A new Return Path report shows that 85 percent of U.K.-based companies collect personal and demographic data about their e-mail subscribers. But it also shows several ways these companies basically do nothing with all this data.
The report recently monitored e-mail activities of 69 U.K.-based e-mail marketers across five industries. Among other findings, these companies also fail to follow e-mail marketing best practices.
Here are some examples of what they do and do not do:
- Create barriers to subscribing. Thirty-eight percent require subscribers to create Web site accounts, including usernames and passwords, before they can sign up for e-mail.
- Leave subscribers feeling unappreciated. Fifty-five percent don’t send welcome messages to new subscribers. Companies that do send welcome messages uniformly overlook the opportunity to show their appreciation by neglecting to include special offers.
- Ignore subscribers. Thirty-nine percent don’t send e-mails within the time frame of the study (35 days). Those that do, however, take an average of 13 days to do so, according to the survey’s findings.
- Treat subscribers like clones. Only 14 percent of companies that send their first marketing e-mail messages within the time frame of the study personalize their messages. That means most companies miss an early opportunity to build relationships with their subscribers.
While these results are similar to those found in a comparable 2008 Return Path study of U.S. e-mail marketers, the problems appear a bit more prevalent and severe in the U.K. You can access the U.S. study here.