DENVER: Despite the proliferation of social platforms, email remains an important focus for most businesses with a majority intending to spend more time and money on it according to a new study.

Email on Acid, an email testing business, surveyed more than 3,500 people working at companies of various sizes for its 2016 Email Marketing Insights Study and found that seven in ten (71.8%) businesses were planning to increase the time they allocated to email production, while more than eight in ten (86.7%) said they were going to increase email marketing budgets.

Currently, around seven in ten companies spend between one and five hours developing a typical email campaign; one in three respondents indicated they would be spending an additional 20 or more hours every month on this activity.

At least some of that time will be devoted to ensuring emails are properly configured for the variety of mobile devices used by consumers; around one in five marketers reported that between 50% and 61% of their email list opens their messages on a smartphone or tablet.

Additionally, among the marketers surveyed, one third believed that strategy development would have the biggest impact on their email marketing program in the year ahead.

And, in a consumer-centric development, improving email content and providing contextually relevant email experiences were cited almost equally by about one-third of all respondents as marketers' number one goal.

Consumers may be less happy to hear that the frequency of emails is also set to rise, as nearly one quarter of companies said they would send an average of more than one email per day in 2016.

"The rise of new messaging technologies like Slack or HipChat started a debate about whether email is waning in importance and use," said John Thies, CEO of Email on Acid.

"We're seeing the exact opposite. This survey confirms that email will remain a critical tactic to increase consumer engagement, sales and brand awareness. 

"We aren't surprised that companies are investing in strategic, thoughtful email marketing campaigns."

Data sourced from Email on Acid; additional content by Warc staff