A new survey finds that retailers in the UK still have a lot to learn about email marketing, with 46% failing to comply with legal guidelines and many others not following best practice.
TopShop, STA Travel, ASDA and M&S came off best in dotMailer's benchmark study (pdf), scoring over 80%, while Office, Expedia and H&M scored less than 60%.
Highlights of the study include:
The unsubscribe process should be as easy as possible for customers to avoid them reporting messages as spam, but many retailers are making this too hard to do.
Currys was the only retailer to achieve full marks, while Office didn't even include an unsubscribe link in their emails.
Too many either buried the links in the bottom of their emails, or made the process too lengthy. Take HMV for example - this is their process, found at the bottom of the company's emails:
"If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter please simply return to hmv.com, login, uncheck the newsletter click boxes and send the updated details to us."
Ideally, email landing pages should not only repeat the offer outlined in the email, but also match the look and feel of the email to reassure customers.
The survey found that just four brands had created a microsite to match the design of the email, while 40% of the retailers studied scored under 50% in this category.
Targeted emails generate higher open rates, but just five brands used the information given on sign up to make the content more relevant.
Getting useful information from customers when they sign up is one way to achieve this - something only 15% of retailers in the study are doing, while 91% achieved less than half marks for targeting.