Retailers are Awful at Email

Email can be a highly effective channel for marketers when it comes to engaging consumers. In fact, 50 percent of respondents to a 2016 survey from Adobe claimed that email was their preferred mode of receiving marketing material.

That's all well and good, of course, but more than one-third (37%) don't open any emails from retailers, according to a recent Retail TouchPoints survey.

It's becoming quite clear that retailers simply aren't taking advantage of the opportunity in the email channel and are missing their marketing goals as a result.

The Retail TouchPoints survey revealed that 65 percent of retailers aimed to increase email rates such as opens, click-through rates, and conversions - but only 51 percent were able to complete their objective successfully. What's more, only 5 percent of consumers cite nearly all retail emails as relevant, timely and compelling, while one in four say they are rarely ever relevant. And this while two-thirds of retailers indicating they capture purchase order history (68 percent) and website engagements (64 percent) from their customers. Through effective personalized emails and increased investment of user behavior analytics, however, brands can potentially increase conversion rates and reach their full email marketing potential.

Additional highlights from the study include that two-thirds of retailers currently capture purchase order history (68%) and website engagements (64%) from their customers (although 17% of retailers don't utilize data at all to personalize marketing emails).
While it may seem that retailers are falling short of their email marketing objectives, the survey actually highlights two encouraging findings. Nearly half of retailers (52%) plan to better personalize subject lines to drive opens or roll out triggered emails based on consumers' online behavior (45%) in the future, and two-thirds of retailers plan to use data to boost engagement, sales, and customer retention over the next 12 to 24 months.