Thursday, September 27, 2007

DMA Publishes Retail E-mail Study

The Email Experience Council (EEC) of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has published its second annual "Retail Welcome Email Subscription Benchmark Study," which examines the welcome e-mails of 118 of the top online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot, identifying a number of best practices and benchmarks in the areas of merchandising, relationship-building, deliverability, and CAN-SPAM compliance.

"Studies have shown that welcome e-mails have significantly higher open rates than regular e-mails,"” said Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, Ph.D., DMA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. "That makes them worth extra attention and critical examination. All marketers should be reexamining their welcome e-mails on a regular basis."

This year, for the first time, the EEC also tracked the passage of time between subscriptions and the delivery of welcome e-mails. While the majority of retailers deliver their welcome e-mails within 10 minutes of sign-up, 19 percent take more than 24 hours to deliver — with nearly a third of those taking more than a week. In the world of digital communications, that’s an eternity to wait for a welcome e-mail.

Here are some other findings from the EEC’s Retail Welcome Email Benchmark Study:

· 58 percent of welcome e-mails were CAN-SPAM-compliant in terms of including both a mailing address and unsubscribe method, versus 52 percent last year. Not all welcome e-mails need to be compliant, but considering that these are welcome e-mails for promotional e-mails, the EEC believes that they should be.

· 62 percent of welcome e-mails asked the subscriber to whitelist them by adding an e-mail address to their address book, up from 49 percent last year.

· 79 percent of retailers sent out HTML welcome e-mails, up from 69 percent last. The remainder sent text-only welcome e-mails. That said, most of the HTML welcome e-mails were HTML "lite," making extensive use of HTML text.

· 75 percent of the welcome e-mails include the retailer’s brand name in their subject lines, on par with last year. Including branding here helps the subscriber recognize the e-mail as one that they requested.

· 32 percent of welcome e-mails include a discount, reward or incentive, down from 34 percent last year. That’s in line with the results of the EEC’s Retail Email Subscription Benchmark Study, which saw a move away from incentives during sign-up.

The new EEC study can be purchased for $179 by visiting the EEC’s Whitepaper Room.

No comments:

Web Analytics