Digital marketers say email remains the most effective tactic across much of the sales funnel, according to a recent report from Gigaom and Extole.

Digital marketers consider email the most effective digital tactic for building awareness (41% of respondents), boosting acquisition (37%), and increasing conversion (42%), the survey of 300 US-based digital marketers found.

In particular, digital marketers say email shines for customer retention, with 56% of respondents citing it as the most effective tactic.

Respondents with tight budgets especially appreciate email's value early in the sales process: Significantly more respondents with smaller budgets rank email as the most popular tactic for achieving brand awareness than do companies with big budgets.

Below, additional key findings from the report.

Tactics Used

  • Though email is viewed as the most effective digital tactic across much of the sales funnel, it remains part of a multipronged approach. Most marketers surveyed get fewer than 25% of their new customers via email campaigns.
  • The four most digital tactics used most by respondents are email marketing (86% use regularly), social media marketing (72%), search engine optimization (70%), and content marketing (64%).

Budget Plans

  • The top three digital-marketing tactics that respondents expect to increase their spend on are social media marketing (38% plan to increase), content marketing (28%), and email marketing (25%).
  • Companies with digital marketing budgets over $1 million are more likely to foresee significantly increasing their spend on social media marketing. Companies with smaller budgets plan to spend more on content marketing and email marketing.

  • Though many marketers plan to increase their spend on social media marketing, most (52%) agree with the following statement: "It is difficult to prove ROI for social media marketing."

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 300 US-based digital marketers.

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The Most Effective, Most Used, and Most Budgeted for Digital Marketing Tactics

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji