LONDON: Nearly all marketers regard email as important to their work, but fewer than one in ten believe all their emails to customers are relevant, according to a new study.

The Marketer email tracker 2017 report from the DMA, sponsored by dotmailer, found that two in five (42%) marketers said that at best 'some' of their emails were relevant to consumers – a clear disconnect between what marketers want to achieve and what they actually produce.

The research also revealed that both marketers and consumers agree that 'trust' is a leading factor in persuading someone to sign up to receive emails from a brand.

For marketers, having a 'trustworthy reputation' was the most effective way to ensure sign-ups (38%).

Almost 29% of consumers also subscribed to that view, but more were likely to be swayed by promotions of some sort, including money-off offers (45%), percentage reductions (41%), free samples or gifts (35%) or even free delivery (35%).

The biggest concerns for marketers when it comes to their email programmes were a lack of strategy (28%), a lack of data (27%) and the existence of data siloes (26%).

Limited internal resources (25%) and lack of content (25%) were also areas that preoccupied them.

Effectiveness is another area where marketers need to up their game. While the DMA reported that the average ROI for email had increased slightly with a return of £30.01 for every £1 spent, up from £29.64, it also noted that the ability to calculate ROI had declined, with only 45% of respondents capable of doing so.

Further, 40% of respondents reported that less than a quarter of emails included a test and the proportion of respondents who felt they had 'no competence' in email testing shot up from 5% to 14%.

Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer and Chair of the DMA's Responsible Marketing Committee, said the report raised some troubling issues in that consumers continued to complain of too many and irrelevant emails from brands.

"More worrying still is that 42% of marketers agree," he said. "The warning signs are there: over half of consumers have considered deleting their email account to control the flow of marketing emails they receive."

Marketers need to take a more responsible approach to ensure the long-term viability of the sector, he added.

Data sourced from DMA: additional content by Warc staff