The Yawning Gap: Index Shows Lapses In Email Performance By Retailers

Retailers are doing a poor job of personalizing their email and sending behavioral triggers. 

Those are among the findings of Listrak’s first Revenue Gap Index (RGI), a quarterly analysis of the digital programs fielded by prospective clients. 

Based on a representative sample of 25 sample retailers, the RGI measures five areas, each of which has 20 possible points. The total score would be 100.

Few firms are anywhere near that. 

The aggregate score this time is 43.8 — a far cry from the 65-85 that most retailers generously award themselves. Yet this is a common range when the firm is talking to prospects. 

The overall score was 72, with a low of 30. Out of 25 retailers, only five scored 50 or higher. 

To put a positive spin on it, this shows there is “significant latent revenue opportunity for most retailer programs,” the study says. 

Moving down the list of variables, here are the average scores:

  • Identification and Acquisition — 8.2 (slightly higher that what the firm sees from prospects on average.
  • Broadcast Campaigns — 14.7. Most firms are doing fine, judging by this score. “For most retailers the recommendation is to strategically increase cadence and move on to other lower scoring areas,” the company states.
  • Behavioral Triggers — 10.8. This area is a gold mine, but “most retailers aren’t as far along as they should be or think they are,” Listrak writes.
  • Active Personalization — 6.6.  The study notes thatthis might as well be 2002. Most retailers are swimming in customer data and yet no further ahead almost 20 years later.”
  • Integration and Cross-Channel  at 3.4, the lowest score.



Of course, Listrak avows that it can produce higher scores for clients. 

Most retailers fall into one of the following profiles, or patterns.

  • The Legacy Retailer —This is a business “still in the midst of its evolution from a store-based to digital-omnichannel mindset,” the study states. They rely heavily on broadcast campaigns, and have only basic triggers in place.
  • Progress But Lacking — A company trying to catch up with rapid growth. The skill set? “Decent acquisition and broadcast efforts but very light on optimized triggers and personalization.”
  • Brand In Transition — This type of firm seems to be doing well, but RGI analysis discerns “deliverability issues with broadcast campaigns that don’t render well on mobile, rudimentary behavioral triggers, and extremely limited personalization.”
  • Typical Luxury — Selling premium merchandise is no sign of digital expertise. Typically, firms in this group have “diminished acquisition strategies and under-cadenced broadcast campaigns as well as basic, ineffective trigger campaigns.”
  • IT-Driven Marketing — This is, in fact, another legacy profile. These firms often have their origins in catalogs or direct mail. Heavy IT involvement is focused more on project completion than sales results, leading to limited personalization and zero cross-channel expertise.
  • Digital Hotshot — The winner is typically a “well-funded pure play that can afford to hire solid talent with an aggressive digital-first mindset.” They do most things right. 



Next story loading loading..