Online Retailers Increase Email Marketing Activity

in Email Marketing

The 2009 Top Online Retailers research study by Silverpop, indicates that online retailers are increasing email marketing activity to attract customers. Besides increasing frequency of emails, online retailers are using several tactics to improve and expand their email marketing campaigns:

  • 96% of the Top 500 and 91% of the other online retailers now have email marketing programs compared to 94% and 83% respectively in 2008.
  • 96% of the Top 500 and 92% of the other online retailers have the email opt-in sign-up area prominently displayed on the home page of their website.
  • Many online retailers offer a reward such as discount coupons or entry in a drawing for a large prize, for joining the email list.
  • Fewer companies (28% of Top 500, 14% of others) offer opt-in choices for subscribers compared to 2008 (56% and 26% respectively). This is surprising since most research indicates that customers prefer opt-in subscriptions options and may be less likely to completely unsubscribe if they can adjust their subscription options.
  • 27% of the Top 500 and 37% of the other online retailers send 1 to 4 emails, and 27% and 21% respectively send 5 to 10 emails in a 30 day period. Too many emails is the second most frequent reason after relevance for unsubscribing.
  • Surprisingly only 4% of the Top 500 have personalized subject lines. Various studies show that personalized emails do increase open rates.
  • An increasing number of online retailers offer more compelling reasons to buy such as discounts or sale pricing in their email campaigns.
  • 72% of online retailers still offer no preference options or alternatives when subscribers click to unsubscribe.

Email marketing is a highly effective and low-cost means to reach consumers. For many retailers email marketing is generating as much revenue as traditional marketing channels such as catalogs, postcards, newspaper inserts, etc. However, many retailers are using email in the same manner they use traditional marketing channels and not taking the opportunity to engage with customers online.

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • If your business does online retail, this study offers some interesting insights for reviewing your approach relative to what leaders are doing.
  • Although online retailers have made significant gains and improvements in the past year, there is still much more to gain and improve in email marketing for many businesses.
  • Remember that consumers are in control – design your email marketing programs to align with your prospective buyer preferences.
  • More frequent email is usually not the answer to improve performance – look at subscriber opt-in options, personalized emails and other means to be more effective and less intrusive.
  • Watch the unsubscribing trends after every email mailing to identify possible areas for improving subscriber retention.
  • Explore ways to engage with buyers and customers online using social media tools in conjunction with email marketing.

Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™ www.marketance.com

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