It is often acknowledged that email marketing is going through a transitional phase.

A new report however, suggests that any changes in email marketing do not necessarily have to involve a reduction in this activity, as some commentators have previously argued; but rather a more considered approach to optimise the value of email marketing.

The report, Email in Action, stems from a survey of executives involved in email marketing activity. The survey was carried out by research organisation, Econsultancy, in conjunction with the Email Experience Council of the Direct Marketing Association.

The report recognises that email marketing faces several challenges; most notably, the increasing use of social media; and also current financial pressures on overall marketing budgets.

Specifically, the survey identified that competition from social media was considered by 75% of respondents to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ challenging.

The survey also revealed a belief among 69% of respondents that email use is steadily declining as a main communications tool by younger users.

In relation to financial pressure, 65% of those surveyed acknowledged difficulties in securing a budget sufficient for their email marketing needs.

Despite these challenges however, the survey found that 60% of agency clients deploying email marketing were in the process of actually increasing their activity in this area; and that email was considered by many to be their most effective method for reaching customers.

The report recommends that for full effectiveness, marketers need to more fully integrate their email marketing campaigns with campaigns conducted via mobile and social media.