tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/email-ecrm Latest Email & eCRM content from Econsultancy 2016-08-16T15:15:10+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68132 2016-08-16T15:15:10+01:00 2016-08-16T15:15:10+01:00 10 key challenges facing CRM marketers Ben Davis <h3>1. Too much data, not enough action? </h3> <p>In 2015, Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measurement-and-analytics-report/">Measurement and Analytics report</a> showed that 40% of executives found more than half of their collated analytics data was useful for decision-making.</p> <p>That proportion of marketers dropped to 33% in the recent 2016 survey, due perhaps to an increase in complexity, particularly in advertising, with new technology hitting the market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8066/Screen_Shot_2016-08-16_at_10.48.02.png" alt="how much data do analysts use?" width="615"></p> <p>One other explanation could be that mid-tier organisations are getting more of their data in order, but haven't quite worked out what to do with it yet.</p> <p>This seems to be the story when I speak to Ivan Mazour, CEO and founder of Ometria.</p> <p>The company started out in data and analytics, combining data for clients to create <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it/">a single customer view</a> (from ecommerce purchase data, to website data, marketing data, offline data etc.).</p> <p>However, Ometria changed direction a couple of years back, realising that when many of its customers got their data in order, they weren't entirely confident how to act on it.</p> <p>In Ivan's words: "Just getting the data didn't solve any of their problems, they wanted to take the next step."</p> <p>So, Ometria developed a cross-channel platform aiming to create unified customer communication journeys (through email, web, social) based on customer data, with a focus on retention and lifetime value.</p> <p>This data-driven CRM retention strategy is what many brands are currently working towards.</p> <h3>2. Avoiding short termism</h3> <p>As any CRM expert will tell you, some customers are worth more than others, and that's something that has to be borne in mind when creating a contact strategy.</p> <p>Jill Brittlebank, senior director of strategy and analytics at Zeta Interactive (a big data and analytics company) sums up the challenge of short termism:</p> <p>"There can be a lot of focus on day-by-day trading metrics, so if trading's down, marketers might send a message or create a campaign, rather than asking themselves 'are we growing our overall customer value?'</p> <p>"'Are we increasing frequency of purchase, basket size, certain category purchases, etc.?' These are the things that grow sustained performance.</p> <p>"Yes, you have to keep the funnel fed, but understanding your acquisition - what is driving the highest value customers as well as highest volume - is really important.</p> <p>"As attribution becomes more accessible to the mid tier, they understand better the value of each contact"</p> <p>Brittlebank's comment on attribution echoes some findings from our Measurement and Analytics report, which shows the proportion of marketers who state that they are using an attribution model has risen by 16% in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8072/Screen_Shot_2016-08-16_at_11.31.55.png" alt="attribution model usage" width="615"></p> <h3>3. Bridging the gap between acquisition and retention</h3> <p>Acquisition strategies have become more complex, particularly when it comes to programmatic advertising, now available across major social channels.</p> <p>Jill Brittlebank, Zeta Interactive, points out that there's a disconnect between acquisition and retention strategy, which mirrors the disconnect between sales and marketing in many organisations:</p> <p>"Typically customers are most likely to buy when they first engage with your company, and that's when you know least about them.</p> <p>"The challenge is to pull through the data from acquisition (cookie pools etc.) to influence growth and retention.</p> <p>"Many companies are using DMPs and have the ability to be targeted at a prospect level; the next win is to bring that through into your customer marketing. </p> <p>"There's a break - you have really rich targeting, but then the slate is wiped clean once the customer lands." </p> <h3>4. Behaviour-based personalisation</h3> <p>Targeting is becoming a much-debated topic in advertising and marketing.</p> <p>Only recently, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68182-what-can-p-g-and-facebook-teach-us-about-the-reality-of-targeting-and-the-future-of-tv-ads/">P&amp;G admitted it had gone too broad</a> with its Facebook advertising, and many creatives argue that the big idea trumps poorly created micro-segmented content.</p> <p>There's another consideration when it comes to retail in particular, and that's the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67250-seven-avoidable-marketing-automation-mistakes/">inadequacy of broad persona-based marketing</a> - assumptions about a particular age or sex of customer are always going to be just that, assumptions.</p> <p>Jill Brittlebank says that much of what companies need to do is "removing dissonance."</p> <p>"As consumers," she continues, "we get less and less tolerant of irrelevant messages. Younger users particularly.</p> <p>"So if I get a 'half term' style message when I've never shopped the kids category, I'm right to ask 'why?'</p> <p>"If I've shopped at Ocado for years, for example, they should know enough about me by now, what I'm buying etc., then talk to me like Arkwright from Open All Hours. The ultimate goal is to recreate that old retailer relationship."</p> <p>This difference between persona- and behaviour-based marketing is something Ivan Mazour, Ometria, sums up succintly:</p> <p>"It doesn't matter if the customer is a 45-year-old woman based in Clapham, we should be making decisions based on the fact that she only ever buys men's clothing with us.</p> <p>"Not random probabalistic hopes about what she wants, but actually knowing what she's looking at, how often she comes to the website, across all devices."</p> <p><em>A Shutterfly email faux pas - <a href="http://www.thehubcomms.com/news/shutterflys-email-faux-pas-when-marketing-automation-goes-wrong/article/347359/">wrongly assuming someone has given birth</a>.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/5265/shutterfly_original_email_grap_594069.jpg" alt="shutterfly" width="553" height="663"></p> <h3>5. Optimising email content</h3> <p>Having decided to target customers based on their behaviours, the next question is what content to target them with and when.</p> <p>Retailers must set rules - how many times does a customer need to look at a category or product before we send an email?</p> <p>Mazour highlights two strategies for the content of these emails, either "templated around a category, which includes a browsed product, so it looks like it has been visually merchandised. Or a mix of categories."</p> <p>This is the type of content optimisation that any company can employ, using "unsubscribe and conversion rates to create an optimisation routine."</p> <p><strong>The 'nudge'</strong></p> <p>The skill in content creation is subtletly, according to Jill Brittlebank.</p> <p>She says its about maintaining "the thrill of discovery, like finding something in the boutique off the high street - the perception of value is higher."</p> <p>"So the challenge," she adds, "is using technology as a predictive tool but also nudging customers towards the next product with subtlety, without saying 'look, you're going to buy this next'."</p> <p>Brittlebank also points out how important content is in modern ecommerce:</p> <p>"[Editorial such as] 'Ways to style', 'one dress three ways', 'daytime to evening', all that sort of stuff, it drives engagement. It doesn't necessarily drive the next purchase, but if the customer isn't in active purchase, you're looking to inspire them."</p> <h3>6. Optimising email frequency</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62997-send-more-email-make-more-money/">More email, more money</a> is an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63747-why-more-emails-at-christmas-almost-always-means-more-money/">oft-heard mantra</a>, and one <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64165-email-frequency-how-much-is-too-much/">we've discussed plenty</a> on the Econsultancy blog.</p> <p>Ivan Mazour, Ometria, is straightforward on the issue: "We agree with that. All research shows that over one email a day is optimum, assuming they're quality."</p> <p>Of course, that doesn't mean that all retailers do this, and one contact frequency for all customers may not be desirable.</p> <p>Hannah Stacey, marketing manager at Ometria, points at that companies "can segment on top of email - leave out VIPs from basket abandoment for example. Or leave some segments out from incentives."</p> <p>Care is needed, particularly in some sectors. Mazour says that "the fallout for a luxury brand, for example, can be big when sales emails land after somebody has purchased."</p> <p>Frequency is something that can be tied to a number of factors - purchase patterns and engagement.</p> <p>Jill Brittlebank, Zeta Interactive, gives a very practical example:</p> <p>"Look at groups of customers who only buy in the lead up to the holiday period at the end of the year.</p> <p>"You could gently nudge these people to purchase something pre-summer holiday perhaps? But really you want to market to them during the time they traditionally purchase."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/2084/unsubscribing-blog-full.jpg" alt="email frequency" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>7. Integrating social into a contact strategy</h3> <p>Mazour discusses the effectivenes of using first-party data to target lookalike audiences on social media.</p> <p>However, email continues to be the main channel that customers want to interact with (more than 70% of consumers prefer email, accoring to an Ometria study).</p> <p>But "if someone is not opening emails and you want to reactivate them, you can target them in social," Hannah Stacey comments, "then as soon as they start opening emails, you can switch that social targeting off."</p> <h3>8. Creating mobile experiences </h3> <p>Mobile user experience is something that most people are now fully aware of when it comes to web and email design.</p> <p>However, Jill Brittlebank points out the potential of mobile for rich customer insight.</p> <p>That's because users are more likely to browse on mobile, and the functionality of the device (e.g. swiping) is something that could be utilised to greater effect, presenting users with experiences that can build out their profile for the retailer.</p> <p>We've already seen retailers like Missguided <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67600-missguided-launches-tinder-inspired-app-experience-review/">integrate Tinder-style experiences</a> into apps, but there's perhaps more to be done here, to engage users on mobile web, particularly those that arrive from email.</p> <h2> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2583/IMG_2661.PNG" alt="swipe to hype" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2584/IMG_2663.PNG" alt="swipe to hype" width="300"> </h2> <h3>9. Getting hold of in-store data</h3> <p>This is the holy grail for retailers. Though a select few do have a fantastic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64758-how-in-store-tech-improves-customer-service-for-schuh/">view of stock across stores</a>, customer data is another thing entirely.</p> <p>Ivan Mazour comments that "most of the challenge is how do you get hold of in-store data. Anything with delivery works well (e.g. furniture) because you need to ask for details, or anything with a warranty (e.g. Jewellery).</p> <p>"But it's difficult for low ticket items, even if it's as simple as asking for an email address for an e-receipt.</p> <p>"It's hard to incentivise the store associate to get that email address. And it's hard to persuade the consumer, because the value exchange of an e-receipt is okay if you're Apple and selling tech, but not for a £15 purchase."</p> <h3>10. Integrating with legacy infrastructure</h3> <p>A last point to consider and another mentioned by Ivan Mazour - lots of existing retail systems update overnight (e.g. store systems).</p> <p>However newer systems like CRM and ecommerce are closer to real-time, making the two harder to integrate.</p> <p>This perhaps isn't a pressing concern but may ultimately affect some parts of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">customer experience</a> (e.g. the speed at which retailers can offer click and collect).</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Companies are now <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-crm-in-data-driven-marketing/">much more data-driven</a>, even fairly traditional retailers. The battle for boardroom approval is largely of the past.</p> <p>But there's still plenty of work that organisations need to do to optimise sophisticated contact strategies, particularly as technology in areas such as retargeting is still advancing.</p> <p>There are likely many more challenges to add to the 10 I have listed above. Please continue the conversation by adding a comment!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68168 2016-08-10T14:06:07+01:00 2016-08-10T14:06:07+01:00 Simple email subject lines are failing to engage consumers: stats Nikki Gilliland <p>However, new research by Touchstone has discovered that blind dedication to this cause could be the reason why many recipients are failing to read your emails.</p> <p>Using its new technology <a href="http://www.touchstonetests.io/" target="_blank">to test on virtual recipients</a> instead of real life subscribers, Touchstone actually found that the greater the language complexity, the better the click and open rates.</p> <p>First, a bit more information...</p> <h3>Methodology</h3> <p>For its study, Touchstone used two methodologies.</p> <p><strong>The first</strong> was the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleman%E2%80%93Liau_index" target="_blank">Coleman–Liau index</a>, which relies on the number of characters in a word instead of syllables.</p> <p><strong>The second</strong> was the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automated_readability_index" target="_blank">Automatic Readability index</a>, which like Coleman-Liau, primarily uses the number of characters to gauge the understandability of a piece of text. </p> <p>The text is then classified by the US grade system, ranging from being understandable by a child in kindergarten through to the level of an undergraduate university student. </p> <p>Other methods might use the number of syllables in a word to define complexity, but the Touchstone algorithm is not currently programmed to think in terms of syllables.</p> <h3>Examples of subject lines:</h3> <h4>Grade 2-3</h4> <ul> <li>Rewards Coupons, Fri. and Sat.</li> <li>Big flight savings</li> <li>Don't miss these awesome deals</li> </ul> <h4>Grade 6-7</h4> <ul> <li>You qualify! Because you're an email subscriber: awesome savings in top destinations</li> <li>Tired of always looking exhausted?</li> <li>ORDER GIFT CARDS FEE-FREE: PERFECT FOR GRADUATES</li> </ul> <h4>University </h4> <ul> <li>Easy, flameless, effective. Cute odor-neutralizing Fragrance Spheres. Just $5.49</li> <li>Designs with Character (Literally!)</li> <li>Budget-Friendly Swimsuits, Embarrassing Prom Moments, and More</li> </ul> <h3>What it found</h3> <p>Touchstone’s study involved analysing 675,000 subject lines and the results of 41bn sent emails. </p> <p>First, all subject lines in the database were categorised according to understandability using the two chosen methodologies, before determining whether the language complexity had any impact on open rate, clickthrough rate or click-to-open rate. </p> <p>The grey bars in the charts below also represent how many emails of each type was sent.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7873/Coleman-Liau.png" alt="" width="780" height="520"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7874/Readibility_index.png" alt="" width="780" height="520"></p> <p>With best practice guidelines for subject lines recommending marketers to keep subject lines as simple as possible, many emails are sent with subject lines with an understandability level aimed at people aged 9-14.</p> <p>However, as the above graphs show, the average open, click and click-to-open rates all tend to improve the more complex the language in the subject line.</p> <p>In fact, the subject lines that performed the best were those with the vocabulary of a 16-to-18-year-old.</p> <h3><strong>What can we learn?</strong></h3> <p>Not only does this study suggest that complex language leads to greater email engagement, but it also once again proves the value of testing and optimisation.</p> <p>It's easy for marketers to assume that they know what language is most appealing to their customers.</p> <p>But to get the best results from email, it's worth making use of one of the many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66803-16-genuinely-useful-email-marketing-tools/" target="_blank">available email marketing tools</a> to scale up testing and optimise email messages.</p> <p>Not only will this save time and resources, but result in far better engagement from consumers.</p> <p>Finally, for more on this topic check out these other studies looking at how to create a great email subject line:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64878-45-words-to-avoid-in-your-email-marketing-subject-lines/">45 words to avoid in your email marketing subject lines</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66328-211-awesome-phrases-for-email-subject-lines-that-sell/">211 awesome phrases for email subject lines that sell</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66789-we-analysed-82-econsultancy-email-subject-lines-and-here-s-what-we-learned/">We analysed 82 Econsultancy email subject lines and here’s what we learned</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63000-152-killer-keywords-for-email-subject-lines-and-137-crappy-ones/">152 killer keywords for email subject lines (and 137 crappy ones)</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/2961 2016-08-10T05:00:41+01:00 2016-08-10T05:00:41+01:00 Econsultancy's Certificate in Digital Marketing & Google AdWords Qualified Individual Certification - Singapore <h3><strong>Course benefits</strong></h3> <p>Econsultancy and ClickAcademy Asia are proud to launch the first world-class Certificate in Digital Marketing programme in Singapore catering to senior managers and marketing professionals who want to understand digital marketing effectively in the shortest time possible. Participants who complete the programme requirement will be awarded the <strong>Econsultancy's Certificate in Digital Marketing</strong> and <strong>Google AdWords Qualified Individual</strong> <strong>Certificate</strong>.</p> <p>The double certification programme is uniquely positioned to deliver these benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Course content and curriculum provided by Econsultancy of UK, the world leading digital marketing best practice community and publisher with 250,000+ subscribers</li> <li>Certification in Google AdWords, a highly sought-after professional qualification by Google for digital marketing professionals</li> <li>3 free credits to download 3 Econsultancy reports (worth USD695/report) from Econsultancy's portal containing 500,000+ pages of digital marketing resources, reports and best practice guides</li> <li>Short 8-week course with lesson once or twice a week</li> <li>Practical and real-life training by certified digital marketing practitioners</li> <li>Conducted locally in Singapore with ‘live’ face-to-face training, and not webinars or online learning</li> </ul> <h3>Econsultancy's Reports (Complimentary)</h3> <p>FREE 3 Credits to download Econsultancy's reports from Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/">portal</a> containing 500,000+ pages of digital marketing resources, reports and best practice guides.</p> <h3><strong>Course Details</strong></h3> <p>This double certification course is a 8-week part-time programme for working professionals who intend to upgrade their knowledge in digital marketing. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will obtain a double certification, and are awarded the Certificate in Digital Marketing (powered by Econsultancy) and the Google AdWords Individual Qualification. </p> <p>This is a part-time programme with 64 contact hours (total 8 days) spread over 8 weeks. Participants will only be certified after passing the Google AdWords exams and the digital marketing project, and complete at least 52 contact hours. </p> <p>The part-time programme covers topics ranging from the overview of digital marketing, customer acquisition channels to social media marketing. </p> <p><strong>Start Date:</strong> 11 Oct 2016</p> <p><strong>Venue:</strong> Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore, #04-02</p> <p><strong>Course Fee:</strong><strong> SGD 5,880/pax</strong><br>(SGD2,000 discount for Econsultancy’s paying subscribers at SGD 3,880/pax.)</p> <p>To find out more and register, click <a href="http://www.clickacademyasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/doublecert-brochure-sg-my-2H2016.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <h4>For enquiries, please contact us<strong> </strong>at +65 6653 1911 or email<strong> <a href="mailto:%20apac@econsultancy.com" target="_blank">apac@econsultancy.com</a></strong> </h4> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/819 2016-08-04T14:32:54+01:00 2016-08-04T14:32:54+01:00 Email Best Practice <p>Exclusive to our Enterprise and Small Business subscribers, Econsultancy's Trends Webinar for October looks at best practice within Email. This insight comes from Econsultancy's own latest research along with collated third-party data and statistics.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by Lynette Saunders, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68036 2016-07-05T10:10:38+01:00 2016-07-05T10:10:38+01:00 A day in the life of... an email deliverability consultant Ben Davis <h3>Please describe your job</h3> <p>As an Email Deliverability Consultant at Smartfocus, I am the spammer’s worst nightmare.</p> <p>My job, in fact, is to ensure that our clients get their emails delivered. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?</p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>Our Deliverability team reports to Richard Bewley, Head of Delivery. He’s the head, we’re the body; I’m his right hand.</p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>More than skilled, you need to be virtuous in order to be a delivery person. </p> <p>There are two fundamental aspects to my role: There’s an investigative/interpretative aspect, where we look at a client’s data and from that we establish what issues they face and what course of action is required in order to achieve their goal.  </p> <p>There’s also an educational aspect where we communicate to a client what we learned from their data: their current situation, whatever problem they’re facing, how to fix it, and more importantly how to stop it from reoccurring.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6774/william_astout.jpg" alt="william astout" width="300"> </p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day.</h3> <p>Typically we have client’s questions and direct issues to deal with.</p> <p>We work together with most teams in the business: finance, pre-sales and sales, technical operations, hosting, security, R&amp;D, even HR as well at times.</p> <p>On top of that we monitor and manage shared IP pools.</p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>I love reporting to Richard, who’s very supportive, and the team we currently have.</p> <p>We’re all very enthusiastic and passionate about what we do, and we’re a harmonious team, we’re all playing the same tune.</p> <p>I love getting clients on the right track. It’s fantastic when you give a client a list of steps, an IP warm-up plan for example, they follow it to the letter, and see the great results they can achieve. </p> <p>What sucks is occasionally coming across clients who are initially reluctant to cooperate.</p> <p>It’s a small minority, but they eventually come round to understanding what they need to do. </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>Opens, clicks, bounces, complaints and unsubscribes are just words, rates are just numbers.</p> <p>We need to understand what each of these mean to the client, so we can tailor our advice to their needs and help them prioritise their resources. </p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>We use a variety of tools, in-house and online. I personally like WiseTools from wordtothewise.com (their blog is also excellent).</p> <p>We check several different blacklists, and the community itself also works as a great source of knowledge. </p> <p><a href="http://tools.wordtothewise.com/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6775/Screen_Shot_2016-07-05_at_08.39.08.png" alt="wisetools" width="615"></a></p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>It was out of my own interest that I got started. I worked for a small agency as a content writer, and they had no email strategy in place so I asked if I could look after their email and social media.</p> <p>Soon enough we were sending emails and doing social for automotive luxury brands like Jaguar and Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, BMW and others.</p> <p>From there I went on to work as a Campaign Manager and then on to Deliverability. </p> <p>Right now I’m focusing on the challenges facing our clients and how we can continually develop the platform.</p> <p>I feel there’s still a lot we can achieve for SmartFocus and our clients, and I’ve already started seen the fruits of our hard-work. This is exactly where I want to be right now. </p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>Our clients Hobbycraft and The Entertainer are using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67944-how-the-entertainer-uses-personalised-dynamic-email-content">dynamic product swap and personalisation</a> in their emails with great success, and going beyond personalisation towards the individualisation of emails. </p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p>In this industry there will always be something new to learn so it’s vital that anyone who wants to start also has a passion for learning.</p> <p>Digital is amazing, the possibilities are endless whether it’s email, marketing, social or contextual. Real-time interactive marketing is going to be huge, get in there!</p> <p><em>If you're looking for a new challenge in digital, see the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy jobs board</a> or benchmark your own digital knowledge using our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Alternatively, if you already work in the digital industry and would like a Day In The Life profile, you can email us via press@econsultancy.com.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68006 2016-06-28T14:04:04+01:00 2016-06-28T14:04:04+01:00 ASOS recovers from website downtime with agile email Ben Davis <p>ASOS must be credited for turning a crisis into an opportunity with its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>.</p> <h3>The crisis</h3> <p>The ASOS website and app were down for more than 12 hours on Friday, prompting many to suggest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68001-how-will-brexit-impact-digital-businesses-and-marketers/">Brexit had begun its wrathful decimation of business</a> and society.</p> <p>In fact, it was apparently due to a power outage at a third-party data centre.</p> <p>More practically, this crash will have a led to a number of stalled orders, including checkout fails that are naturally the nightmare scenario in ecommerce, as is such a long period offline.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I don't want to say that this is the apocalypse, but asos is down</p> — Kristina (@KrisAtomic) <a href="https://twitter.com/KrisAtomic/status/746203956804620293">June 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>The response</h3> <p>The website and app were back up again on Saturday and this morning ASOS sent the below email out to its registered shoppers with the subject line 'Sorry, can we make it up to you?'</p> <p>A 10% discount for one day was offered to all shoppers. </p> <p>It was a simple thing to do, but the right thing to do and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">the copywriting</a> within helps to keep things light - saying ‘yes, even on sale items!’ and using BIGTHANKS10 as the discount code, showing the retailers gratitude for the patience of its customers.</p> <p>Though email is well-known as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63747-why-more-emails-at-christmas-almost-always-means-more-money/">the best tactic</a> to give an uptick in sales (and something <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65581-asos-sales-emails-are-excellent-but-are-they-too-frequent/">ASOS uses a lot of</a>), and the discount code offers added incentive, this isn’t a cynical tactic from ASOS - it is what all retailers should do after service failure.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6568/Screen_Shot_2016-06-28_at_09.19.36.png" alt="asos email" width="500"> </p> <h3>The wider problem</h3> <p>However, though ASOS is a unicorn and rightly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67950-eight-ecommerce-checkout-design-features-that-make-asos-great/">praised for its UX</a>, a quick look at Trustpilot shows that ASOS is poor when it comes to service fulfillment.</p> <p>A rating of 3.8 out of 10 from nearly 2,000 reviews. Yes, aggrieved customers can be more vocal than the satisfied, but this is still an alarming figure.</p> <p>ASOS does not offer a phone number for customer service and this is often a sore point for digital pureplays, where customers cannot go into store.</p> <p>Customers often complain that social media service is slow in coming, and the retailer was recently suspected of using a bot to reply to Facebook complaints.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5401/Screen_Shot_2016-05-27_at_09.53.03.png" alt="asos automated" width="400"></p> <p>As much as ASOS is lauded for slick UX, many customers feel that as soon as something goes wrong, that experience falls down.</p> <p>It's a complaint made of many other auspicious brands - <a href="https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.johnlewis.com">John Lewis springs to mind</a> and its delivery service.</p> <p>What this shows is how difficult it is to align service levels across many departments in a big company.</p> <p>ASOS is very good at marketing, as shown by its response to Friday's outage, but the challenge for pureplays, day to day, is how to generate customer love <em>despite</em> something going wrong, via a proactive customer service department.</p> <p>This is where brands such as AO.com excel - even <a href="https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.ao.com">responding to unsatisfied customers</a> on the Trustpilot website - and is a mark of joined up organisations focusing on lifetime value over pure sales volume (despite selling tertiary goods).</p> <p>Some of ASOS's customer service issues may be explained by fast international expansion (and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67735-five-reasons-asos-is-pulling-out-of-china/">contraction in some areas</a>), and one would hope that after rapid growth, the retailer looks to offer a world-beating customer service proposition as the cherry on the cake.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67981 2016-06-28T11:33:00+01:00 2016-06-28T11:33:00+01:00 How three of the UK’s biggest department stores are promoting summer sales online Nikki Gilliland <p>Department stores are a big draw for consumers looking for a bargain, offering a vast array of discounts across categories ranging from homeware to fashion.</p> <p>With added convenience (because where else can you buy a £2 hat <em>and</em> a £200 handbag) retailers focus heavily on getting people to buy online.</p> <p>I’ve chosen three popular stores that are fairly similar when it comes to price and demographic.</p> <p>The department stores:</p> <ul> <li>House of Fraser</li> <li>John Lewis</li> <li>Debenhams</li> </ul> <p>Here’s how they are enticing shoppers online this summer.</p> <h3>Homepage design</h3> <p>All three stores have recently re-designed their homepages, specifically to highlight summer sale events.</p> <h4>House of Fraser</h4> <p>To me, the example that stands out as the most appealing is House of Fraser.</p> <p>The 'Big Brand Sale' headline evokes the sense that it is a limited event, and the ‘up to 50% off’ offer is certainly eye-catching.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6326/House_of_Fraser_homepage.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <p>Alongside brand logos, the homepage showcases a good mix of categories included in the sale, using feature-style editorials to create an attractive and easy-to-navigate experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6344/House_of_Fraser_editorial.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="588"></p> <h4>Debenhams</h4> <p>Its competitor, Debenhams, also chooses to focus on a large and enticing offer, promoting its savings of ‘up to half price*’. </p> <p>While the inclusion of the asterisk is somewhat off-putting – signalling to the consumer that the discounts might not be as good as they sound - its transparency is still appreciated.</p> <p>The visibility of delivery charges provides further enticment.</p> <p>Unlike House of Fraser's single image, Debenhams uses a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61995-carousels-on-ecommerce-sites-are-they-worth-bothering-with/">carousel</a> to highlight a few categories - however, the imagery and category choice does seem a little geared towards women. </p> <p>Similarly, the ‘Top Deals’ section showcases greater variety, but rather bold design does feel a little too in-your-face, and could prove off-putting for anybody uninterested in the sale.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6340/Debenhams_top_deals.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="332"></p> <h4>John Lewis</h4> <p>Taking a different tack, John Lewis’s homepage concentrates on a slicker hero image.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6328/John_Lewis_homepage.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="614"></p> <p>By choosing to focus on the tagline of ‘More of what you love for less’, it effectively conveys a focus on the customer, as opposed to just shifting attention to the sale.</p> <p>Its ‘Top Offers’ section - while similar to Debenhams – is subtler, including extra filtering options to point consumers to specific categories.</p> <h3>The size of sale</h3> <p>Sales can often be a bit hit or miss. While some sites might offer a limited number of sale items, others like to include as many as possible.</p> <p>To make a comparison of size, I sorted each website into a specific category – namely ‘Women’s Dresses’ and ‘Size 10’.</p> <p>Amount of products returned:</p> <ul> <li>House of Fraser – 4,291</li> <li>Debenhams – 1,959</li> <li>John Lewis – 1,019</li> </ul> <p>Carrying more brands than its competetors, it’s unsurprising that House of Fraser has the largest amount of sale items.</p> <p>However, bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.</p> <p>According to research, big sales can often backfire, as consumers suffer from increased mental fatigue and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64254-want-more-sales-give-consumers-fewer-options/">less inclination to commit to a purchase</a>.</p> <p>As someone who often decides against shopping online at House of Fraser due to the sheer amount of products to trawl through, I’m definitely drawn to the select amount on offer at Debenhams.</p> <p>But why not John Lewis?</p> <p>I’m not entirely sure, but perhaps it’s related to the retailer insisting on calling its sale a ‘clearance’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6331/John_Lewis_Clearance.PNG" alt="" width="403" height="584"></p> <p>Though this clarification is intended to provide a greater sense of exclusivity, it doesn't provide any more benefits for customers.</p> <p>So, essentially, it's still just a sale.</p> <h3>Calls-to-action &amp; navigation</h3> <p>When it comes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/">product pages</a>, there’s not much difference between the three sites in terms of extra incentive.</p> <p>Each department store highlights prices before the sale, using big bold typography to advertise the discounted value.</p> <p>Marginally better than the others, Debenhams also includes the amount saved, which does allow for greater insight at-a-glance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6332/Debenhams_saving.PNG" alt="" width="390" height="229"></p> <p>One aspect of the John Lewis site which I particularly like is the ability to filter by sale percentage.</p> <p>Allowing the user to quickly and easily find the most discounted items, it’s certainly the best filtering feature I have come across.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6334/John_Lewis_sale_filter.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="514"></p> <p>In terms of navigation, while Debenhams and John Lewis choose to include a dedicated sale page, both drop-down menus feel far too cluttered.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6336/Debenhams_drop_down_menu.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="431"></p> <p>On the other hand, House of Fraser’s subtle yet effective ‘Sale’ sections in the drop-down menu ensures that the user knows exactly where to look for offers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6335/House_of_Fraser_dropdown.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="428"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>While there isn't much to differentiate between the department stores in terms of strategy, House of Fraser's simple navigation and editorial-style certainly makes it the most appealing online sale out of the three.</p> <p>It might offer a mind-boggling amount of items, but with other sites being completely overtaken by sales promotion, it manages to maintain some sense of decorum at least.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67944 2016-06-27T14:30:00+01:00 2016-06-27T14:30:00+01:00 How The Entertainer uses personalised, dynamic email content Ben Davis <p>There hasn't been big growth of the database, the team has simply sent "better messages to the same people and got a better result".</p> <h3>Recommendations</h3> <p>Previously, only 14% of online customers made a repeat purchase, so The Entertainer targeted greater personalisation in order to tempt customers back.</p> <p>This was partly enabled by a recommendations engine, <a href="http://www.smartfocus.com/">Smartfocus</a>, that gathers customer data as they browse and order from the ecommerce site.</p> <p>However, with buyers purchasing gifts for others, recommendations can be a tricky prospect. The Entertainer attempts to get round this with its 'Birthday Club'.</p> <p>Rob explains that parents are asked "who they’re buying for and when their birthday is and are then provided recommendations based on what a child that age might like.</p> <p>"Previous behavior isn’t a guarantee of what a customer wants to buy now, so we can be far more useful by targeting the occasion and the recipient of the gift."</p> <p>It's this mix of behaviour-driven and content-driven email that proves successful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6353/Screen_Shot_2016-06-22_at_08.59.52.png" alt="present finder" width="400"></p> <h3>Dynamic content</h3> <p>The Entertainer now uses dynamic content in email, which is agile and therefore relevant at the time of open.</p> <p>"The information you used to set up your email two days ago might not be the best information when the email is opened," said Rob.</p> <p>"If you know customers aren’t going to look at every single one of your emails, you need to offer them the very best message when they do choose to interact with your brand."</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64792-agile-creative-the-future-of-email/">Uses of this dynamic content are varied</a> across the industry, from targeting a user with an Android or iOS app download message dependent on device, to targeting content geographically via IP addresses, to time-sensitive offers.</p> <p>In the case of The Entertainer, a live price feed is one of the dynamic elements added to email. Rob explains the rationale behind this:</p> <p>"To offer our customers the best possible value we change hundreds of prices a week, often at short notice.</p> <p>"Because our platform offers automated product recommendations, we need a live feed price feed to make sure our emails are accurate whenever they’re opened."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5996/monday_am.png" alt="entertainer live email" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5997/monday_pm.png" alt="entertainer live email" width="300"> </p> <p>And, of course, dynamic email content wouldn't be dynamic email content without the ubiquitous countdown timer.</p> <p>However, as far as implementations go, The Entertainer's is perhaps the most joyous and feels like a natural use of the feature - counting down the days to Christmas.</p> <p>Whether instilling fear in present-buying adults or wonder in expectant children, you can see the advantages of such a tactic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5998/countdown.png" alt="live countdown" width="450"></p> <h3>What's next? </h3> <p>One may think that improved email functionality dictates a greater workload, given strategic considerations such as more content creation and more testing and learning.</p> <p>However, as is often the case when legacy technology is replaced, efficiency can allow staff to refocus.</p> <p>Rob says that "building emails is quicker and easier, so time that was previously spent doing the legwork can now be spent on analysis."</p> <p>As for the future of dynamic content, psychographic targeting on social media is one area Rob expects to be big.</p> <blockquote> <p>I think social will be the area where dynamic content really takes off. If you set your Facebook status to 'engaged', you quickly see the potential for brands to serve relevant content to consumers as you’ll be inundated with ads for wedding services.</p> <p>But it’s a bit of a blunt instrument at the moment and I think this will become much more sophisticated and engaging in the future.</p> </blockquote> <p>Targeting and retargeting segments across email, social and website is certainly becoming the reality of conversion.</p> <p>For more on dynamic content, read the following:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66407-think-you-have-your-dynamic-prospecting-sorted/">Think you have your dynamic prospecting sorted?</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67516-four-video-campaigns-that-used-dynamic-creative/">Four video campaigns that used dynamic creative</a> </li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67554-2016-the-year-of-programmatic-creative/">2016. The year of programmatic creative? </a></li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65327-why-dynamic-pricing-is-a-must-for-ecommerce-retailers/">Why dynamic pricing is a must for ecommerce retailers</a> </li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67895 2016-06-01T11:44:43+01:00 2016-06-01T11:44:43+01:00 How Wish uses 'aggressive' automated email in ecommerce Ben Davis <h3>Day three: basket abandonment</h3> <p>Below is the second email I received (the first on day one was a welcome email and chiefly for email address verification). It points me towards an item I left in my basket.</p> <p>One slight problem with Wish's time sensitive offers is the fact that here is a product <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5259/instant_2.PNG">I had viewed at £8</a> when I used the app a few days ago. Now Wish is pushing it back to me at £9.</p> <p>Granted, both prices are fairly reasonable, but it does show a potential downside to the discount model.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the email, it's interesting that Wish has attached a YouTube haul video. The video shows a makeup haul, which isn't best suited for me.</p> <p>Wish knows my gender, it asked me during the signup process, but has likely added this video to all such emails, regardless of gender.</p> <p>The retailer may well be promoting its YouTube content here to re-emphasise its value proposition. The haul videos stress that the products are cheap but their quality is adequately good.</p> <p>For a new(ish) platform with a slightly unusual UX, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> is important to tempt first-time users back into the app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5482/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_13.43.45.png" alt="wish email" width="450"></p> <h3>Day four: browsing follow-up</h3> <p>I had browsed a range of trainers on the Wish app, so was slightly surprised this follow-up email focused on sandals. Indeed, the showcased products seem to be mostly shoes.</p> <p>Despite this slight confusion in categories, I liked the format of the email, with simple product images that are all individually linked to product pages, or the option to see the full collection.</p> <p>Notice the email subject tackles the topic of 'creepiness' head on, telling me what I've been browsing. This is smart - recognising the elephant in the room means Wish mitigates any customer unease.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5483/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_13.46.59.png" alt="wish email" width="450"></p> <h3>Day four: trending products &amp; recommendations</h3> <p>On day four Wish also sent me the email below, which I've split into two images.</p> <p>It's a classic bit of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. Some gender-specific products are surfaced (the wallets category), as are recommendations similar to my wishlist (where I had liked a watch strap) and links to other categories are provided.</p> <p>The footer promotes the Wish app, which by day four I had deleted.</p> <p>As far as I'm aware, there's no way to find out if a user has deleted an iOS app, but I can't rule out Wish having some kind of work-around here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5500/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_14.23.20.png" alt="email from wish" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5494/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_14.23.42.png" alt="wish email" width="300"></p> <h3>Day six: more trending products and recommendations (effectively a non-open resend)</h3> <p>Another recommendation email next.</p> <p>Though I didn't engage with the first email, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63747-why-more-emails-at-christmas-almost-always-means-more-money/">studies have shown email resends to non-opens</a> to be a successful tactic, so Wish obviously sees the same with its testing.</p> <p>This isn't a resend per se, but the email layout and half of the content matches very closely to day four's email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5503/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_15.06.30.png" alt="wish email" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5502/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_15.06.54.png" alt="wish email" width="300"></p> <h3>Day six: wishlist reminder</h3> <p>I had added a watch strap to my favourites and six days later Wish sent me the email below.</p> <p>The delay was smart, being time enough for me to have potentially bought the watch strap. Sending a reminder too soon may have put me off.</p> <p>The email subject line is impressive, personalised to the product I had favourited.</p> <p>If these <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64878-45-words-to-avoid-in-your-email-marketing-subject-lines/">subject lines</a> are automated, there must have been extensive copywriting or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">a machine learning algorithm</a> involved in the original setup.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5504/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_15.13.54.png" alt="wish wishlist reminder" width="450"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>Though I have called Wish's automated email 'aggressive' I don't think that's a bad thing. The retailer's whole strategy is about encouraging time in app as well as impulse buys.</p> <p>As we know from some studies, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62997-send-more-email-make-more-money">more email means more money</a>. </p> <p>It's an effective channel that, though it may serve to annoy the one-off customer, does much to encourage <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix">high-value customers</a> to purchase.</p> <p>From a marketing automation point of view, it's great to see a retailer investing heavily in this area given that many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67815-why-marketers-are-failing-to-make-the-most-of-automated-emails">marketers are failing to make the most of triggered emails</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67872 2016-05-31T10:42:05+01:00 2016-05-31T10:42:05+01:00 Email newsletter sign-ups: How fashion brands welcome new subscribers Nikki Gilliland <p>As a result - and as our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email Marketing Census</a> highlights - almost three-quarters of companies now rate email marketing as delivering an excellent ROI.</p> <p>But are retailers really using emails to excellent effect?</p> <p>From data capture to saying hello, here’s a look at the email sign-up process offered by a range of online retailers.</p> <p>Let’s start with the best of the bunch.</p> <h3>Gap</h3> <p>Long sign-up forms can be off-putting, especially when it stretches to birthday or category preferences.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5187/Gap_Sign_Up.PNG" alt="" width="564" height="557"></p> <p>Despite Gap’s longer-than-average form, signing up turns out to be worth the effort.</p> <p>With an impressive 20% discount for new customers, Gap delivers one of the most generous welcomes around.</p> <p>By not giving away the offer before the customer signs up, yet making it the surprise focal point of the email, it demonstrates how a brand can capture customer loyalty from the get-go.</p> <p>Actively promoting the 20% discount might increase sign ups, but it might also just attract one-time bargain hunters.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5188/Gap_Email.PNG" alt="" width="640" height="918"></p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Unlike Gap, ASOS just can’t resist promoting its incentive of a 15% discount.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5191/ASOS_Sign_Up.PNG" alt="" width="790" height="381"></p> <p>An upfront approach that suits a similarly in-your-face brand, ASOS is all about cool design and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">clever copywriting</a>. </p> <p>With playful language like “No likey – no problem” – the emails speak to a clear demographic. </p> <p>Despite this potentially polarising <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a>, anyone agreeing to receive a ‘fash-tastic’ newsletter surely knows what they’re signing up for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5192/ASOS_Email.PNG" alt="" width="700" height="802"></p> <h3>Joy</h3> <p>Calling anything a ‘club’ makes it seem far more exclusive than it actually is. </p> <p>By playing up to this angle as well as including an additional incentive of a £250 prize, Joy’s email sign up is one of the most attractive examples.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5195/Joy_Sign_Up.PNG" alt="" width="790" height="600"></p> <p>Likewise, so is its welcome email.</p> <p>Showcasing four reasons to love being part of the Joy club (using a rather fancy flashing design), the email combines pleasing graphics with concise, easy-to-read copy.</p> <p>A joyful experience all round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5196/Joy_Email.PNG" alt="" width="620" height="882"></p> <h3>Reiss</h3> <p>The welcome email is not always about offering money off. </p> <p>With two-fifths of companies now indicating that content personalisation is part of their email strategy, a more bespoke experience is proving to be just as effective.</p> <p>With a slick magazine-style format, Reiss’s welcome email is geared around ‘reasons to love’ the brand.</p> <p>From wishlists to personal shopping, it’s all about helping the consumer find exactly what it is they want. </p> <p>The beautiful girl helps too, obviously.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5197/Reiss_Email_1.PNG" alt="" width="660" height="822"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5198/Reiss_Email.PNG" alt="" width="670" height="712"></p> <h4>Now, onto the worst culprits...</h4> <h3>Anthropologie</h3> <p>A retailer that’s better known for homeware rather than fashion – Anthropologie is rather cheeky when it comes to getting new customer sign-ups in the bag.</p> <p>First, a tiny call-to-action at the bottom of the screen results in this enticing pop-up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5184/Anthro.PNG" alt="" width="590" height="424"></p> <p>After you have entered your address, a welcome email will arrive in your inbox, complete with a subject line promising ‘the start of something beautiful’.</p> <p>Sounds delightful so far. But here’s where it gets a little odd.</p> <p>Despite the fact that you’ve already given away your email, it again prompts you to ‘sign up now’ in order to enjoy free delivery and returns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5185/Anthro_Email.PNG" alt="" width="650" height="872"></p> <p>Wait – what? I thought I already did?</p> <p>Oh, but I didn’t give you ALL my details. I see what you did there.</p> <p>Well played.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5186/Anthro_Sign_Up_2.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="657"></p> <h3>Monki</h3> <p>When you’re used to receiving bright, image-heavy brand emails, receiving a text-only welcome feels a little strange. </p> <p>Like, are we in 2005 or something?</p> <p>A fairly kooky brand, Monki plays it similarly cool when it comes to emails subscribers.</p> <p>With a basic black and while sign up form, and a similarly bland welcome email, the brand has clearly opted for a minimalistic style.</p> <p>Either way, I guess it’s hard to argue with 10% off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5199/Monki_Sign_Up.PNG" alt="" width="510" height="333"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5201/Monki_Email.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="453"></p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>Unlike Monki, River Island has a high street presence that’s hard to ignore. Much like its website, it is full of beautiful people wearing beautifully bright and catwalk-inspired clothes.</p> <p>Its emails on the other hand are a little confused.</p> <p>With a text-only ‘hello’ – and merely a vague promise of ‘exclusive promotions’ and ‘early previews’ - the initial 'welcome' email seems strangely at odds with a brand that has an <a href="https://twitter.com/riverisland">otherwise vibrant presence</a> on social media.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5202/River_Island_Email.PNG" alt="" width="752" height="671"></p> <p>As it turns out, this is only the sign-up confirmation.</p> <p>But it's still a little hard to get excited about the real one when it arrives days later.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5219/River_Island_Welcome.PNG" alt="" width="690" height="542"></p> <h3>Zara</h3> <p>Usually a fail-safe shopping experience, you'd expect more from Zara.</p> <p>Yet, not only is this email another boring example of a text-only template, but it also sends out a link requiring confirmation of the subscription beforehand.</p> <p>Not that there’s anything majorly wrong with brands taking this step – but considering the extra effort required, the uninspired welcome barely seems a fair reward.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5203/Zara_Sign_Up.PNG" alt="" width="484" height="444"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5204/Zara_Confirmation.PNG" alt="" width="733" height="336"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>From this small selection, we can evidently see how some brands are failing to make use of welcome emails.</p> <p>Monki and Zara demonstrate just how uninspiring a poorly designed email can be.</p> <p>On the other hand, the likes of Joy and ASOS show that it’s not rocket science either.</p> <p>Ultimately, brands need to realise that getting someone to sign up is not the end of the story. It’s only just the beginning. </p> <p>A consistent tone of voice, slick design, and curated content are all ways of keeping the customer interested long term.</p> <p>That, and a bit of money off never hurts.</p>