When it’s done right, email marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses to use. However, very few Australian companies are truly utilising this tool, according to new research by Teradata.
In December 2015 and January 2016, Teradata analysed 50 of the largest e-commerce sites in Australia regarding their online customer sign-up process and newsletters. The research monitored companies in the following industries: fashion; health, beauty and lifestyle; food and drinks; electronics; homewares; and automotive.
Adam Dougall, Teradata Marketing Applications regional director, says, “The research reveals that, despite embracing email marketing, most Australian companies aren’t following best practices or making the most of opportunities to genuinely connect with customers. For these companies, small changes are likely to result in big sales improvements.”
The research found that 92% of respondents have a regular email newsletter but the content is generic. Moreover, 92% of retailers collect information including name, gender, and preferences regarding the type of content the customer would like to receive, but only 57% of retailers use this data to personalise their emails.
Dougall says, “This is a wasted opportunity for retailers. They are missing opportunities to invite purchases and establish a lasting connection with the customer by sending them relevant, targeted, and personalised communications.”
According to Dougall, personalised emails can encourage customers to purchase but 26% of retailers do not send a welcome message when customers subscribe to the newsletter, missing a chance to encourage purchases. Of those who send a welcome message, only 24% include an offer or discount.
“Confirmation and welcome emails should be sent within 10 minutes of subscribing for optimal results. This is the first impression your customer will have of your newsletter, so it’s important to design it carefully and enrich it with information and relevant offers.
“You should also consider using a preference centre to capture valuable customer data to use across the entire CRM strategy, and personalise communications according to customers’ actual preferences,” Dougall says.
The survey also found that, despite the fact that more Australians are using mobile devices, 72% of retailers did not properly optimise their newsletters for mobile users.
Dougall says, “If people can’t read the newsletter on their mobile devices, then they are unlikely to continue subscribing, let alone consider purchasing.
“On the other hand, people like to use their mobile devices when they’re bored. If you provide useful, engaging content that people can easily see while they’re waiting in line at the supermarket or on the bus, then you are more likely to entice them to purchase.”
“Overall, email marketing provides an easy way to communicate directly with potential customers on a one-to-one basis, but too many companies simply aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. Companies that do take steps towards communicating more effectively through personalised emails are likely to overtake their competitors,” Dougall says.