Direct Marketing Association research has revealed that 56% of B2B and B2C brand marketers believe their email marketing budgets will grow this year. The results allude to a simmering level of confidence in the channel.

The DMA Email Marketing Council’s 2013 National Client Email Report’s findings are at odds with wider industry commentary concerning the marketing channel’s decline. Indeed, the latest IPA Bellwether report suggested the sector’s braced for contraction in 2013.

DMA respondents shared how an average ROI of £21.48 had been delivered for every £1 spent in 2012 thanks to email. The ROI is likely fuelled by an increase in open, click and conversion rates amongst over half of the brands surveyed last year, up 5% on 2011.

Targeted campaigns are on the rise with 75% of email revenue stemming from this approach. Trigger email campaigns generated 21% of email revenue, despite low volumes sent compared to more general campaigns.

Email’s recognition falling

Interestingly, there were concerns about email’s business contribution. Respondents stated email is failing to earn the recognition it deserves amongst senior colleagues despite its prominence with 89% declaring email to be “important” or “very important” to their organisation.

What was the reason for seniors shying away from email? Internal barriers in businesses featured prominently in the DMA’s study. A quarter (25%) cited business goals, internal resources and goals, technology and lack of data as their primary obstacles.

A4u asked Freemax Media’s Business Development & Account Manager, Suzanna Chaplin, about the re-emergence of email. Chaplin deems it to be an even greater complement to channels such as social and mobile. She even predicted a return to CPM.

“Email brings a stronger ROI than other channels as well as increased brand awareness,” she said. “I believe brands will start moving back towards the CPM model and look beyond the basis metrics of click to conversion when deciding spend.”