Sean Donahue

Is Europe Catching Up to the U.S. in Email Marketing Skill? Was it Ever Behind?

March 3rd, 2010

Three years ago, I had lunch with a pair of European email marketers who were attending our Email Summit in Miami. They’d traveled all the way across the ocean to learn about advanced email techniques from U.S.-based marketers who were, in their opinion, way ahead of their peers in Europe.

At the time, they told me that most European companies thought email was “just a cheap, blast-everyone technique.”

Sure, it was one team’s anecdotal take, but since then it seems that Europe is catching up in terms of understanding the strategic role that email can play, and the advanced tactics that make the channel such a powerful marketing tool.

Next week, MarketingSherpa is hosting our second-annual Email Marketing Germany Summit in Munich, and I’ve been checking out a new survey on German email marketing tactics that will be shared there.

One of the most telling datapoints:
o 53% of German email marketers now personalize email content

And even marketers who haven’t yet adopted advanced tactics seem to know where they should be heading:
o 49% want to automate Lead Generation
o 44% want to report on ROI for email marketing

Those results back up what I’ve seen as a reporter and editor here at Sherpa, where European campaigns often get featured as Case Studies, or earn recognition in our annual Email Marketing Awards program. It looks to me like “batch-and-blast” is a phrase that email marketers are striking from their lexicons, no matter what their language.

But I’m curious to hear thoughts from our Europe-based readers, or U.S.-based marketers who conduct a lot of international campaigns. How has the European email marketing landscape changed in recent years, and how does the level of sophistication compare among the regions? Feel free to share your take in the comments section.

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