Since releasing our RSR Email Effectiveness Study last month, we’ve had some great discussions about the health of retailers’ email programs and the general practices that can make or break an email strategy. With a lot of information to dig into—whether it was focusing on the top retailers, the surprisingly low number of mobile-optimized emails or background into how much of their product catalog retailers are actually exposing—it was great to see a variety of insights revealed so retailers can create the most effective emails possible. With 205 billion emails sent every day, and 80 percent of professionals stating that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention, it’s important for retailers to make sure they’re reaching their customers in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
Some of the highlights from the discussions surrounding our report include:
Which e-commerce retailer has the best email marketing strategy? (Internet Retailer)
“The idea is simple: an apparel retailer isn’t competing against just other apparel retailers for a consumer’s attention within her inbox,” says Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR. “They’re competing against all retailers sending emails. Too many, and the retailer stands out as a spammer. Too few, however, and the retailer risks their message getting lost.”
The Top Ten: Who’s Best At Retail Email (MediaPost)
Only 17 firms succeeded at subject line-content matching 75% or more of the time. But 41 outfits achieved it in less than 25% of their emails. And of all the emails evaluated, only 41.6% had a perfect match — a “very disappointing result,” RSR contends. The winner? Fingerhut, which had a 100% score — in this skill.
The study concludes by warning that personalization is “not a silver bullet to repair an existing email strategy of ‘spray and pray.’”
The companies plan for the report to become an annual release, Coherent Path CEO and founder James Glover told me via email, with the added expectation that a retailer’s email effectiveness score will become the equivalent, in this space, of a Zillow estimate.
“We conducted this research from the point of view of the consumer,” says RSR Research managing partner Steve Rowen. “We didn’t pretend to have the right answers going in.”
RSR Research managing manager partner Nikki Baird, who spearheaded the project, says this report is an objective first step in critically examining retail email strategies. “Despite this being an incredibly profitable channel for retailers, the vast majority received the equivalent of a failing letter grade and even the top performers have room for improvement with their C+ scores,” she says. “No matter the individual grade, retailers would do well to consider how factors such as frequency, catalog exposure and content are impacting their email campaign strategies.”
To see a full ranking of how 50 of the top retail brands fared, download the report here.
Want to know how your email marketing stacks up against the competition? Click here to get your grade.
Also published on Medium.