Email Reigns In Retail Recruitment, Retention, Study Says

Retail marketers do not plan to decrease their investment in email marketing any time soon, according to a Sailthru digital retail study that the company plans to present at eTail West.

Not a single marketer of the 202 retail companies surveyed by Sailthru planned to decrease its email marketing and automation budget in 2017, with respondents instead evenly distributed between plans to either increase their email budget or invest the same year-over-year.

Email was also seen as an important point of investment even among marketers whose budgets were decreasing in 2017, among whom more than half planned to increase their spend on email.

This is not surprising, considering that retail marketers rank email marketing as the channel most likely to generate revenue in 2017, beyond their own Web site. While 56% of respondents understandably selected their online storefronts as the channel most likely to generate revenue, 18% of marketers viewed email as their best opportunity to generate sales.



The Sailthru study suggests that this is particularly true for marketers who exceeded their 2016 marketing goals. Of the study sample, one in four expected email marketing to be their largest revenue driver in 2017. 

Retail marketers ranked email as an important channel for both customer recruitment and retention, with a quarter of respondents listing email marketing as the best channel for driving new customers and more than half asserting that email was the best channel for keeping existing customers.

The vast majority of marketers also see opportunity to innovate their email marketing strategy in 2017, per Sailthru’s study.

More than half of respondents agreed that there was significant room to improve their email marketing, while an even larger 63% asserted there was “lots of” room to innovate their strategy. Only a minuscule 1% asserted there was no room to innovate their email marketing strategy, while 2% of respondents said there was a low ability to innovate.  

Marketers who fell short of their 2016 marketing goals were more likely to plan for email innovation in 2017 according to the study. Sixty-four percent of retailers who fell short of last year’s goals said they had “lots of room to innovate” in email, compared to only 48% of retailers who exceeded their marketing expectations.



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