Revenue Contribution From Email Marketing Reaches Record Levels In 2017

Jun 22, 2017

Revenue contribution from email marketing is the highest ever — up 18% to over 20% of overall revenue in 2017 as compared to 2016 — according to "The Return on Email Personalization," a new study released by market research firm The Relevancy Group in collaboration with OneSpot, a content personalization and intelligence platform. The survey of executive marketers examined how they are capitalizing on email as a meaningful component of their overall business, including the effectiveness of email personalization across industry sectors.

Revenue and Engagement Higher Among Marketers Using Personalized Content in Email Versus Non-Users

Among the study's key findings is that marketers using deep personalization can drive as much as 17% more revenue through their email programs than counterparts that do not use deep personalization. What's more, engagement rates for marketers leveraging personalized content and offers in their email programs are universally higher as compared to those not using personalization. Additional business results for marketers that personalize email as compared to those that do not include 6% higher conversion rates; 5% higher average order value and higher click through and open rates.

CPG, Professional Services and Technology Marketers Derive Greatest Percent of Overall Revenue from Email

As compared to other industries, email drives a greater percentage of overall revenue for Consumer Packaged Goods, Professional Services and Technology companies, while Financial Services companies also outperform the average with nearly one quarter of overall revenue directly attributed to email marketing initiatives. Comparing second quarter 2017 to the same period in the prior year, average open rates for email marketers increased to 27% from 25%, while click-through-rates increased to 16% from 14%.

Email Personalization in 2017 is Highly Effective, Still Underutilized

While 65% of marketers said dynamic content in email marketing was their most effective approach, researchers noted that the efficacy and response is because content is highly personalized — and is not a result of the dynamic nature of the content. Other findings regarding email personalization approaches include:

  • 60% report that leveraging real-time data in email is “effective” or “highly effective”
  • 58% report using machine learning is “effective” or “highly effective”
  • 59% report personalizing email content based on real-time data

Though the majority of email marketers know email personalization is effective, the study found that many struggle to capitalize on it.

  • 44% percent of executive marketers cited "lack of internal buy-in" as the biggest impediment to implementing personalization
  • Over half of marketers are still not making personalized product recommendations in their messages or using a recommendation engine to serve personalized content to newsletter subscribers
  • 78% leverage basic first name personalization
  • 26% report personalization efforts in email are not a priority in existing budgets