2014 Retail Email Campaign Metrics

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Listrak 1 Comments

Listrak serves as the predictive marketing automation partner for hundreds of retail clients across a variety of verticals. Following are their average email campaign metrics for 2014.

For actual numbers, view on web.

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What’s Working in Browse and Abandon Campaigns

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Donna Fulmer

One of the major challenges retailers have with browse and abandon email campaigns is how to avoid being “creepy”. Here are a few different approaches I have come upon recently. How do you think they might work for you?

Straightforward


Over the holidays I received this from PacSun with the subject line “Your recently viewed items” featuring the exact items I had viewed and no related recommendations. The approach with the enthusiastic, “Take Another Look!” did not seem creepy to me at the time, and I was in fact, grateful for the option to conveniently get back to some holiday gift items I had considered but was not sure about previously: 
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Subtle


I recently looked at a number of console tables at Hayneedle and received this email with the subject line “Find everything Console Tables…plus free shipping on most.” The copy “Take a look…hand-picked for you. Interested in Console Tables?” is a little less assuming than “we know you’re looking at console tables,” and the featured tables are actually not any that I recall looking at specifically: 
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Even more subtle is this beautifully-designed email from Jambu, which simply acknowledges a site visit and invites me back, with the opportunity to go directly to new arrivals: 
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Somewhat Confusing


As with the Hayneedle example above, featuring products that are related to but not exactly the items looked at may seem less “creepy” in certain instances, however, it’s best to provide some sort of context around what you’re merchandising. 
I recently searched for console tables at Overstock, too, and then received this email with the subject line, “Are you still interested in this product?” What I found confusing is that I was not looking for a magazine snack table, don’t recall even browsing this item and certainly didn’t put it in my cart, yet this seems to be a shopping cart abandonment email. What does work, however, is the recommended sales, as the first two categories are ones that I also recently browsed: 
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Similarly, while I did not personally receive this email from Williams-Sonoma with the subject line, “Thanks For Your Interest In: Williams-Sonoma Essential Oils Collection, Winter Forest,” my colleague who did claims she did not look at this specific item. While I have seen countless Williams-Sonoma messages that are great examples of what to do in email marketing, this one unfortunately serves as an example of what not to do. The colon in the subject line may as well say “(insert name of browsed product here)” and the name of the product is way too specific, in my opinion. In addition, after the obvious miss of thanking the recipient for her interest in a product she hasn’t browsed, recommending “Customers Who Purchased Similar Items Also Purchased” seems somehow vague and inappropriate, and the products themselves seem to have no logical relation.
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The same clickstream and transactional data that can be used to provide timely, relevant and helpful messages can, if used incorrectly,be confusing, annoying or even creepy. Serving up the right products at the right time with the right messaging is crucial.

Strategy Guide: Personalize Every Email with Browse Behavior Data

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Email Design: Analysis of a Five Day Sale

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

Travis Buck


Earlier this month Brooks Brothers had a Weekend Clearance Event. The sale ran for five days and each day I received an email promoting the sale. This concept is certainly nothing new in the retail email universe. However, speaking from the design point of view, I think this campaign was well done. Here are few reasons why.

A Sense of Urgency


The creative includes a calendar which is updated with every send. The current day is circled and the previous days are crossed off. I found this to be an effective and creative way of visually communicating urgency.

Consistent Design Theme


The same basic design is carried throughout the entire series. A simple change in the message and colors is enough to make each email different while still looking familiar. An added benefit of this is the time for the design process is significantly reduced.

The Human Touch


Each email has a different headline that’s handwritten. If you study them closely you can see they’re not created with a font. It’s likely someone actually wrote them. The circle and cross offs on the calendar also appear to be handwritten. This gives the email a nice human touch.

Email 1


Subject Line: Clear your schedule: 70% off starts today.

Email 2


Subject Line: Hello Friday…

Email 3


Subject Line: Need weekend plans? Shop and save.

Email 4


Subject Line: Last chance. Save up to 70% online.

Email 5


Subject Line: It’s (almost) history. 70% off ends today.

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    Press Release - Listrak Takes Look Back to 2014: Reports on Growth in Sales, Revenue and Staff

    Monday, January 26, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    January, 2015 - Listrak, a single, integrated digital marketing platform providing email, personalization and retargeting specifically tailored for retailers recently released a look back at 2014, reporting on growth in new sales, revenue and staff, as well as several significant accolades that underline the company’s continued expansion in the automated digital marketing marketplace.

    Company Growth

    In the year 2014, Listrak’s new sales increased 47.92% year over year. Among the many new retailers added to the client roster were Oscar de la Renta, Stuart Weitzman, Harper’s Bazaar, John Varvatos, PetFlow, Zumiez, Crayola and Wet Seal.
    The significant increase in Listrak’s client base in 2014 was accompanied by 32.59% year-over-year growth in revenue and a record-setting increase in year-over-year email volume, with particularly explosive growth in holiday email volume: 
    Thanksgiving - +86.5%
    Black Friday - +65.4%
    Cyber Monday – +66.3%
    Cyber Tuesday – +45.6%
    Listrak continues to increase its staff in response to its growing client base, and has doubled its number of employees between January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2015. Plans for 2015 include a projected 40% increase in staff over the next twelve months.
    Listrak’s employee growth has naturally resulted in the need for additional office space. This month, the company will open an office in Newport Beach, California, as well as add a third office location in Lancaster, PA.

    Additional 2014 Listrak Milestones

    In 2014, Listrak added nine new clients on the Demandware platform and 61 on the Magento platform to its client base. In addition, the company became a Magento Gold Technology Partner, after being a Silver Technology Partner for the prior three years. Listrak has partnered with Magento since the inception of both companies.
    Listrak also forged a strategic partnership with leading shipping provider UPS in 2014. The two companies worked together to create a growth package for select UPS retail clients to help them drive revenue. For more information, visit www. Listrak.com/ups.
    In addition in 2014, Listrak continued serving as a research partner for Internet Retailer magazine, tracking and reporting on the activities of the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 Guides.
    In 2014, Listrak was named to several lists recognizing the company’s growth and reputation in the industry, as well:
    -  Top half of the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America
    -  Number four on the Central Penn Business Journal’s list of Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies (marking Listrak’s fourth time being named to the list)
    -  Online Trust Alliance’s Online Trust Honor Roll
    -  Online Trust Alliance’s Email Integrity Honor Roll

    About Listrak

    Listrak is a predictive retail marketing automation solutions provider that works with retailers to drive revenue growth, profitability and increase the lifetime value of customers. Founded in 1999, the company’s solution suite boasts analytics technology that enhances campaign performance, shopping cart and browse abandonment solutions that help recoup lost revenue, post purchase solutions to increase lifetime value, seamless integration across multiple platforms, as well as email, mobile, social and more. Listrak has more than a decade of digital marketing experience and works with leading US retailers, including Waterford, Swell, The Grommet and La-Z-Boy. For more information, visit http://www.listrak.com.

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    Internet Retailer: The State of the Union of Privacy

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Following last evening’s comments on privacy by the President in the State of the Union Address, Internet Retailer featured comments from Listrak Chief Privacy Officer James Koons
    President Obama outlined last night new legislation on notifying consumers in the event of a data breach and protecting consumer privacy. Listrak’s chief privacy officer says the new rules should not mean major changes for marketers following good privacy practices today.
    “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”
    Last night President Barack Obama spoke these words during the State of the Union Address.  In the weeks leading up to the address, privacy was definitely in the spotlight.  While it wasn’t the focal point of the President’s address, it is very clear that more is to come regarding privacy legislation. Obama spoke to the FTC last week saying, “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected.  As Americans, we shouldn’t have to forfeit our basic privacy when we go online to do our business.”
    The president proposed the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would require companies to notify customers within 30 days if their personal information has been compromised. The bill quickly earned approval from many business groups, who would prefer to comply with a single national notification standard rather than the current patchwork of state laws. Consumer support is also substantial, as they would know their credit card (and/or personal information) has been stolen before the bad actors are able to use it.
    The new Student Digital Privacy Act was also outlined.  This bill would restrict the ability of companies to mine the data of children. The measure, which is modeled after California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, would prevent companies from selling student data to third parties for non-educational purposes or from targeting advertising to students based on data collected in schools.
    The President also renewed his push for a sweeping Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The White House first outlined the online privacy rights in 2012 and urged Congress to take up the issue (The Whitehouse Report). The FTC also issued recommendations on protecting consumer privacy at that time (The FTC Report). But there has been little movement on the Hill, and no legislation has been introduced. Next month, the White House plans to release legislative language to enact the principles into law.
    “As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties — and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks. So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I haven’t. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.”
    As a privacy advocate and board member of the Online Trust Alliance, I had the honor of participating in a Senate hearing on Online Advertising and Hidden Hazards to Consumer Security and Data Privacy. Led by Senator John McCain, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a formal staff report reflecting interviews with dozens of advertising and industry experts (including me, as Listrak’s Chief Privacy Officer), reviewing data collection processes and security vulnerabilities that have inflicted significant costs on Internet users and American businesses. In addition to that, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in various one-on-one meetings and roundtable discussions with the House, Senate and Federal Trade Commission.
    So, the question I am asked often, “What will the Privacy Bill of Rights mean for digital marketers?”
    I feel we won’t have to make too many drastic changes in our data lifecycle practices. Considering that the measure is mainly to set out “basic baseline protections across industries” and will limit a company’s ability to collect data from consumers without their consent, there will not be much change needed. As responsible, permission-based marketers, this is something we’re doing already – and have been doing for years.
    The bill also appears likely to include prohibitions against collecting data for one purpose and then using it for a different one. Again, no major changes here, as this is generally outlined in the privacy statements of marketers, and they are already held accountable to these data practices by the FTC.
    I am eagerly awaiting the report from the White House and will continue to keep a close eye as this and other privacy and compliance matters evolve.
    Listrak provides e-mail marketing services to 61 of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 web merchants.

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    Retailers Relying More on Personalization, Less on Discounting

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Megan Ouellet

    We released our sixth annual research report of the email tactics used by the Top 1000 Internet Retailers and were pleasantly surprised by some of the results.
    We found that retailers are sending messages that are more personal. The inclusion of related product recommendations increased 86.25% over 2013.
    We also found that retailers are sending more messages. Not only was there a big increase in the number of remarketing campaigns we received, but we found that 24% of the Top 500 companies send more than 20 emails per month, with 12% sending daily.
    And, most surprisingly, retailers aren’t relying as heavily on discounts to re-engage shoppers.There was a 45% decrease in the number of shopping cart abandonment messages we received that included an offer in the first message.
    What does this all mean? It means that there has been a major shift in the way retailers are communicating with their customers and, if you haven’t kept up with the trends, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities.
    You can download the full report here and you can also join our webinar on Jan. 28 where we’ll discuss the findings and what you can do this year to increase your customer engagement and email ROI.

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    iMedia Connection: Six Tips to Update Your Cart Recovery Campaigns in 2015

    Friday, January 16, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Recently Listrak CEO Ross Kramer outlined ways to refresh and optimize your shopping cart abandonment campaigns in a blog post for iMedia Connection
    Now that the busy holiday season has passed and the new year has arrived, it’s a great time to consider refreshing triggered campaigns you may have put into “set and forget” mode in 2014. A great place to start is one of your highest-performing triggered campaigns - shopping cart recovery. We recently compiled some tips on how to make it work even harder:
    1. Send Earlier
    While you may never know why a particular cart is abandoned, it’s important to not to wait too long to reach back. Send the first message within three hours while the shopper is still contemplating the sale. Sometimes a gentle nudge is all that is needed. In 2014, 66.7% of Internet Retailer’s Top 500 and 85.1% of Second 500 companies were sending the first message within 24 hours of the abandoned cart, with 24% of the Top 500 and 30.4% of the second 500 sending within one hour.
    2. Send More Often
    Shopping cart abandonment messages have some of the highest campaign conversion rates, with the average hovering between 20 and 25% for the first message. Adding more messages will simply bring in more sales while using very few resources. In 2014, of the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 companies that sent abandoned cart emails, 53.2% of the Top 500 and 60.9% of the Second 500 were sending more than one message. More impressively, 7% of the Top 500 and 7.5% of the Second 500 were sending four or more messages – increases of 169.2% and 59.6% over 2013, respectively. Check the conversion rate of each message, and as long as the last message in your series is generating a double digit rate, add another!
    3. Get More Personal
    Nothing shows stronger purchase intent than when a customer adds merchandise to an online cart. It tells you exactly what that customer is looking for at that exact moment. Your shopping cart remarketing messages should not only include images of the item(s) left in the cart to tempt the shopper into completing the purchase, but also ratings and reviews written by customers that purchased and love the item(s), as well as product recommendations based on products similar to the abandoned merchandise and on past purchases.
    You can even take it a step further and create a Shopping Cart Nurturing campaign. This innovative and game-changing campaign combines a standard shopping cart remarketing campaign with an email nurturing campaign offering product recommendations. The nurturing emails include the cart merchandise as recommended products and are deployed on the days during the remarketing campaign when no emails are being sent. For example, if remarketing messages are sent two hours after the abandonment and again four and six days later, nurturing emails are sent on days two, three and five.
    4. Stop Relying on Discounts
    Relevant, timely messages don’t need a discount or special offer to work, and shopping cart recovery campaigns are some of the most relevant and timely messages – especially when personalized with customized product recommendations. There has been a steady decline in discounts offered in shopping cart abandonment campaigns. Only 18.1% of the Top 500 and 16.1% of the Second 500 companies offered a discount in the first remarketing message in 2014 – declining 39.3% and 50.1%, respectively, from 2013. Retailers are withholding offers in the second and third messages of their campaigns as well.
    5. Offer More Buying Options
    Remember, customers are using carts to hold merchandise they’re interested in as they contemplate the sale, so the message in your remarketing campaign should reflect this. If possible, ask customers if they want to purchase the item but pick it up in their local store or tell them that you’ll match other advertised prices. The more buying choices customers have, the more likely they’ll be to reconsider the purchase.
    6. Do a Better Job of Acquiring Email Addresses
    This isn’t a campaign update, but will transform your campaign performance. If you haven’t implemented a modal lightbox acquisition strategy, now is the time to do so. More retailers are using this tactic – 28.9% of the Top 500 (a 25.6% increase over 2013) and 29.5% of the Second 500 (a 77.7% increase over 2013) are currently collecting website visitors’ email addresses this way. The reason is simple – the more email addresses you have, the more customers you can reach back to when they abandon carts. In 2015, don’t just think about growing your list, think about increasing your reachability rate. You’ll be adding the right subscribers to your list and your email ROI will increase dramatically.

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    The Award Goes to…

    Friday, January 16, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments


    Travis Buck
    This email from Kate Spade wins the most creative email in my inbox today award. The creative is reminiscent of mad libs in a way. But instead of words, images are used to fill in the blanks. The message itself is also clever given many of us are stuck in the middle of a very cold winter. In any case this email accomplished its mission because it grabbed my attention and compelled me to read it. Well done.


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    Multichannel Merchant: Email Marketing Compliance is Ever Changing

    Friday, January 16, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Yesterday (1/15/15) Listrak Chief Privacy Officer James Koons shared with Multichannel Merchant the importance of email compliance in the first of a two-part series of articles: 
    The privacy and compliance landscape is ever-changing as lawmakers need to stay ahead of spammers who are at most a security threat and at least annoying and responsible for giving email senders a bad rap. In honor of the eighth annual Data Privacy Day (January 28), following is a reminder of the importance of email compliance:
    The CAN-SPAM Act was signed in 2003, establishing the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial email, and making each individual email in violation subject to penalties of up to $16,000. Here are some key components:

    Purchased Email Lists


    Bottom line: It’s not a good idea to purchase or sell email lists. In fact, the Act specifically states you can’t sell email addresses, although you may transfer them to a company hired to help with compliance.
    Unless you have an agreement with another company to co-market in their newsletter or have access to a legitimate opt-in list from an affiliate, only send emails to your own list. While renting lists is not prohibited, legally it can be risky, and ethically, shady. It also typically results in a high rate of unsubscribes and abuse complaints.

    False Header Information


    In email marketing campaigns, the header information, including originating domain name and email address, must be accurate and identify the person or business that initiated the message.

    Misleading or Deceptive Subject Lines


    The Act specifically states that subject lines must not be misleading in any way. Besides, disappointing potential customers is a sure way to lose their business and can lead to the FTC exercising its authority to enforce Section 5 of the FTC Act (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices).

    Sender's Postal Address


    The sender’s actual postal mailing address must be included in commercial emails. It’s normally seen in the footer and can be your current street address, a USPS-registered P.O. box or a private mailbox registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.

    Opt-out Option (Unsubscribe)


    A major requirement of the Act is that recipients be given a way to opt out of or unsubscribe from future emails. It can be a one-click opt-out or more detailed option, such as a preference center listing specific types of communications from which to opt-out. The email must also have a functional return email address or other mechanism clearly and conspicuously displayed a recipient can use to unsubscribe from the mailing list. This address or mechanism must remain functional for 30 days after the email is sent, and any unsubscribe request must be honored within 10 business days.

    Mixing Lists


    What about sending marketing messages to people subscribed only to your blog updates or vice-versa? This is permitted. Keep in mind, however, that compliance regulations apply to any message with commercial content, so your blog or newsletter—if transmitted—is likely subject to opt-out and disclosure requirements, too.
    While it’s legal to mix the content sent to different lists, we recommend email segmentation. For example, don’t send a subscriber to your blog additional offers unless they purchase something and subscribe to your marketing list and vice-verse to ensure you’re honoring the customer’s wishes.
    Also, if your lists are independent and don’t share a suppression list, you can find yourself with increased abuse complaints when they’re not managed correctly. If a recipient unsubscribes from your blog updates, but continues to receive general marketing email (or vice-versa), they might be driven to mark the email as SPAM.
    These regulations apply to email marketing in the US, but what if you have subscribers reading your commercial emails outside of the US, too? Be on the look-out for a follow-up article that addresses the importance of email compliance outside of the United States.
    James Koons is the Chief Privacy Officer of Listrak

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    Email Marketing Compliance Outside of the U.S.

    Friday, January 16, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Listrak Chief Privacy Officer James Koons followed up his Multichannel Merchant article on CAN-SPAM with another focusing on email outside of the country
    I recently wrote on article on the importance and key features of the US CAN-SPAM act. Crossing international boundaries with email is easy, however, other nations have different – and often stricter – laws.

    Canadian Anti-SPAM Legislation (CASL)


    Last July, Canada began enforcing CASL, which establishes rules for sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and prohibits the unauthorized alteration of data during transmission.
    Most importantly, the legislation requires that consent be obtained before sending a commercial email.
    CASL applies to every CEM sent from or accessed by a computer located in Canada, so compliance could be problematic for senders who don’t have an opt-in audit trail.
    CASL and the CAN-SPAM Act differ in several key areas:
    • CAN-SPAM is “opt-out”; CASL is “opt-in”
    • Implied consent under CASL expires in two years; CAN-SPAM has no consent expirations
    • When obtaining consent under CASL, the specific purpose must be provided upfront
    • To be CASL-compliant, in addition to a working unsubscribe mechanism, messages must include a statement that the recipient can withdraw consent at any time
    • An unsubscribe link under the CAN-SPAM Act must function for 30 days after the sending of the message and for 60 days under CASL
    • Under CASL, transactional messages must also include a working unsubscribe mechanism
    And these are just a few things to be aware of. CASL has been called the “world’s toughest anti-SPAM law” both for its scope and associated penalties, so if doing business in Canada, make sure you develop a compliance strategy.

    International Considerations


    Anti-SPAM laws in Europe fall under one European Union directive, which in theory, would make email marketers in all EU countries subject to the same expectations. In practice, however, the 2002 EU Directive set guidelines, but each member state has had to enact its own unique laws for electronic communications.
    Taking an opt-in stance on commercial email communications, the Directive stipulates that prior explicit consent is required before sending a commercial electronic message (including email, SMS, voice, fax and other electronic forms of messaging) and that an opt-out option must be clear and conspicuous.
    While not an all-inclusive list, here are some other key notable items for sending commercial email campaigns to global recipients:
    • Opt-in is required for remarketing (shopping cart abandonment) messages sent to the EU. Again, the Directive is implemented by each member state independently, so you’ll want to check individual country laws for details.
    • The “Send-To-A-Friend” function is not legal in Germany.
    • In Russia, there are federal laws pertaining to advertising and to personal data, both to protect Internet users from SPAM. Both clearly indicate that sending bulk mail is only allowed with the recipient’s consent, adhering to the opt-in principle.
    • Private rights of action are available in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Germany and France. Starting in 2017, in Canada CASL will permit any private party to bring an action not only for compensation for losses suffered and expenses incurred, but also for statutory penalties of up to $1 million per day.
    • When sending to recipients in China, either the word “AD” for English language emails or the Chinese word for “advertisement” is required in the subject line.
    • Australia’s 2003 Spam Act not only applies to email, but also to SMS and MMS messages of a commercial nature. There are three basic steps to follow to ensure compliancy with the act – Consent, Identification and Unsubscribe.
    Compliance with email marketing laws ensures that your emails are welcome and legal, but also provides a host of other benefits, including higher open and other engagement rates. If you make unsubscribing easy, the recipients that remain are those who really enjoy reading your emails and engaging with your brand and who have a positive sentiment towards your brand, which ultimately leads to more sales and referrals.
    James Koons is Chief Privacy Officer of Listrak

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    Internet Retailer: Retailers Get Less Promotional and More Personal in their E-mail Marketing

    Thursday, January 15, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Today (1/15/15), Internet Retailer released its exclusive report on the findings of our soon-to-be released research study. Be on the lookout for the link to the full study next week. 
    By Don Davis, Editor in Chief 
    Fewer top online retailers are offering discounts in e-mails, while more actively encourage e-mail sign-ups on their sites.
    Retailers tweaked their e-mail marketing programs in important ways in 2014, seeking to win sales more through personalized offers and less with discounts, according to a study by e-mail marketing firm Listrak. They also got more aggressive in seeking to persuade web site visitors to sign up for their e-mail lists, but are missing opportunities to connect with mobile shoppers, Listrak says.
    Listrak studied the e-mail campaigns of the top 1,000 retailers in North America by online sales, those ranked in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and in theSecond 500 Guide, which ranks retailers ranked Nos. 501-1000. A report on the study by Megan Ouellet, director of content marketing at Listrak, will be released next week.
    The study found that 22.2% more of the Top 500 retailers sent personalized e-mails in 2014 than in 2013 and 7.5% more among the Second 500. Listrak also noted that more retailers including product recommendations in e-mail, “increasing the level of personalization and engagement.” Among Top 500 retailers, 22.2% used product recommendations in remarketing campaigns, for example to shoppers who have abandoned shopping carts, an increase of 85% over 2013; 7.5% of Second 500 retailers recommended products in e-mail remarketing campaigns, up 87.5% over the prior year.
    But retailers were not relying as much on discounts to woo shoppers: there was a 45% decrease in discount offers in retailers’ first remarketing message, Listrak says.
    While 77.7% of the Top 500 retailers display ratings and reviews on their web sites, only 5.8% put them into e-mails in 2014. Still, that was an increase of 70.5% over 2013. 55% of Second 500 retailers show ratings and reviews and 6.2% used them in e-mail campaigns, an increase of 31.9%.
    The report points to Best Buy Co. Inc., No. 15 in the Top 500, as a retailer sending effective remarketing e-mails to shoppers who left items in carts, without offering explicit discounts. In the first message Best Buy offers to match a lower price, and later asks if the customer is ready to complete the purchase. Both e-mails include ratings and reviews on the products in the cart and recommendations of related items.
    The study also shows that retailers are reaching out more quickly to consumers who abandon shopping carts. Among Top 500 retailers, 66.7% sent an e-mail within 24 hours of the shopper leaving the site, an increase of 1.4% over 2013, and 76.9% within 48 hours, up 4.3%. For Second 500 retailers, 85.1% reached out via e-mail within 24 hours, up 5.9%, and 87.8% within 48 hours, an increase of 5.4%.
    The percentage that offer discounts increases from the first to the second to the third remarketing e-mails retailers send to these shoppers, but fewer of those e-mails offered a lower price in 2014 than in 2013. Among Top 500 retailers only 18.1% offered a discount in the first e-mail, down 39.3% from 2013; 39.5% in the second e-mail, down 22.2%; and 48.8% in the third message, a decline of 38.8%. For Second 500 retailers the figures were: 16.1% offering a discount in the first e-mail, a decrease of 50.1%; 56.1% in the second e-mail, down 11.4%; and 69.6% in the third e-mail, down 9.6%. In the fourth follow-up e-mail 41.6% of Top 500 retailers and 58% of Second 500 retailers offered a discount in 2014, according to the report, which did not provide comparable 2013 figures for the fourth e-mail in the sequence.
    Retailers on average only have the e-mail addresses of 29% of web site visitors, and Top 1000 retailers are taking added steps to collect those valuable e-mail addresses, often through on-screen pop-ups (also called “modal lightboxes”) that encourage a shopper to sign up. Listrak found 28.9% of Top 500 retailers using this technique in 2014, an increase of 25.6% from 2013. For Second retailers, it was 29.5% asking for the e-mail address in an on-screen overlay, up 77.7%. For Top 500 retailers, 46.5% offered no discount or offer—such as free shipping or entry into a contest—as an incentive to sign up for e-mail, but that was true of only 31% of Second 500 retailers.
    Listrak says many retailers are missing out on opportunities to present their e-mails effectively to the growing number of consumers reading e-mails on smartphones and tablets. Only 16.5% of Top 500 retailers had a responsive  web site—one that adapts to the size of the screen the consumer is using—and only 6.4% offered responsive e-mails that would be easy to read on the smaller screens of smartphones. For Second 500 retailers it was 16.5% with a responsive web site and 3.8% with responsive e-mails.
    That’s a missed opportunity, Listrak says, because applying responsive design techniques to e-mail increases the open rates 9% and click-through rates 113%.
    Listrak provides e-mail marketing services to 61 of the Top 1000 e-retailers in North America, 15 in the Top 500 and 46 in the Second 500.

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    Internet Retailer: Shoppers Want Marketing E-mails Tailored to their Preferences

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Last week (January 8, 2015), Zak Stambor, managing editor of Internet Retailer, reported the results of our recent Harris Poll
    80% of consumers say they like it when brands’ e-mails recommend products based on their previous purchases.
    Shoppers want retailers to target them with personalized marketing messages, particularly in e-mails, according to a new online survey by Harris Poll sponsored by digital marketing technology and services provider Listrak.
    The survey of 2,042 U.S. consumers 18 and older finds:
    • 80% of consumers like when retailers’ e-mails recommend products based on their previous purchases.
    • 71% like when retailers e-mail them based on items they’ve viewed online but not purchased.
    • 69% like retargeting ads that show them an item they’ve recently viewed on a merchant’s site.
    • 67% like product recommendations on  retailers’ sites.
    “These numbers are an incredible testament to the effectiveness of using purchase and browsing behavior data in predictive algorithms to present shoppers with timely, relevant products that they have the highest propensity to buy,” says Listrak CEO Ross Kramer.
    Tailoring a marketing e-mail can help a retailer’s e-mail stand out from the flood of messages consumers receive in their inboxes, he says. 44% of those who open and read retailers’ promotional e-mails say they receive five or more e-mails per week from retailers and 21% say they receive nine or more per week.
    A number of shoppers say that’s too many e-mails; 21% of shoppers say they don’t want to receive more than five e-mails a week from a particular retailer.
    But Kramer says that context is important to consider when marketers send consumers e-mails pointing to results from President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, which heavily leveraged e-mail marketing. When the campaign increased the number of messages it sent, the number of donations increased. While the volume increase also led more consumers to unsubscribe from the e-mail list, the tradeoff was worth it, he says.
    Subscribers’ willingness to receive more e-mails corresponds to the messages’ relevance to them, he adds. And 81% of shoppers say they want promotional e-mails to highlight items that are on sale. That’s more than double the percentage who say they want those messages to organize items by price (40%), showcase new products (39%) or highly rated items (38%).

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    Press Release: Survey Reveals 80% of Email Readers Find It Useful When Emails Feature Recommended Products Based on Past Purchases

    Thursday, January 08, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    January 8, 2015
    Listrak, a single, integrated digital marketing platform providing email, personalization and retargeting specifically tailored for retailers, recently released the results of a new survey questioning Americans about their attitude towards email volume and personalization in email and on-site. Responses reveal that Americans who read promotional emails find it helpful when retailers send emails featuring products based on past purchases (80%) and online browsing behavior (71%); value online retargeting ads featuring products previously viewed on a retailer’s website (69%), and product recommendations on a retailer’s website while they’re shopping (67%).
    The results are from a Listrak-sponsored survey conducted online by Harris Poll from December 2-4, 2014 of more than 2,000 U.S. men and women age 18+, 72% of whom open and read promotional emails from retailers.
    In the survey, 44% of Americans who open and read promotional emails from retailers report that they receive five or more emails per week from their favorite retailers, with 21% reporting they receive 9 or more weekly.  
    In contrast, when asked the maximum number of emails they find acceptable to receive weekly from a favorite retailer, only 21% respond five or more. 17% report that they don’t have a maximum number, and another 5% say they are unsure of the maximum number.
    Listrak CEO Ross Kramer comments, “It’s not surprising that more than twice the number of shoppers in the survey say that they receive five or more emails per week from their ‘favorite retailer,’ than say that five or more weekly is the maximum that is acceptable. When asked how many emails they want to receive, subscribers tend to say fewer although their actions prove otherwise.” 
    He continues, “This is not unlike what occurred in the now well-documented 2012 Obama email campaign. When the number of emails soliciting donations increased, while unsubscribes unsurprisingly rose, the number of donations received increased, as well. The important finding in our recent survey is that roughly the same number of shoppers [MMR1] who say between five and eight emails weekly is the maximum they find acceptable say they do not have a maximum or are unsure of how many are acceptable. We continue to see proven what shoppers in our 2014 Harris survey reported – subscribers’ willingness to receive more emails corresponds directly to how relevant and personalized the emails are.”
    Personalization in its infancy meant using the subscriber’s name in the subject line or email copy, and 68% say they still like when retailers do this. The survey also reveals, however, that those who read promotional emails value more recent, data-driven, predictive personalization even more. These adults indicate they strongly or somewhat agree that they find the following useful:
    - 80% - When a retailer sends emails featuring recommended products based on previous purchases
    - 71% - When a retailer sends emails featuring recommended products based on what they have looked at online but not purchased
    - 69% - When they see an online ad featuring images of products recently viewed on a retailer’s website 
    In addition, 67% report that they find it useful when a retailer recommends products on the pages of its website.
    “These numbers are an incredible testament to the effectiveness of using purchase and browse behavior data in predictive algorithms to present shoppers with timely, relevant products that they have the highest propensity to buy,” says Kramer. “Shoppers are on-the-go and often time-challenged, and the number and variety of products online can be daunting, so they truly value when a retailer shows its familiarity with their individual personal preferences, current interests and purchase history to present them with products they are mostly likely to be interested in and to want to purchase.”
    He adds, “It also shows how accustom to and appreciative online shoppers are of personalization in general, including in email, on retail websites and in retargeting ads.”
    So what are shoppers looking for in personalized recommendations? When asked which types of website or email product recommendations are of interest, 81% of those who read promotional emails reveal on sale items – more than twice that of other types of recommendations:  
    Organized by price – 40%
    New – 39%
    Highest rated – 38%
    Top sellers – 31%
    Most “pinned” – 8%
    Kramer comments, “Again, it’s not surprising that shoppers express that they are most interested in discounts. Clearly, sales and promotions are powerful sales tactics; however, it is not always in the best interest of retailers to lead with discounts – or feature them at all – for reasons ranging from margins to brand integrity. The survey results show that shoppers also highly value being presented with products within particular price points, new items and those that are most highly reviewed and purchased most by other shoppers.”
    “Contextual relevance is key when featuring personalized product recommendations,” he continues. “Merchants must consider where shoppers are in their purchase journey when determining the personalized products to show, whether in different types of email campaigns or on different pages of a retail website, and should make it clear to the shopper why particular products are being presented, as well.”
    Methodology
    This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Listrak from December 2-4, 2014 among 2,042 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Donna Fulmer at dfulmer@listrak.com.
    About Listrak
    Listrak is an omnichannel digital marketing solutions provider that works with retailers to drive revenue growth, profitability and increase the lifetime value of customers. Founded in 1999, the company’s solution suite boasts analytics technology that enhances campaign performance, shopping cart abandonment solutions that help recoup lost revenue, post purchase solutions to increase lifetime value, seamless integration across multiple platforms, as well as email, mobile, social and more. Listrak has more than a decade of digital marketing experience and works with leading U.S. online retailers, including Waterford, Swell, The Grommet and La-Z-Boy. For more information, visit http://www.listrak.com.

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    Spring has Sprung Already?!

    Wednesday, January 07, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Donna Fulmer

    Perhaps my head was too full of visions of sugar-plums to notice, but it seems that while I was still dreaming of a white Christmas and wrapping up my gift shopping, a number of fashion retailers had already sprung Spring on me in my inbox.
    I took a look back today at just how early it all began.
    On December 22, I received an email from YOOX with the subject line, “Think ahead: an EXTRA 30% off a Spring selection”. Spring fashion had just arrived and already was on sale!:
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    The next day, H&M followed suit with this email, bearing the subject line, “Finally! Spring fashion has arrived + UP to 60% off SALE”. I wonder if anyone was thinking, “Well, it’s about time, H&M!”:
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     A few days later, on December 27, American Eagle sent this email with the subject line, “All AEO Jeans Under $30 + Over 500 New Spring Arrivals.” Had I taken a break from sweeping up dry pine needles and trying to figure out a New Year’s Eve outfit to wear when it arrived, I would have agreed with the sentiment about new beginnings: 
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    And on January 3, Victoria’s Secret asked “So over winter?” with this email. With ice on the ground and many more days of chilly temperatures to come, I personally am not thinking of Spring clothing yet, but I am definitely more open to the idea of it than I was just a week or so ago. 
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    Has Spring sprung in your inbox? 

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    New Year’s Resolution: Make it a Series

    Monday, January 05, 2015 Listrak 0 Comments

    Megan Ouellet
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    Many retailers are sending out messages that include merchandise to help their customers keep their New Years Resolutions. But The Grommet is taking it further with its creative series. This message was received 12/31 with the subject line “Resolution #1: Make your next party cooler!”
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    The next day, 1/1, it sent this message with the subject line “Get healthy in MMXV (That’s Roman for 2015)”
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    And, two days later on 1/3, it sent this message with the subject line “Marathon training or just a bit of stretching? We can help.”
    I love how it kept the theme going instead of just sending a single message. I also love how it worked the New Year’s Resolution theme into its regular messages - on Jan. 2 and 4 it sent emails offering new products.
    As you plan your 2015 campaigns, it’s time to think about daily deployments. Last year saw a big increase in the number of retailers that email daily. In fact, 12% of the Internet Retailer Top 500 send daily, with another 12% sending between 20 and 29 emails per month. Those retailers are seizing the opportunity to engage customers daily. Are you?

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