Retailers Pressured To Send More Email: Study

Retailers are under growing internal pressure to send more email, according to a study released today at eTail West by Coherent Path. But only half use email behavioral data to decide which messages to send in a week, and many do not reuse content, leaving “vast amounts of revenue on the table,” Coherent Path writes.  

Of the retailers surveyed, 65% say there is pressure within their organizations to increase their email frequency to boost revenue and awareness, the study says. At present, 43% send one to two emails per week, 46% distribute three to four and 11% generate over five.

When planning their email calendars, however, 85% rely on what worked well last year. In addition, 87% tie their emails to holidays and events, 76% to revenue-driving promotions and 63% to what their promotion department wants to feature. In addition, 37% base them on a “department’s request to feature category,” Coherent Path reports.  



Brooks Maitland, vice president of Marketing at Coherent Path, said in an email that "the survey went out to eTail’s list of retail marketers in the weeks leading up to eTail West. The survey was conducted online via Survey Monkey and we had a total of 53 qualified respondents (being familiar with their company’s email marketing program was the screener question). Respondents were from both small/mid-size retailers and some of the Internet Retailer Top 500."

In another finding, Coherent Path reported that 76% of the respondents “rely heavily on email promotions to drive revenue.” Of those polled, 22% of the feature promotions and discounts in 75% of their emails, and the same percentage include them in half. In contrast, 26% use them in less than 25%, and 17% between 25% to 50%.

Not counting triggered emails, there is a 50-50 split between those that use data from an individual’s past email behavior — conversions and sales — to decide what messages to send in a given week, and those that do not.  

Moreover, 74% create their emails to be sent on a single day, and 26% to be reused on different days. In addition, 42% use less than half of the subcategories in their product catalog as a primary feature in their emails, compared with 9% who do at some point in the year.

Coherent Path concluded: “Rather than relying on merchandise-driven batch-and-blast email campaigns, marketers should look at evolving their program into a customer-centric, data-driven email diet of emails for each customer.”


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