Clients say etailers are sending too many emails

According to Forrester Research, over 150bn emails will be sent to consumers by retailers and wholesalers this year. And many will be received by recipients who don't really want them. Forrester reports that 77% of consumers feel that they're being inundated by too many email messages, and the research group's Julie M. Katz attributes much of this to competition: "Marketers feel like if they do not send an e-mail out on a Tuesday but their competitors do, they are missing out on business. So now they feel they need to send an e-mail out every day of the week to touch their customers before their competitors do." Internet Retailer's own survey of 174 internet retailers seems to confirm this - a whopping 44% of them send four or more email campaigns each month. With numbers like that, it's not hard to see why consumers are getting tired - they likely being bombarded on an almost constant basis if they're on more than a couple of email lists. So what's the solution? Segmentation. According to Internet Retailer's article on this subject, only 55.2% of retailers actually segment their email lists. This of course means that just under half are sending out emails indiscriminately to consumers who may not be the slightest bit interested. Fortunately, while some of the retailers who do segment their lists segment quite granularly, Internet Retailer advises that "retailers need not carve out numerous segments to be successful." Forrester's Katz states: "A few simple differentiations in the messages you send out can increase your clicks and conversions tremendously. Simple segmenting can be folks who clicked through versus those who did not, or folks who clicked on a product category like shirts versus pants." Other recommendations for retailers:
  • Test your emails. More than half do no testing whatsoever, even though the simplest of tests (i.e. A/B) "can result in significant increases in click-throughs and conversions."
  • Include customer reviews in your emails. We all know how popular and important customer reviews are on e-commerce websites but only 19% of retailers use them in their emails. According to Katz, "You can get such a huge lift by sharing customer reviews within a message."
It's worth noting that in tough times like these, getting the most out of your existing customers and email lists is more important than ever before. Retailers (and marketers in general) who are looking to cut back on marketing/customer acquisition costs as recession sets in may be able to realize increased revenues from existing customers and email lists by performing simple segmentation and testing with their email campaigns.

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