LONDON: The UK's fast-growing email marketing industry has increased by 15% year-on-year to reach a record £336 million ($538m; €384m) in value, a new study by Econsultancy has found.

The firm's 'Email Marketing Platforms Buyers Guide 2010' report finds that the increasing popularity of social media sites has so far failed to have a negative impact on email marketing.

Instead, the channel continues to be seen by many advertisers and media buyers as both cost-effective and easier to measure than other forms of advertising.

Aliya Zaidi, research manager for Econsultancy, said that with many firms now choosing to integrate social networking features into their emails, the belief that the two sectors were complementary was growing.

"Marketers have become more strategic in their approach to email marketing, with the channel being used to foster long-term relationships with customers, rather than just for short-term quick wins," she said.

Earlier this year, the company found that companies planned to spend around 17% of their digital marketing budgets on email campaigns this year, up from 14% in 2009.

It also revealed that the number of firms spending more than £10,000 on email marketing now stands at more than 51%.

As a whole, the internet could contribute as much as £100 billion ($160bn; €114bn) to the British economy as a whole, according to a report commissioned by the Boston Consulting Group.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff