Of the 66% of top retailers that sent out welcome emails, many are missing out on the opportunity to use those emails as a selling vehicle. Instead of inspiring subscribers with their product knowledge and impressing them with exclusive deals with the very first email they receive, a great number of the largest etailers simply say hello and leave it at that. The lack of sales mentality that some retailers bring to their welcome emails is demonstrated by the fact that 12% of the welcome emails included in this study didn't even bother to include a link to the retailers' shopping sites. Forty-nine percent didn't include links to their shopping departments and 89% didn't include product images and links.
Many retailers also failed to make their emails CAN-SPAM compliant and generally made it difficult for subscribers to unsubscribe or contact customer service. For instance, only 68% of welcome emails included the retailer's mailing address; only 37% the retailer's phone number; and only 20% a contact email address. Only 65% included an unsubscribe link.
A few retailers had technical problems with their welcome email programs as well. For instance, Dick's Sporting Goods and The Sports Authority sent out welcome emails after having already sent one or more regular emails. Even worse, seven of the retailers that sent out welcome emails never followed up with regular emails within 10 weeks of the subscription date.
Other key findings from the study include:
- 34% of welcome emails include a discount, reward or incentive.
- Only two retailers-Lowe's and TigerDirect-used a double opt-in subscription process that required subscribers to confirm that they did indeed sign up for their newsletters.
- 49% of welcome emails asked the subscriber to add an email address to its address book.
- 69% of retailers sent out HTML welcome emails, while the remaining 31% sent out text-only welcomes.
Read the full report here.