I wrote a few words in March last year on the ROI that organisations get from their email marketing - click here for the old post.
At that point the Adestra / eConsultancy report highlighted that 42% of organisations had no idea what their email ROI was!
Well a year on the Email Marketing Industry Census 2010 shows that figure to be still an amazing 39%.
To be honest, at the time of the original post I hadn't spent that much time working closely with clients on their email programmes to make a valued judgement on that number's veracity. So I read the figures and just went with them. But now I realise it is true and it's not because Marketers cant be bothered. They actually face some real challenges in getting the resource to follow through with their metrics ' after the click'.
Email is often used in isolation within the overall marketing mix and because it can be seen as a relatively cheap part of the mix, there often isn't the justification for that extra resource or budget to measure it properly.
Of course, if you don't measure a channels impact, you can't really begin to start to optimise it - well apart from optimising opens and clicks, but then that is just like getting prospects to look through your shop window, maybe come into the shop but not take any interest in if they buy or not!!
I've worked with clients who have assumed that because the sales focussed email goes out on a Tuesday and there is a spike in sales for the next 24 hours then that's good enough for them. Others have stated that because it would actually cost them money to optimise their email programmes they wont bother, so why measure?
I say to email marketers who stop at the click that when they next need to justify their email budget, the Finance Director won't stop at the click. In fact he won't even care what it is.
He will say 'Show me the money!! - cue Tom Cruise again