As Marketing Spend Rises Email Only Grows a Little by Rory Carlyle @rorycarlyle

As Marketing Spend Rises Email Only Grows a Little

Browsing through my news feeds today I ran across an article on AdAge discussing the growth in interactive marketing for roughly the next 4 years. Forrester has published a report forecasting interactive spend to rise into the $76-77 billion dollar range around 2016. Being a sucker for data and a good graph, I clicked and found some interesting predictions as well as information that didn’t appear correct in my opinion.  The chart below is the overall interactive marketing spend spread over the next four years divided into spend-by-medium. (Email’s compound annual growth rate is only at 10%, while social and display rise 20-26%)

Email Marketing Buget
Email seems to get shorted.

What’s the deal Forrester?

As Cotton Delo continues to explain the data’s she’s read, she quotes, “Email marketing is projected to have a growth rate of 10%, bringing it to $2.5 billion in 2016, but the total spending is kept down because of its low cost of reach 1,000 consumers, or CPM.” While I agree that email marketing is an inexpensive channel to use, this doesn’t seem completely correct. Now; I’m no statistician and I’m not an expert on industry growth, but this chart just doesn’t sit well with me – nor does the logic. The social and mobile channels are undoubtedly, “hot right now” and with the overall spend doubling there’s room for aggressive growth between the mediums, I just don’t see how with all the other mediums going balls-to-the-wall email isn’t going to leverage the data they collect.

The goal of each channel in this report is to somehow generate revenue. Most of these channels are measured via revenue through e-commerce as offline revenue is typically harder to trace back to online efforts. So, I think it’s safe to say that these are all evaluated by majority, online.

How do we do that? Websites.

What do websites need to process: sign ups, registrations, memberships, purchases, affiliates, renewals, rewards, alerts, etc? Data.

And finally; what’s email so-so very-very good at? Transaction-based messaging and providing a positive dollar-to-dollar ROI. I don’t see how tandem channels can grow around email to the tune of 38% and email manages to up-tick 10%.

Will Email Marketing Only Grow Ten Points?

I have to say no. I must say no. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Almost every social network that I can think of uses email, every website that I’ve purchased something on emails me, the majority of my mobile activity is email, and display and search all have a goal to either capture users or sell something – ALL mediums can leverage email in some capacity. And they will, once companies see how much measurable straight-to-the-cash-register effective email can be with their messaging. Data is the key for the internet’s future; the most successful outbound acquisition/retention channel for interactive data-driven initiatives is arguably, email.

While increasing the budget over the next 48 months is positive and any growth is good growth, I think Forrester’s selling us short emailers.

What do you think?

Viva la Email

Meet the author:

Rory Carlyle

Rory Carlyle

Rory Carlyle is the author for He's also an Email-Geek, frequent twitter hound, web-analytics nut and an all-around dweeb. Rounding out a 8+ year stint in interactive marketing, finding a home with email marketing, and becoming the most awesomest person ever; Rory keeps his hands full with his passion. Hoping to make the web a better place one inbox at a time, Rory loves talking email marketing all day. Outside of work; Rory takes his Jeep into the Rockies, thinks big thoughts and takes flights to random locations.

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