Email Experience Council Releases 2007 Retail Email Subscription Benchmark Study
July 31, 2007 — The Email Experience Council (EEC), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) vertical working group that’s focused on the email marketing industry, today announced the release of its second annual Retail Email Subscription Benchmark Study. The study, which examined the email newsletter subscription practices of 118 of the top online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot, identified a number of best practices and emerging best practices, as well as a formerly popular practice that appears to be falling out of favor.
“This 37-page study gives email marketers an in-depth look at all the various steps in the subscription process,” said Jeanniey Mullen, EEC founder and a senior partner and executive director for Email and Dialogue Services at OgilvyOne worldwide. “Its findings should be extremely valuable to retailers, service companies, and other B-to-C companies who are looking for new ideas and benchmarks against which to measure their own subscription practices.”
“The old adage ‘You only get one chance to make a good first impression’ transcends to an email marketer’s efforts in creating a good opt-in experience,” said Elie Ashery, president and CEO of email marketing software and services company Gold Lasso, the sponsor of the EEC study. “The opt-in process sets the tone of how a future email relationship between a company and customer will unfold.”
“Email is rapidly emerging as one of marketers’ most powerful marketing channels,” said Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, PhD, DMA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “In fact, according to DMA research, commercial email in 2007 is forecast to generate $21.9 billion in US sales. And, impressively, each dollar spent on commercial email is projected to generate more than $48 in sales.”
“This new benchmark study is a strong and valuable addition to the growing body of exclusive research produced by the EEC,” Dr. Ratan said. “The group’s impressive research and educational programs were one of the reasons that DMA decided to acquire the EEC earlier this month.”
“As the second subscription study that we’ve done, this is the first time that we’ve been able to make year-over-year comparisons and identify changes in practices," said Chad White, the EEC's director of retail insights, editor-at-large and founder of RetailEmail.Blogspot, and the study’s author. "What we found was that there’s a clear trend toward subscription processes that are quick and easy, and increasingly transparent.”
The study found that addressing privacy concerns is a best practice that’s seeing adoption approach the 50 percent mark. Also, it found that providing sample newsletters is a clear emerging best practice that should help reduce opt-outs, with nearly 12 percent of major online retailers doing that. The additional transparency provided by these two practices should increase subscriber satisfaction.
Here are some other findings from EEC’s Retail Email Subscription Benchmark Study:
· Only 92 percent of retailers have an email sign-up form or link on their homepage.
· 28 percent of retailers offer more than one content selection, with it ranging from two all the way up to the 50 content options offered by Amazon.com.
· Only 3 percent of major online retailers use a double opt-in subscription process.
· The subscriber’s name (31 percent) and ZIP Code (18 percent) were the two most often required pieces of information.
· Nearly 12 percent of retailers offer plain-text versions of their newsletters during the sign-up process.
The study can be purchased for $179 by visiting the EEC’s Whitepaper Room at http://www.emailexperience.org/Login-Whitepaper-Room. EEC members may obtain the report at a discounted rate.
Members of the press may request a free copy of the study by contacting the EEC’s Ali Swerdlow at 212.790.1483 or email@example.com.
About the Email Experience Council (EEC)
The EEC (www.emailexperience.org), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) vertical working group that is focused on the email marketing industry, is a global professional organization striving to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and advocating its importance in business, and its ROI value. The EEC is committed to regularly conducting a broad series of email initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle, and branding device. Additionally, EEC members are setting the standards for email through Marketing Roundtables. The EEC members are representatives of other trade organizations, agencies, advertisers, technology partners, clients, and companies focused on the potential of email marketing via mobile and other digital devices.
About Gold Lasso
Gold Lasso, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, MD, is an email service provider that started operations in 2001. The company primarily services the association, publishing, retail, education, and hospitality industries. For more information, visit the Gold Lasso Web site at http://www.goldlasso.com or call 301.990.9857.
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