UK retailers failing to integrate new practices into email marketing

UK retailers failing to integrate new practices into email marketing
Covering tech trends across a number of key sectors, including telecoms, apps, marketing and IT, Matt is Editor in Chief of Tech Portfolio. Contact him via twitter @MattHenkes

Top UK retailers are failing to hit the mark when it comes to email marketing, a new study has claimed.

Many are still failing to get the best results from email by neglecting advanced techniques like social media bookmarking links, personalisation and post-sales marketing. Boots and Asos topped the 2011 study, while the bottom of the table featured many large brands like Sainsburys and, said dotmailer in its annual email benchmarking study, Hitting the Mark.  

This year the report added a number of new factors, including social media and mobile, shaking up the league table and revealing how some of the key players have continued to innovate while other have fallen behind.

Previous leaders HMV and Marks & Spencer have fallen to 10th and 19th respectively, while only Game stayed in the top ten, advancing from 5th place to 4th.

When it comes to areas that need more focus, the lack of personalisation was notable, with only 11% showing any effort to make the most of the data held about existing customers to deliver a customised email. Elsewhere, only 19% of retailers used best practice HTML coding in their emails and only 43% of these rendered properly in email clients when images were turned off.

Retailers also scored low marks for subject lines, with only 34% enticing the recipient to open the message and only 26% including social media bookmarking links.

However, some positive trends continued to shine through. Marketers are generally all using ‘friendly from’ addresses (89%), for example. In addition, nearly every email included a strong call to action (91%) and the majority also rendered well on a range of mobile devices (85%).

In other areas, the gap between good and bad was far greater, with only 51% keeping a consistent design between the email and website landing page, while only 45% requested relevant details at the point of sign-up. In a final shocking finding, only 55% made the unsubscribe link “prominent and clear”, a move which can frustrate users who by definition are already dissatisfied with what they are receiving.

“The study demonstrates a lack of integration between email and social media, despite the latter’s growing popularity and influence,” said Tink Taylor, MD at dotmailer.

Hitting the Mark 2011 offers step by step advice on how to run the very best email marketing campaign, with practical advice and real-world examples. The full report can be downloaded for free at

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