Far too many online retailers in the US and UK are failing to send a response to opt-in requests on their websites, according to a retail email study by Silverpop.

Silverpop, which surveyed 100 US and 50 UK retailers, found that a third of retailers don't bother sending confirmation/courtesy emails.

Of those that did, UK firms did better, sending a personalised response 60% of the time, compared to 34% for the US. Yet clearly there's plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the pond.

MD of Silverpop Mike Weston commented on the study:

“I’m still staggered that so many companies don’t send a confirmation email when someone opts in on their site - why wouldn’t you do that, it’s just basic good manners. Overall though it’s encouraging to see that the application of email best practice is moving in the right direction.”

We're staggered too Mike. This is highly sucky.

The study found a number of differences in key email practices between online retailers in the US and UK:  fewer UK sites give an email registration option on their homepages, though they do give customers multi-channel option more often (80% of UK sites did this, compared with 32% of US sites).

Compared with the same survey back in 2005, Silverpop says that email best practice has been taken on board by more retailers. Improvements include simpler email opt-in processes (up by 9%), more email confirmations (up 24%), and more incentives to encourage subscriptions (up by 17%). All good.

Still, there's work to be done among the laggards. These are the basics, after all, and e-commerce / email marketing is a decade old.

Further reading:
Email marketing provider Silverpop acquires Vtrenz

Graham Charlton

Published 26 July, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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