Top retailers shunning email basics

Online retailers could be missing out on millions of pounds worth of business by failing to follow the basic rules of email marketing – including following up cart abandonment and keeping in regular contact – according to a new study.
Silverpop’s annual Top 100 Retailers Study proves that while many retailers are developing sophisticated approaches to how email marketing is employed, there is still much room for improvement and adherence to proven best practice.
Focusing on the beginning of any email marketing relationship, Silverpop found more than 20% of the UK’s top retailers failed to send any emails in the first 30 days after a customer had opted-in to receive communication. According to the report, this risks these new subscribers forgetting about the retailer and why they wanted to interact in the first place, resulting in potentially higher unsubscribe rates and abuse complaints from recipients.
Another missed opportunity is the lack of engagement with consumers after they have abandoned an online shopping basket, with only 11% of those surveyed sending reminder emails after a shopper abandons a basket.
Research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows 90% of ecommerce leads go cold within one hour, so a quick email reminder can be crucial in reigniting a sale. In complementary research carried out earlier this year, Silverpop found that these types of triggered communications, often accounting for less than four percent of total email volume, can drive upwards of forty percent of email-generated revenue.
UK retailers also understand the benefit of offering preferences to consumers at the point of email opt-in, with almost 60% doing so. However, only 27% offer similar preferences at the time of opt-out, meaning many retailers are losing subscribers who may want to continue receiving emails but simply want to change an aspect of the relationship, such as frequency, topic or channel preference.
Silverpop director of marketing EMEA Richard Evans said: “Nearly nine out of ten of the UK’s top 100 retailers employ email marketing programmes, with the majority beginning to embrace sophisticated tactics to better engage customers. Despite this, there is a significant amount of opportunity in many areas, from offering subscribers choices at opt-out to utilising basket abandonment emails to recover lost revenue.
“As more consumers demand relevant, personalised content, the best marketers will be the best listeners. By giving subscribers control of how you communicate with them and sending automated messages triggered by customer behavior, retailers can help ensure they deliver the content customers want to receive when they want to receive it.”

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