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Yesmail Report: Email Marketers Need To Walk Before They Can Run
The survey shows that a third of marketers want email integrated with other channels, but many marketers still aren't even collecting email addresses through websites, apps or in-store encounters.
Email marketers have big ambitions for leveraging this popular channel — but many still have a long ways to go.
That’s the key takeaway in a new report from Yesmail, out today. Entitled “The 2016 Yesmail Channel Report,” it is the first such study from this email marketing provider. (The above is an image from the report.)
The survey based its findings on responses from 200 retailers at the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Shop.org conference last fall — a relatively small sample, but potentially enough to outline the general state of affairs.
Nearly a third of surveyed retailers said that integrating email with other channels is a top goal for this year. Multi-channel integration allows emails — generally considered the most effective and widely used marketing medium — to draw on the complementary behaviors and additional audiences found in other media, like social networks, mobile apps or websites.
But, according to the survey, nearly half of brands do not even collect email addresses through social media or encounters in brick-and-mortar stores. Seventeen percent don’t collect email addresses from visitors to their websites — the most obvious place to gather that kind of info — and more than two-thirds don’t get them from users of their mobile apps.
The report advises:
“Before retailers pursue integration, they must determine if their teams have mastered basics of email marketing. Only then will brands be prepared to capitalize on cross-channel opportunities and successfully compete with those who have already done so.”
In other words, many email marketers need to walk before they can run.
Yesmail director of marketing Ivy Shtereva told me that such marketers are not ready yet to undertake the “lofty goal” of fully employing email marketing in a multi-channel environment because they simply don’t have the technical resources.
The New “Bare Minimum”
A pitch for her company’s services, of course — but, if the report is accurate, an indication that sophisticated email marketing practices are not as widespread as discussions of multi-channel marketing might assume.
These days, she pointed out, “what used to be a ‘bare minimum’” for email marketing has dramatically changed, with personalization being the new floor.
And the survey results on that front aren’t any more encouraging.
It discovered that 64 percent of brands don’t personalize emails, and two-thirds don’t employ their own customer info to target the products and services they’re featuring in the emails.
Forty-percent don’t personalize emails based on customer purchase data, and half don’t use demographic info. Nearly 40 percent don’t personalize subject lines, the main way of getting people to open your email in the first place.
Only slightly more than half of those surveyed use customer behavior triggers, such as purchases, web browsing, or other email activity to generate emails at the right time and with the right message. Merely a third employ dynamic content based on such factors as gender or location.
So, mothers with small children who have previously purchased from the retailer, and twenty-something single males who never have, apparently often get the same subject lines and the same emails from many of those retailers.