The State of Email Marketing in 2018

May 22, 2018

Savvy marketers know that each industry has its own challenges and key needs when it comes to email marketing. But it isn’t always easy to know if you’re focusing in the same direction as your industry peers, as you try to ensure you have the right tools to help you deliver the types of email campaigns that will keep you on the forefront of the competitive landscape.

To help marketers better understand their particular corner of the email world, we examined three new industry-specific research reports from the thought leaders at The Relevancy Group, who asked thousands of marketers from the retail, travel/hospitality, and financial sectors about the hurdles they face, and which ESP services help them do their job the best. The infographics here should give you a quick glimpse at some of The Relevancy Group’s chief findings, comparing and contrasting the answers of marketers in three prominent industries.

When it comes to sheer email volume, the financial industry is the king, sending 31% more than marketers in the retail industry, and 57% more than travel/hospitality marketers. With that kind of volume, it’s no shock that financial marketers cite I.T. support as their biggest challenge, while retail and travel are focused more on email-side issues.


Some might be surprised to see that email was cited as the most frequently used marketing channel for all three of the industries that were polled, by an average of more than 14 percentage points over the second-most favored channel. When it comes to average email marketing team size, the three industries are fairly close, but travel leads the way.

Financial marketers consistently talked about mobile as a high priority, so responsive design makes sense as their most desired ESP feature. Retail marketers see lots of opportunity with retargeting, and travel is so reliant on timeliness that reliability is essential for them.

Industry expertise is the one criteria everyone seems to be looking for when comparing ESPs, but the three are fairly different outside of that. Financial marketers want strategic help, but they also need global expertise. Travel marketers want a full-service relationship, while retail marketers look hard at cost/reputation.

Marketers for financial and travel companies showed a lot of similarities, citing both adaptive content and multi-variate testing as their most used tactics. Retail marketers, meanwhile, were more focused on methods of turning consumers into customers.

Both retail and travel marketers saw analytics as top email marketing priorities, while improving attribution was a significant priority for travel and financial marketers. Reactivating dormant subscribers also made the list for retail, and financial marketers have an eye on responsive design.


To download the full reports, click on the links below:

About the Author

Will Devlin

A 20-year email marketing veteran, Will has focused on marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.