Many retail marketers fail to maximize use of email: Study

Dive Brief:

  • The 2016 Yesmail Marketing Channel Report found that almost one-third of retailers cite integrating email with other digital channels as a top three priority this year, but across a range of email tactics aren’t making the most of the email channel itself.
  • Retailers are not collecting as many email addresses as they could: 17% don't collect email from website visitors; almost half don’t collect addresses in-store or via social media; and more than two-thirds don’t collect addresses during consumer engagement with mobile apps.
  • Even though personalization is a key email tactic, 65% don’t personalize email copy, more than two-thirds don’t use customer data to personalize email content, and 10% don’t personalize email in any way.

Dive Insight:

For its channel report, Yesmail, Yes Lifecycle Marketing’s email solution provider, surveyed almost 200 retailers at the National Retail Federation’s Digital Summit to uncover priorities and practices with email marketing in 2016. The key finding was even though retailers are interested in integrating email with other digital marketing channels, the reality is most are still not maximizing email as a marketing channel across a range of email tactics.

"Before retailers can integrate with other digital channels, they must first utilize readily available data to improve their existing email marketing strategies," Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, said in a statement. "From growing their subscriber base to developing more personalized content, as retailers fine-tune their email programs, integration with other channels will come more naturally. While many brands have adopted a variety of digital channels, a surprising number of them are not implementing basic email marketing best practices."

Yesmail believes marketers need to perfect the basics of email before engaging in too much channel integration. The report suggests marketers should secure more email addresses, develop more personalized messaging and more carefully choose the types of email campaigns they use, such as promotional efforts and triggered campaigns like welcome series and reactivation efforts.

In the same statement, Mike Iaccarino, chairman and CEO of Infogroup, said, "In 2016, retailers cannot afford a disjointed marketing strategy. Brands need to promptly identify the gaps in their programs and select a partner with the technology and expertise to fill each of those gaps while maintaining the focus on the customer’s needs."

In fact, separate research from a 2015 sentiment survey of 1,200 consumers by Autopilot, found consumers are four times as likely to respond to messaging if they receive personalized offers.