Hitting the mark – new report outlines the best in the email marketing industry

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dotmailer, the email marketing platform provider, has released its Hitting the Mark report, a look into the email marketing strategies of 100 influential global retailers.

And when it comes to doing it right, it seems we Brits are up there with the best of them – with British businesses taking up six spots in the top ten. Singled out as exemplary performers, ASOS, Asda, EasyJet, and John Lewis were all praised as setting the benchmark by nailing the basics and performing comprehensive and innovative engagement strategies.

Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer comments: "The value of email marketing is clear, and when it's done well it fundamentally changes the way businesses communicate and engage with their customers. It is concerning however, that so many businesses – regardless of size and sector – falling behind their counterparts when it comes to taking the next step to applying more advanced strategies.

"With such significant ROI available, better email marketing can make an instant difference to a business' bottom line."

Of the 100 global, U.S. and UK brands surveyed across nine sectors, ASOS ranked first and British brands, Asda, EasyJet and John Lewis came in third equal. Here are the top 10 retail brands for email marketing and customer experience:

  1. ASOS
  2. Best Buy
  3. Asda (three-way tie for third place)
  4. EasyJet
  5. John Lewis
  6. J.Crew
  7. Holiday Extras
  8. New Look
  9. Overstock
  10. Trainline

Room for Improvement

While some organisations excelled at basic automation, Hitting the Mark also found that many were struggling to implement more advanced tactics. The report has revealed that customer data was not being properly used, with many retailers resorting to untargeted email blasts rather than analysis to share personalised and relevant offers.

What's more, nearly a sixth of businesses were missing out on tactics as simple as automated welcome emails, thus failing to acknowledge customers that have created an account or registered online.

A considerable proportion of retailers (40 per cent) undermined their marketing effectiveness by foregoing abandoned cart programmes. With global cart abandonment rate now estimated at over 69 per cent, this could well prove a costly mistake.

The report also discovered that retailers were faltering during the after-sales experience, with 46 per cent of organisations admitting they were not sending feedback requests following purchases – losing out on a possible opportunity to foster stronger relationships with their customer base.

Bottom Line Value

Now more than ever, email marketing strategies must be personalised and carefully targeted to the customer. Recent research commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association and dotmailer found that consumers are now receiving an average of over 21 emails every week – leading to widespread email exhaustion. Most concerningly, with businesses admitting that 42 per cent of emails sent may not be relevant to the recipient, over half of consumers reported deleting email accounts in order to try and stem the flow of emails.

However, when done correctly, email marketing has been found to be highly effective: 95 per cent of marketers consider it a crucial component within their marketing plans. Indeed, it has an estimated ROI of £30 for every £1 pound spent.

About the Study

Hitting the Mark 2017 evaluates 100 retail brands across nine sectors, including small, medium and large retailers that are global, UK- or US-only. Over a six-month period, researchers took the same linear journey as a typical consumer, from email sign-up and website browsing to product purchase and unsubscribing. They also evaluated the customer experience in areas including search engine visibility, social media presence and activity, on-site search, product pages, shopping cart and wish list functionality, and the checkout process. The 255-page report profiles each retailer, and showings overall and sector rankings as well as scores for email experience and customer experience. As the largest research report to date from dotmailer, which issued its first benchmark report in 2008 and previously evaluated 50 retailers per year, Hitting the Mark 2017 aims to show retailers what they should start, stop or do differently in their email marketing.

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