UK's Top Retailers Suck at Email Marketing

Discussion in 'In The News' started by roundabout, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

    Feb 17, 2011
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    UK’s Top Retailers Still Failing at Advanced Email Marketing

    dotMailer’s annual email marketing benchmark study released recently “Hitting the Mark” reveals that, despite ticking the boxes when it comes to the basics of email marketing, top UK retailers are still failing to get the best results from email by neglecting advanced techniques like social media bookmarking links, personalisation and post-sales marketing. Boots and M&S topped the 2011 study, while the bottom of the table featured many large brands like Asda and

    * Average email effectiveness falls to 65%, down 2% from 2010
    * Only 38% of email marketing subject lines are very enticing and just 21% show evidence of personalisation in the email itself
    * Average email effectiveness score slips to 60%
    * 73% of retailers studied in 2009 achieve lower scores in 2010
    * Only 17% of email campaigns studied include any ‘share on social network’ links

    After the addition of social media and mobile categories last year, the 2011 report includes a closer look at how the retailers use data on existing customers to tailor email campaigns. The new criteria have shaken up the league table, suggesting that few of the top performers from 2010 have continued to innovate in the last 12 months. Previous leader HMV experienced one of the largest falls (down 16 places to 17th), while many, like Game, struggle to stay in the top ten.

    When it comes to areas that need more focus, the lack of personalisation was notable, with only 21% showing any effort to make the most of the data held about existing customers to deliver a customised email. Elsewhere, only 22% of retailers used best practice HTML coding in their emails and only 62% of these rendered properly in email clients when images were turned off. Retailers also scored low marks for subject lines, with only 38% enticing the recipient to open the message and only 67% including social media bookmarking links.

    It wasn’t all bad news however, with some positive trends continuing to shine through. Marketers are generally all using ‘friendly from’ addresses (89%), for example. In addition, nearly every email included a strong call to action (91%) and the majority also rendered well on a range of mobile devices (98%).

    In other areas, the gap between good and bad was far greater, with only 56% keeping a consistent design between the email and website landing page, while only 58% requested relevant details at the point of sign-up. In a final shocking finding, only 29% made the unsubscribe link “prominent and clear”, a move which can frustrate users who by definition are already dissatisfied with what they are receiving.

    The Hitting the Mark league table
    Top Five Performers Index
    Boots 78%
    M&S 77%
    New Look 76%
    ASOS 75%
    Fragrance Direct 63%

    “For two years in a row, there has been no obvious improvement made by the retailers assessed, which is disappointing given some of the simple steps that can be taken to boost the effectiveness of email marketing,” said Tink Taylor, Managing Director at dotMailer and a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Marketing Council. “Email offers a highly cost-effective, trackable and accountable way of communicating with prospects and customers, but this latest study shows that too many are still getting it wrong.

    “Hitting the Mark 2011 clearly demonstrates a lack of integration between email and social media, despite the latter’s growing popularity and influence. The combination of these two disciplines offers new ways for retailers to really engage with their stakeholders to deliver meaningful results such as interactions online, sales and loyalty,” continues Taylor.

    dotMailer’s benchmark report, Hitting the Mark 2011, offers step by step advice on how to run the very best email marketing campaign, with practical advice and real-world examples.

    The full report can be downloaded at no charge from

  2. Emaginem

    Emaginem VIP

    Mar 9, 2011
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    I got the feeling, ever since hearing groupon went with RP, that more and more large companies than we know, UK, USA, wherever, don't know jack about email. This confirms that fo sho

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