Welcome E-mails Becoming More Promotional and Engaging
Seventy-two percent of major online retailers send out welcome e-mails, up from 66 percent last year.
This was a key finding from the Email Experience Council's second annual Retail Welcome Email Benchmark Study. The EEC is the Direct Marketing Association's vertical working group focused on the e-mail marketing industry.
The study, which examines the welcome e-mails of 118 of the top online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot, identifies a number of best practices and provides benchmarks in the areas of merchandising, relationship building, deliverability and CAN-SPAM compliance.
This year, for the first time, the EEC also tracked the passage of time between subscriptions and the delivery of welcome e-mails. While the majority of retailers deliver their welcome e-mails within 10 minutes of sign-up, 19 percent take more than 24 hours to deliver -- with nearly a third of those taking more than a week.
Other findings from the study include:
- 58 percent of welcome e-mails were CAN-SPAM compliant in terms of including both a mailing address and unsubscribe method, versus 52 percent last year. Not all welcome e-mails need to be compliant, but considering that these are welcome e-mails for promotional purposes, the EEC believes that they should be.
- 62 percent of welcome e-mails asked the subscriber to whitelist them by adding an e-mail address to their address book, up from 49 percent last year.
- 79 percent of retailers sent out HTML welcome e-mails, up from 69 percent last year. The remainder sent text-only welcome e-mails. Most of the HTML welcome e-mails were HTML "lite," meaning they made extensive use of HTML text.
- 75 percent of the welcome e-mails include the retailer's brand name in their subject lines, in keeping with last year's results. EEC believes including branding here helps subscribers recognize the e-mails as ones they had requested.
- 32 percent of welcome e-mails include a discount, reward or incentive, down from 34 percent last year.
The EEC study is available at the EEC's Whitepaper Room at http://www.emailexperience.org/Login-Whitepaper-Room.