I just received this interesting chart from MarketingSherpa about the evolution of email marketing in the business world. They asked respondents to say whether they were in the trial (beginner), transition, or strategic (advanced) phase for several components of email marketing, as a way to gauge the maturity of an email marketing program.
Here’s what this chart tells us, according to MarketingSherpa. Marketers have the most strategic — or mature — processes in place for list building and list hygiene maintenance. The intuitive philosophy of “the money is in the list” has probably driven organizations to focus on list size and health.
At the same time, these organizations are accepting the importance and complexity of segmenting audiences, delivering meaningful content to those audiences, and integrating email with other communications channels, which are reflected in the areas dominating the transition phase. Finally, marketers are still playing around with testing and funnel optimization (the paths you create for people to subscribe and get more engaged with you), with many organizations still in the trial phase.
Where does your email marketing program stand on these criteria? (If you are still really new to email marketing, we might need to add a fourth category called something like “Haven’t addressed this at all yet.”)
While I didn’t ask our 2012 trends survey respondents to talk about their email programs in these terms, I did ask how often you will email your supporters and how you rank email compared to other communications channels. We heard from nearly 1,200 nonprofits! I’ll share the answers to those and many other questions during this week’s webinar, Trends for 2012 and Your Marketing Plan for the New Year on Thursday, December 1. I hope you’ll join us! I’ll release the full written report in mid-December.