According to email marketing provider Newsweaver, email has become an important marketing tool in Ireland. Based on a recent Email Marketing Insight report conducted in conjunction with The Marketing Institute of Ireland, over three quarters (78.1%) of Irish marketers said that email is either "important" or "very important" to their overall marketing strategy. And of the 628 who participated in the research, over half (55%) expect their expenditure on email marketing to increase in the next 12 months.
"As marketers are increasingly relying on email as a vehicle to engage with customers and prospects, the purpose of this study was to examine the use of email marketing in Ireland today," said Tom Trainor, CEO The Marketing Institute. "This report will undoubtedly prove invaluable to all Irish marketers. The findings provide some thought provoking insights and practical guidelines which will help Irish marketers drive their email marketing forward," he added.
The report highlighted that Irish marketers really do value the benefits of email and its ability to deliver effective, immediate and measurable communications. And, the majority of marketers are currently using email marketing to "maintain relationships with existing customers", drive "internal communications" and for "building brand awareness".
The research also highlighted that a high proportion of marketers (50.3%) are currently using desktop solutions such as Outlook, instead of specialist email-marketing systems, to run their email marketing campaigns. "Whilst desktop solutions do meet the needs of a very basic email campaign, they do not allow for any tracking, segmentation or personalisation and may be creating delivery problems that marketers are not aware of," commented Andrew O’Shaughnessy, CEO Newsweaver. This is also borne out in the rest of the findings, which showed that Irish marketers are only using the minimum personalisation in their email marketing – 39.6% personalise by name only and over a quarter (24.9%) do not use any personalisation at all. And most marketers are not tracking their email performance.
On the plus side, it is encouraging to see that the majority of marketers plan to increase their investment in email marketing and become more sophisticated in their use of email. "These findings match our own experience. We have seen our clients take a more advanced approach to their email as they realise the benefits of tracking, segmentation and personalisation," said O’Shaughnessy. "The real value of email marketing is in the ability to track how recipients interact with your email and use this information to further refine and improve communications," he added.
When asked what challenges lay ahead for email marketing, most Irish marketers felt that "inbox overload" and "spam eroding trust in email" were the biggest challenges facing email marketing. O’Shaughnessy advises, "Individual companies can work to overcome this issue by striving to send emails that don’t fall into the perceived-as-spam category. They can do this by providing anticipated, permission-based, timely, relevant emails – rather than sending untargeted one-size-fits-all, unwanted emails."