Are Email Marketing Budgets Too Low?

Are Email Marketing Budgets Too Low?

Despite email marketing bringing the most return of investment (ROI) to businesses compared to other channels, email resources tend to be neglected. There are always new and shiny digital marketing channels begging marketers to pay attention and devote time and resources to them. But are marketers making the best decisions when email marketing is often the most successful channel?

Email marketing doesn’t have to be expensive

According to the 2018 DMA Marketer Email Tracker report, 82% of marketers were spending between 0% and 20% of marketing budgets on email. More than 40% of respondents say email marketing is under-resourced in their company and only 12% of respondents plan to add email staff this year—about half as many as in 2019. Only 26% say email is “well-resourced”.

Why are marketers spending such a small percentage of marketing budgets on email? Some possible reasons might be:

Low initial costs

Email marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, misleading some marketers as to how much they should invest in it. But allocating more marketing budget to a more expensive channel won’t necessarily bring more ROI.

Hesitation to partner externally

Even with a strong ROI, small-to-midsize businesses may hesitate about finding outside email marketing help. The potential results may be greater, but the initial investment may scare some off.

Depending on how many marketers there are in-house, this can spread resources thin when multiple marketing channels are being used. However, by partnering with an external full services marketing platform such as

Lack of ROI measurement

If a business doesn’t have a way to measure the ROI of all marketing channels, there’s nothing to compare. It then becomes guesswork about how much of a marketing budget should be devoted to each channel.

Lack of strategy

A robust email marketing strategy includes: email marketing goals, email marketing tools, identifying the right target audiences, segmentation, email scheduling, content strategy, email testing, and insightful email performance reports.

Businesses that have all these elements in place know they’ll need to allocate the appropriate resources to them. Businesses that lack comprehensive email strategy may underestimate their budgets and sabotage their results in the process.

The only way to determine what percentage of a marketing budget makes sense to devote to email is to calculate accurate ROIs for all marketing channels. Businesses don’t have to invest a ton into every single form of digital marketing. They should be investing more in the ones that bring more revenue and results to their business,

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