Many companies are realizing that batch-and-blast email marketing is no longer effective: 46% say they have already implemented automated, event-triggered, email marketing programs and, among those not currently running such programs, 58% plan to do so in the next two years, according to a survey from StrongMail.

Below, additional findings from StongMail's 2011 Lifecycle Email Marketing Survey.

Return on investment in lifecycle email marketing is significant, StrongMail notes, citing April 2011 research from Gartner titled "Top Seven CRM Marketing Processes for 2011." In its report, Gartner finds marketers can achieve a 600% lift in campaign performance over traditional outbound programs via event-triggered techniques.

Lifecycle Marketing Adoption, by Industry

The travel and hospitality, retail, and tech industries lead adoption with 63%, 62%, and 58% of brands in those industries now using some form of lifecycle email marketing, respectively.

Brands in the financial services industry (37%) have the lowest level of lifecycle marketing adoption.

Welcome Programs Most Popular

More than three quarters of brands using lifecycle email marketing programs (78%) use welcome programs, while 45% use post-purchase programs and 44% use cross/upsell programs.

Only 26% of brands say they run cart abandonment programs, but that number jumps to 57% within the retail vertical. Some 68% of retailers surveey also use post-purchase lifecycle programs (e.g., product reviews, satisfaction surveys, etc.), compared with the 45% average across all verticals.

Looking for solid, substantiated information about email from the industry's best resources? The 67-page Email Marketing Factbook featuring 39 charts tells you about email usage, what captures users' attention, and how organizations are using email to reach customers. This email factbook consists of chapters 1 & 2 from the larger Digital Marketing Factbook a 144-page compilation of data and 110 charts that also covers search engine marketing and social media.

Benefits of Lifecycle Email Marketing

Most (75%) brands that use lifecycle email marketing say such programs outperform traditional batch-and-blast email programs.

Asked to identify the main benefits of event-triggered, lifecycle email marketing programs, 67% of brands report increased subscriber engagement as the top benefit, followed by lift in campaign performance (55%), and increased customer satisfaction/retention (54%).

In addition, 46% of those who have adopted lifecycle marketing cite increased revenue as a top benefit; 45% cite higher ROI; and 38% cite fewer, but more profitable, mailings.

Obstacles to Implementing Lifecycle Email Marketing Programs

Among the 51% of brands not currently running lifecycle email programs, the top-cited issues include the following:

  • Lack of budget: 38%
  • Lack of tools and/or technology: 26%
  • Inability to access the customer data needed to power such programs: 16%

The ability to easily create and manage programs is another factor curbing adoption: 57% of brands not currently running lifecycle email programs say they would leverage lifecycle marketing if they had a tool with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface.

About the data: Findings are from a survey of roughly 1,000 marketing, sales, and e-commerce executives from a wide range of industries, conducted by StrongMail in June 2011.  

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