E-mail Marketing To Customers And Prospects In China
E-mail Marketing Buyer's Guide, 2006

Send to a Friend Benchmark Study

RetailEmail.Blogspot released a new study about the send to a friend (STAF) practices of major retailers. These are the key findings:

Not only are just 44% of retailers using send to a friend (STAF) in their emails, many are using practices that diminish their effectiveness, such as requiring too much information and not paying enough lip service to privacy on both ends of the process.

For instance, 46% required the subscriber’s name—even retailers who already know the subscriber’s name because they required it during the sign up process. Eighteen percent also require the subscriber’s email address, which all the retailers already have. These requirements create unnecessary barriers to usage.

Retailers were also inconsistent in reassuring both the sender and the recipient of the forward that the recipient wasn’t being signed up for the newsletter as a result of the forward. On the upside, during the three weeks following the forwards, none of the retailers had sent any additional emails to the recipients of the forwards.

Many major retailers also squandered the opportunity that STAF gives them to sign up the recipient of the forward, with only 44% of retailers including a newsletter subscribe link at the top of the forwarded email.

Besides prompting email subscribers to forward retailers’ newsletters along, STAF mechanisms allow retailers to track forwarded emails and the reactions of the recipient because those emails are sent through the retailer’s servers. Newsletters forwarded via STAF mechanisms are also sure to render properly.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • Only 51% of send-to-a-friend emails contain a privacy statement of some sort at the top of the forwarded email.
  • Eight percent of retailers include a STAF form in their emails, as opposed to a STAF link that leads to a form.
  • Only one retailer, J. Jill, offered the recipients of forwards an incentive to sign up for the newsletter themselves.

The report covers the following topics:

The Forwarding Process

  • Requirements
  • Number of Recipients
  • Personalization
  • Privacy Statements
  • Confirmation

Receipt of the Forward

  • The Sender
  • Subject Lines
  • Toppers
  • The Body

The Innovators

  • Prominent Send-to-a-Friend Links Send-to-a-Friend Forms
  • Sign-Up Incentives
  • Prominent Recipient Sign-Up Links
  • Continuity of Branding

Integrating Send to a Friend Into Campaigns

To read the full report, click here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!
comments powered by Disqus