Retailers miss ways to integrate email marketing with soc-med

UK retailers are continuing to ignore key email marketing techniques that can increase online traffic and sales, and failing to exploit email as a social media marketing tool.

The DotMailer annual email marketing benchmark study ‘Hitting the Mark’ assessed emails sent from 36 UK retailers throughout April 2010. Each email was evaluated against 16 criteria based on DotMailer’s Hitting the Mark scoring matrix, with each retailer awarded a total score out of 100. Two new categories – social media and mobile – were added to the study in 2010, reflecting the changing nature of recipient behaviour.

After two years in top position, Marks and Spencer has been knocked off the top spot by HMV and Republic – an impressive jump of 14 places for Republic, with joint high scores of 72. New Look and Figleaves came in joint second – a top-scoring new entry for New Look. At the other end of the score board, both the Early Learning Centre and Harrods experienced drops.

Disappointingly, 73 per cent of the 30 retailers that featured in last year’s study achieved lower scores this time round; and only 33 per cent of all retailers studied in 2010 scored 70 or above. The average score of 67 for 2010 was the same as 2009, and down four points on 2008’s average of 71. The 2010 report adds a section on social media marketing. Scores here were low, with a dismal average of 5.7 out of 15. Just 17 per cent of email campaigns studied included any ‘share on social network’ links, and with only four of the retailers included a link to their blog in the email content, a further seven had blogs on their site, but made no reference to them in the email.

Other opportunities to build mailing lists and help recipients spread their marketing messages virally were overlooked by the majority of the retailers surveyed, with 50 per cent not even including a ‘forward to friend’ link in their email.

The ‘Hitting the Mark’ league table in full:

Top Performers / Worst Offenders
  1. HMV 72  /  Harrods 50
  2. Republic 72  /  ELC 49
  3. Figleaves 70  /  H&M 49
  4. New Look 70  /  Lidl 48
  5. Hamleys 69  /  STA 48
  6. The Entertainer 69  /  Currys 46

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