January 30, 2014, 12:08 PM

58% of marketers plan to boost their e-mail marketing budgets this year

That’s more than the percentage who plan to increase their spending on hot areas like social media marketing, a new report finds.

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E-mail marketing budgets are on the rise.

58% of marketers in a recent survey say that they plan to increase their e-mail marketing spending this year, according to e-mail marketing firm ExactTarget’s new “2014 State of Marketing” report. That places e-mail marketing behind only data and analytics (61%) and marketing automation (60%) in terms of marketers’ investment priorities this year, and ahead of areas like social media marketing (57%) and content management (57%).

ExactTarget, which marketing platform Salesforce.com owns, conducted its online survey of 2,651 marketers from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, 2013.  

The report also found that 68% of marketers say e-mail marketing is “core to their business.” And 88% say that e-mail does or will produce a positive return on their investment.

Marketers are using e-mail in a number of ways. Following are various types of e-mail campaigns and the percentage of marketers who say the performance of these campaigns typically is “excellent” or “very good”:

  • Welcome series, 42%
  • Promotional, which includes any e-mails containing promotional messaging, 38%
  • Birthday, 43%
  • Newsletter, 40%
  • Anniversary, 37%
  • Post-purchase, 37%
  • Loyalty, 47%
  • Abandoned cart, which aim to bring shoppers back to the site to purchase items they put in their cart but didn’t pay for, 42%
  • Browse retargeting, which is when a marketer sends an e-mail to a consumer based on what she looked at on a site, 42%
  • Reengagement, or enticing a shopper to return to the retailer, 29%
  • Transactional, such as an order confirmation, 38%

Even though nearly all marketers use e-mail to reach consumers, 42% say they rarely or never use responsive design techniques when designing their e-mails. Responsive design adjusts the way an e-mail displays to the size of the screen a consumer is using. The report found that 66% of marketers say that their e-mails are opened on a mobile device more than 31% of the time.

The report suggests that marketers who have a substantial percentage of consumers opening their e-mails on a mobile device need to develop a responsive design strategy.

“By the end of 2013 the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita,” the report says. “We expect mobile e-mail opens to increase alongside mobile device saturation, so 2014 is the year to commit to mobile-friendliness.”

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