In the recently published report MARKETER EMAIL TRACKER 2018, which is based on surveys conducted by DMA (Direct Marketing Association) UK, marketers are asked about their views on email marketing in terms of effectiveness, importance for their company, content, and effects of the new European General Data Protection Regulation. We have summarized the most important results for you.

Email continues to play a crucial role for marketers

Email plays an extremely important role in the marketing strategies in many companies. It is the central basis for multi-channel marketing campaigns. 86 percent of all marketers rate emails as important or very important for their company. Today, the return on investment is higher than ever before. The values for click rates, opening rates and conversion rates are more than convincing – but some marketers are sceptical when it comes to assessing the future.
One of the reasons is the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new GDPR will be binding for companies conducting their business in the European Union from May onwards . Many marketers have an ambivalent relationship with this new EU regulation. Although 42 percent feel prepared for the changes, only 36 percent of marketers believe that GDPR will have a positive effect on their email programme. In contrast to this, 43 percent of marketing managers have concerns and expect negative effects. There is no doubt that GDPR contains a number of hurdles. But it also offers companies opportunities. High data protection standards create customer confidence if they are communicated honestly, openly, and transparently.

Construction area: testing

The DMA study shows that testing is a major problem for companies. 19 percent of markets state that their organisations have no competence in testing. 47 percent of respondents test less than a quarter of their mailings. 15 percent do not carry out any testing at all, almost doubling the value compared to the previous year (8% in 2016). Here too, however, companies are divided. Although many have restricted testing, other companies are moving in the diametrically opposed direction. For example, 19% of companies state that they are testing more than three quarters of their mailing campaigns (3 percent more than in the previous year). Many companies miss the chance to optimize their campaigns and make them more efficient, because nowadays it is easier than ever before to test and customize content for the users.
The same applies to the unsubscription of newsletters and email distribution lists. After an unsubscription, many customers expect to be asked for their opinion and are willing to tell the companies why they want to unsubscribe. However, only a fraction of companies conduct survey after a user has unsubscribed. The other companies miss the opportunity to get to know customers better. Thereby, the miss a chance to improve the own performance to prevent further unsubscriptions.

Positive development of various KPI

These days, half of the marketers are confident that they can calculate the return on investment (ROI) accurately. This has risen from an average of £30.03 in the previous year to £32.38 for every £1 spent which marks an all-time high. The average value of an email address can be determined by 22 percent of all respondents and is rated at £28.56. In addition, many marketers see an increase in click rates (52 percent of marketers), opening rates (51 percent) and conversion rates (49 percent).Hurdles for the future
In the view of those positive developments, it is surprising that there are many hurdles in numerous companies. For instance, the proportion of marketing budget spent on email campaigns has declined from 12,3 percent in 2016 to 10,9 percent in 2017. Furthermore, many marketers complain about:

  • Limited internal resources (39 percent)
  • A limited budget (24 percent)
  • Inefficient internal processes (23 percent)
  • Insufficient data (23 percent
  • An immature strategy

A similar picture emerges when it comes to marketing automation. The difference is that in the opinion of many respondents the use of outdated technology plays a significant role (20 percent). Another issue that needs to be addressed is the expansion of loyalty programmes. 30 percent of the customers are interested in such systems, but only 15 percent of companies offer one such.


Email marketing is an important part of the marketing mix in almost all companies. ROI and other KPIs have continued to improve in recent years so that other means of communication can hardly compete with email. Nevertheless, many companies are restricting their spendings in this area, resulting in a scarcity of resources, budgets, and partly poor data. In the long term, companies are missing the chance to further optimise their marketing. Instead, it should rather be invested in resources and employee skills.
(Source: DMA)

infographic: core results dma marketer email tracker 2018

infographic: core results dma marketer email tracker 2018