Based on a ranking of 36 UK retailers across 16 criteria, the overall score for emails examined in Hitting the Mark was 67 out of 100. HMV scored 72, as did Republic, but Harrods only managed to hit 50. Currys achieved the lowest overall rating of just 46 points.
Personalisation was a notable area in which retailers’ email marketing failed to shine – just three companies included personal data in the salutation. This was not down to a lack of data, since 33 per cent captured additional variables such as gender or interests, yet just four used this to tailor marketing messages.
“For two years in a row, there has been no obvious improvement made by the retailers we have assessed, which is disappointing given some of the simple steps that can be taken to boost the effectiveness of email marketing,” says Tink Taylor, managing director at dotMailer and an elected member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Marketing Council.
For the first time this year, the study looked at the use of social media marketing tools, such as share links. The results were disappointing, with an overall score of just 5.7 out of 15 and just 17 per cent of email campaigns offering this facility. Half of the emails studied did not even include “forward to a friend” links.
Taylor says: “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.”