The Hitting the Mark report revealed that many retailers are “still getting it wrong” when it comes to email marketing.
Social media and mobile were added to this year’s criteria to reflect the changing nature of digital behaviour but it found that retailers are overlooking opportunities to help customers pass on the marketing messages virally through social media or email.
Only 17% of email campaigns included any links to share on a social network and only half the email campaigns gave the option to “forward to friend’ within the email.
Targeting and personalisation have also declined according to this year’s report with only three of the 36 email campaigns studied using personalised elements and only four using data collected to tailor emails to the recipient.
HMV and clothing retailer Republic improved their email marketing campaigns and achieved the joint top score, knocking Marks & Spencer off the top spot where it had been for two years.
New Look was a new entry to the benchmarking study and achieved joint second with online lingerie retailer Figleaves.
The company says that of the 30 retailers that featured in last year’s report, 73% achieved lower scores this year demonstrating that retailers’ email campaigns are not keeping up with consumer demands.
Tink Taylor, managing director at dotMailer and a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Marketing Council, says: “For two years in a row, there has been no obvious improvement made by the retailers.
“The study clearly demonstrates a lack of integration between email and social media, despite the latter’s growing popularity and influence. The combination of these two marketing disciplines offers new ways for retailers to really engage with their stakeholders to deliver meaningful results such as interactions online, sales and loyalty, but too many are failing to integrate these channels.”
The study assessed emails sent from 36 UK retailers in April 2010 and evaluated each email against 16 criteria.