March 11, 2008, 12:00 AM

E-mail deliverability problems costing UK marketers $1.1 billion

51% of respondents say their organizations had problems delivering e-mail to customers in the past year, but only 40% have put a priority on improving delivery rates, according to a recent survey.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

UK marketers are leaving $1.1 billion in sales on the table each year by not addressing problems with e-mail deliverability, estimates the Email Marketing Industry Census 2008 report by UK Internet consulting firm E-consultancy and e-mail marketing agency Adestra.

51% of e-mail managers surveyed early this year said their organizations had problems delivering e-mail to customers in the past year, but only 40% have put a priority on improving delivery rates, the report says.

While only 20% of respondents could estimate how much deliverability was costing their firms, those that did put the figure at 11% of their marketing budgets on average. Adestra estimates about 10% of online sales in the UK, or more than £5 billion ($US10 billion) are driven by e-mail, and extrapolates from the survey data that marketers are forgoing £550 million (US$1.1 billion) in e-commerce sales by not improving e-mail delivery rates.

The survey found only 57% of respondents carry out regular list cleansing, an important practice for improving e-mail effectiveness and deliverability, the report says. "Too many organizations are still failing to carry out essential e-mail practices such as list cleansing and basic segmentation of their e-mail databases,” says Linus Gregoriadis, E-consultancy`s head of research.

The survey also found that e-mail’s share of respondents’ digital marketing budgets had gone up from 19% in 2007 to 23% this year, and that 63% of respondents rate the return on investment from e-mail marketing as excellent or good.

The survey of 600 E-consultancy clients was conducted in January and February.

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