Marketers are in danger of taking email marketing for granted even though it is still a top rated channel for delivering return on investment (ROI), according to research from by Econsultancy and Adestra. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The proportion of companies and agencies that rated email marketing as 'excellent' for delivering ROI was 25%, making it the joint top ranked marketing channel, alongside SEO.

Yet, this year has seen marketers allocating a smaller proportion of their marketing budget to email, down, on average, from 16% to 13%.

There has also been a decrease in returns from email marketing, with the percentage of revenue attributed to this channel decreasing from 22% to 20%.

The Email Marketing Industry Census 2015 report examined the amount and type of email marketing carried out by organisations, the way that email marketing is conducted and issues affecting the industry. The report also details the approaches taken and the resources given to email marketing, as well as issues regarding effectiveness, marketing automation, mobile and the future of email.

The study found that organisations with individuals and teams dedicated to email marketing are the ones seeing the highest returns from email.

And, despite the reduction in spending, email marketers have improved their mobile optimisation capabilities. More than three in every five companies (61%) are optimising email for mobile devices, an increase of 144% in just two years.

"Email continues to be a tremendously important digital marketing discipline despite the emergence of shiny new tools which can distract marketers," said Econsultancy research director, Linus Gregoriadis. "Companies neglect this channel at their peril because email continues to be the fulcrum of an integrated and successful approach to marketing. With email becoming increasingly personalised and automated, the research shows there is no sign of this stopping."