Those Retail Promo Emails? They Better Be Personalized - eMarketer
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Those Retail Promo Emails? They Better Be Personalized

80% of email users like retail product recommendations based on previous purchases

January 22, 2015

Marketers have voiced plans to focus more on email personalization this year. Despite the “creepiness” factor sometimes associated with personalization and targeting, consumers will embrace this trend with open arms, based on results from December 2014 polling by Listrak.

Attitudes Toward Retailer Ads/Emails Among US Email Users*, by Demographic, Dec 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

Simple personalization methods such as putting a consumer’s name in the subject line won’t cut it, though. Among US email users who opened and read promotional emails from retailers—72% of internet users studied—fully 80% said they found it useful when a retailer sent them emails featuring recommended products based on what they had previously purchased. This was the highest response, followed by 71% of respondents who liked it when retailers’ emails featured recommended products based on what they had viewed online but not purchased—a nice reminder to pick up that new shoe style they’d been ogling.

Personalization efforts beyond email—online ads and website personalization—were less popular, though still cited by an impressive 69% and 67%. Retailers shouldn’t worry too much about irritating email users with targeting in other spots, then.

Figures from Epsilon also point to the success of triggered emails—deployed as a result of an action such as an abandoned shopping cart, confirmation, thank you and welcome—over general emails for retailers. According to Q3 2014 analysis, retail apparel industry triggered email campaigns sent in North America had a 52.9% higher open rate and 147.2% higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than general email campaigns. Specialty retailers fared even better, with a 113.1% higher open rate and an astounding 289.2% higher CTR. Though still impressive, general retailers saw smaller differences between triggered and general campaigns; open rate was 31.7% higher and CTR 103.8%.

If retailers want to hold on to their loyal email readers, they’d be wise to focus on sending product recommendations and other personalized emails to keep those consumers coming back.

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