SEO, Email Marketing and Paid Search Deliver Top ROI, Study Finds

Marketers have more and more techniques and channels available to promote their products or services, but it looks like old tools are delivering great ROI for businesses. SEO (organic search), email marketing and paid search (PPC) were the top three channels that the 1,300 digital marketers who participated in the new Econsultancy/Adestra  study said that deliver an “excellent” or “good” ROI.


32% of the respondents consider that SEO brings an “excellent” ROI, while 43% rated it as “good”. 22% of the marketers queried for this study consider email marketing to deliver “excellent” ROI, and 44% think this channel delivers “good” ROI. Finally, 19% of the interviewed marketers consider paid search delivers “excellent” ROI and 40% of them consider PPC brings “good” ROI.

Other techniques and channels that deliver “excellent” or “good” ROI mentioned by marketers were content marketing (62%), social media (41%), offline direct marketing (40%), affiliate marketing (46%), online display advertising (31%), and mobile marketing (40%).

The first four channels have roughly the same percentages, and starting with affiliate marketing we can see an important difference in percentages.

Another important finding of the study was that 8% of businesses manage to achieve over 50% of their sales through email marketing. However, companies don’t invest as much as they should in optimizing their campaigns for this channel with a big potential.

Asked what are the main barriers marketers have in order to achieve effective email marketing, they cited quality of email database (50%), lack of strategy (42%), lack of time (41%), lack of segmentation (39%), lack of staff (33%), lack of skills and training (32%), poor measurement and analytics (32%), lack of integration (32%), lack of relevant content (29%), lack of budget/finances (23%), poor email technology (23%), deliverability issues (18%) and lack of senior manager buy-in (16%).

15% of the queried marketers rated their campaigns as “poor”, and only 39% considered them “excellent” or “good”. 27% of them admitted that they don’t spend time optimizing their email campaigns, and only 19% mentioned that they spend over two hours per week improving their campaigns, compared to 62% of the marketers who said that they dedicate the same amount of time to design and content.

This report is interesting for all marketers as it offers an insight to what they consider to be the best channels in terms of delivering ROI for their businesses.

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