In many ways I was both surprised and well, not-so-surprised when I read the findings of a recent survey done by Ascend2 and its research partners on The good folks at MC decided to go with a headline of Marketers Continue to Rate Email the Most Effective Digital Marketing Tactic in announcing the findings.  Completely understood why for it, the headline that is, speaks to the ongoing belief and faith in email as one of, if not the most viable marketing channel for a variety of reasons.

The operative word in the sentence above is ongoing for earlier this year in July a similar survey was done by a completely different company  (Gigaom) which caused MC to use this as its headline: Email Rated Most Effective Digital Marketing Tactic. And in that same July article yet another survey, this one from Econsultancy was referenced. And in that particular survey, global marketers said they consider email to be the top rated channel by ROI, coming in ahead of SEO and content marketing.

Now, truth be told, the Econsultancy findings may be a result of marketers not measuring their SEO or content marketing efforts properly whereas email is more straightforward and direct.

However, it cannot be denied as to the effectiveness of email marketing no matter how you look at it.

Effectiveness Vs. Difficulty

Now unlike the Gigaom survey, where effectiveness only was measured, this most recent survey added a wrinkle asking respondents to rate channels not only based on how effective it is, but also how difficult it is in terms of execution.

Here’s where my surprised yet not-so-surprised comes into play.


Truth be told I am much more on the not-so-surprised side of the aisle  as quite frankly these results were to be expected.

Obviously, based on this survey and the aforementioned previous ones, it was no surprise to see email score so high. I’d love to speak with the 11% who voted it as being most difficult, however. Would be very curious as to what exactly they’re doing or in fact, not doing, that makes email marketing so difficult.

This article was originally published in Forbes Magazine  web site on 26th of September in 2014

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