Retailers often view email as an afterthought. They either send too much, fail to personalize it or even use the wrong name in the message, according to Women’s Retail Customer Experience Audit, a study by technology provider Customer Portfolios.
Customer Portfolios audited the emails sent by 10 women’s retail brands to two parties named Jeff Sanders and Susan Johnson (not their real names).
Only one retailer personalized a large number of emails.
Some used the payer’s name instead of the buyer’s — one personalized email addressed Susan as “Nick” — and the subject lines often stressed sales, not the brand or product.
“Retailers use email every day as an essential part of their marketing and treat it as an effective channel that they feel they have mastered,” says Nick Godfrey, EVP strategy for Customer Portfolios. “Looking at these results more closely, though, their execution still shows opportunity for better personalization and targeting.”
But first let’s eliminate the suspense. Here is the brand ranking, based on summarized audit scores:
Now let’s drill down into the audit process.
Jeff was not engaged either during or after the audit. He opened emails but never clicked. He visited sites and browsed through multiple categories, but made no purchases.
Susan, in contrast, was engaged throughout the audit, although not afterward. She opened emails, always clicked through, browsed a single category and made a purchase.
Here are the five main findings:
“Email is pervasive,” the study concludes. “And yet, the approach is riddled with non-best practices.”