Companies distribute emails for a number of reasons, but a new study states that customer engagement is the channel’s number one use.

Lionbridge’s 2014 Global Email Survey reveals that 74% of businesses use email for customer engagement, 71% make product announcements or release news and 63% have made it a customer acquisition and product sales tool.

Many email marketing tools provide detailed performance-tracking feedback, but 74% said they still use open rates to measure success and only 49% linked email campaigns with their impact on sales. A measly 13% use performance metrics to secure future budgets.

Multichannel campaigns

Companies are recognising that email is an important cog in the wider machine, with only 17% using it for a standalone activity. Two thirds (67%) prefer a more integrated approach, combining email with social media, and customer relationship management (CRM) usage stands at 56%.

MailChimp is the most widely used system, utilised by 12% of respondents. ExactTarget and Marketo were tied for second place on 10% and Eloqua’s 9% meant it slotted in just behind.

Email marketing’s division of responsibility was almost an even split. Slightly more (59%) said that their efforts stemmed from joint teams than separate teams for different initiatives (41%).

Minimal outsourcing

Few respondents (7%) used a full-service agency for email marketing programmes. Most (36%) chose to keep their email marketing system internally compared to 31% that used a marketing automation system.

Localisation of email communications was only undertaken by half. It means that a further half have decided against translating email copy, brand messaging, images, calls to 
action and web links.

Strangely, 75% said that they did not manage the type of regional preference list that gets applied during content and email creation, which Lionbridge views as a missed opportunity to streamline marketing efforts.