New Research Studies Correlation Between Email Marketing Tactics, Program Effectiveness, and Revenue Growth

Return Path partners with Demand Metric on new research into the factors that contribute to a successful email marketing program.

NEW YORK--()--In partnership with global research firm Demand Metric, leading email solutions provider Return Path today released a new research report, The State of Email Marketing. With this new report, Demand Metric and Return Path sought to determine what separates high performing email marketing programs from the rest of the pack.

Research findings highlight the interplay of various aspects of email marketing, such as the presence (or absence) of specific marketing objectives, performance in critical metrics like average open and click rates, and the use of various email marketing technologies. The study also features insights into how these factors contribute to email marketing effectiveness and revenue growth.

Demand Metric researcher John Follett said of the study’s findings, “Marketers as a group are finding it increasingly difficult to engage with their audience in a meaningful way, and it’s fascinating to see how technology is helping with that challenge. For example, among study participants with above average open rates, nearly three quarters report using technology that helps them preview email campaigns. It seems simple, but understanding how your audience is going to see your campaign clearly makes a difference.”

“We’ve known for years that sender reputation is a fundamental part of email marketing success, and this study confirms that. Survey participants with above average open rates were 12 times more likely to have a Sender Score above 95, compared to those with below average open rates,” said Tom Sather, Return Path’s senior director of research. “Unfortunately, our most recent Sender Score Benchmark shows that nearly two thirds of email volume comes from senders with a Sender Score of 90 or below—so marketers still have a lot of work to do when it comes to reputation.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Marketing challenges are nearly universal. Only six percent of survey participants report that they are not experiencing any email marketing challenges.
  • Goal setting corresponds to marketing success. Study participants who reported improving email marketing effectiveness were five times more likely to have specific email marketing objectives in place.
  • Knowing your audience is critical. The most successful marketers—those with above average open rates, improving email marketing effectiveness, and revenue growth—report a far greater understanding of subscriber preferences and behaviors.
  • List acquisition practices are linked to subscriber engagement. Survey respondents with below average open rates are more than twice as likely to report having purchased email addresses for their list.
  • Competitive intelligence can factor into an organization’s overall success. Those who report an increase in revenue growth were more than twice as likely to monitor their competitors’ email marketing efforts.

The complete report can be downloaded here.


Research for this study was conducted via an online survey during the period of January 3 and January 21, 2018. During this period, 428 responses were collected, 290 of which were complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. Only valid or correlated findings are shared in this report. Respondent breakdown was self-reported as follows: 50 percent mostly or entirely B2B, 20 percent mostly or entirely B2C, 23 percent blend of B2B and B2C, and seven percent agency or consulting firm.

About Demand Metric

Demand Metric is a global marketing research & advisory firm serving a membership community of 100,000+ senior marketers with primary research & benchmark reports, technology research & advice, consulting services, training, events, productivity apps, and a library of 500+ practical tools and templates. Demand Metric's core focus is to help B2B marketing organizations improve internal capabilities and connect their activities to revenue growth.

About Return Path

Return Path analyzes the world’s largest collection of email data to show businesses how to stay connected to their audiences and strengthen their customer engagement. We help mailbox providers around the world deliver great user experiences and build trust in email by ensuring that wanted messages reach the inbox while spam doesn’t. To find out more about Return Path solutions, visit us at or request a demo.


For Return Path
Ned Tadic, 312-329-3979


For Return Path
Ned Tadic, 312-329-3979