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Email marketers fail to 'welcome' new subscribers

While 70 percent of companies request more than an email address during user registration, 85 percent of them fail to personalize email messages to new subscribers, according to Return Path.

The finding was part of Return Path's Subscriber Experiences study.

Strategic services director Bonnie Malone-Fry said failing to customize an email "really damages your brand because you're not living up to the expectations you've set."

"You've already stated your intentions of making the program more relevant to the subscriber. By not implementing them, there’s a huge disappointment factor," she added.

The study also found 60 percent of companies did not send "Welcome" emails to new subscribers. And one-third didn't send any emails to new subscribers at all in the 30 days the study took place. (For more findings, including charts, see coverage by MarketingCharts.)

"Instead of putting out a welcome mat, marketers are telling their subscribers to go away," Fry lamented. "This is not how you build a good relationship, either with customers or prospective customers."

Kristina Knight of BizReport echoed her sentiments in a recent Business Strata article. "[A welcome message] can help to remind consumers about their decision to sign up, as well as inform them about what receiving messages entails," Business Strata wrote.

"Combined with lack of welcome message, lag in sending email has implications for sender reputation and deliverability," said Fry.

"Many people sign up for email, but quickly forget about the company if they don't get email quickly. When marketers finally do send something the risk is high that recipients will complain because they don't remember they opted in for the message."

Last month, Q Interactive and MarketingSherpa found that users increasingly interpret "spam" to mean "email they don't want," not just email that is unsolicited.

Return Path's Subscriber Experiences email study was conducted by reviewing the email programs of 61 companies in retail, consumer goods, travel, and media/entertainment.

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