Out now – The brand new edition of Hitting The Mark – dotdigital’s annual expose of the best and worst of big-brand email marketing

The much awaited 2011-12 edition of dotdigital’s annual email marketing benchmark report is out now and available for free download.

This fourth edition of Hitting the Mark sees the biggest change to scoring criteria we have ever made. The report takes a much closer look at how retailers are using email for targeted cross-selling, up-selling, and retention-driving initiatives after an order has been made.

Topping the table this year are Boots (78% score) in first place, followed by Marks & Spencer in second (77%), and New Look taking third place (76%).

Post-sale email marketing

Persuading a website user to visit your site and make a purchase isn’t the end of the email marketing cycle – it should be just the beginning.

Once the purchase has been made, it’s time to start using email marketing to reassure the customer, build loyalty and the feel-good factor, and drive repeat purchases, through cross-sells, up-sells and referrals.

This year’s Hitting the Mark report asks:

  • How many used triggered emails following a purchase to reassure and build customer loyalty?
  • How many kept online purchasers informed on the progress of their order, through the use of timely emails?
  • And critically – how many sent a targeted, follow up email marketing message within 4 weeks of an online purchase, based on the item purchased? In fact – how many even emailed at all following a purchase?

Average Score: 15 out of 26

Ouch. This is where our high street retailers are really missing tricks. 15 of the retailers we purchased from in the report didn’t invite us to sign up to their emails anywhere in the purchase or checkout process. We were buying from them – we were hot prospects and ripe for them to signup. A missed opportunity!

Retailers fared better when it came to sending order and dispatch confirmations, scoring on average 6 out of 8 in this section. However, we were amazed to receive neither an order or
dispatch confirmation from 3 of the retailers we purchased from.

When it came to sending targeted email marketing messages based on what we had purchased, the results were very, very poor. We allowed points for retailers who sent emails asking us how we had found the purchase experience and inviting product/service reviews and feedback, as these types of emails can be useful in a loyalty and retention strategy.

BUT – only 1 of the 45 retailers we purchased from online, delivered an up sell/cross-sell email to us with content that was targeted based on the specific purchase we had made. That retailer was Amazon.

Click here to read more and get the full expose of the email campaigns sent by 45 big name online retailers, plus over 50 best practice guidelines and tips.

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