported ability to calculate the ROI from email.
The increasing complexity of the marketing funnel and sales process means that attributing ROI to any single channel or activity is becoming increasingly difficult, and arguably less relevant.
You can download the whole report here.