Marketing budgets healthy. Email marketing on the rise in a big way.

According to an extensive survey of more than 900 large, medium and small firms conducted by Zoomerang in November, 2011, marketing budgets will be healthy this year, with email marketing being a huge focus for most of the firms.

In terms of marketing budgets for 2012, 51% of the companies will be increasing their budgets and 41% will maintain current levels. Email marketing will be replacing or overcoming other tactics in terms of budget allocation.

For email marketing, some of the biggest findings were:

  • 60% of firms plan to increase their email marketing spend
  • 68% will focus on “win back / re-engagement” tactics and 59% on “welcome” programs
  • 48% want to increase email subscriber engagement and 32% want to grow their email opt-in numbers
  • biggest challenges include: 45% of companies need to integrate their customer data better; 43% are challenged with lack of staff and resources
  • 67% see email marketing’s primary value as a customer retention / loyalty tactic

So, companies realize the potential value of email marketing and they know it can help retain customers — if they do it right and they have the time and resources to execute email marketing on a consistent basis. The study also showed that email tactics are replacing other tactics such as direct mail and trade shows.

The name of the study is the “StrongMail 2012 Marketing Trends”. It took place online by Zoomerang and polled more than 900 marketing and business leaders over a wide industry spectrum.