A new study from email marketing platform Yesmail reveals that B2B email recipients were slow to engage with emails sent by marketers in Q2 2014, ranking last by industry in an analysis of recipient activity.
According to the study, “Email Marketing Compass: Benchmarks from Q2 2013 through Q2 2014,” 1.3 percent of B2B email marketing recipients could be considered “active” in Q2 of this year. This means that the subscribers opened or clicked an email within 90 days of receiving it. Out of all of the industries that Yesmail analyzed, B2B ranked the lowest.
The report suggested that low activity is due to disengaged recipients who feel there is a lack of value in marketing emails.
“The tipping point occurs when the engaged subscriber realizes that, no matter how many times they open your message, their expectation of benefit is not met,” wrote the authors of the study.
Uncertainty Surrounding Email Marketing
B2B email marketing’s ineffectiveness could be attributed to the fact that not all marketers believe their email strategy is optimal, according to research gathered by the Demand Metric Research Corporation. A study titled “B2B Email Marketing Effectiveness Benchmarks, Insights & Advice” found that only 28 percent of marketers acknowledge that their email marketing plan and lead generation efforts are becoming stronger.
Approximately 62 percent of respondents also said that they do not know their digital reputation as an email sender.
“If the popularity of email as a marketing channel persists, marketers need to do more to at least maintain its effectiveness, if not improve it,” wrote the authors of the study. “To use a metaphor, email is a vehicle that we rely on to take us places we need to go. For it to run well over the long term, it needs regular maintenance, but many marketers are neglecting to perform it, which will ultimately leads to worse performance and eventual abandonment – or perhaps forcing a trade in for a newer, better marketing vehicle (if one exists).”
Despite the challenges being faced by B2B marketers, a 2014 study by analytics firm Custora revealed email marketing still accounts for 7 percent of customer acquisitions, making it the second-most effective marketing channel behind organic search (16 percent). Email marketing is also 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined (less than 1 percent).