What’s in a Retail E-Mail? - eMarketer
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What’s in a Retail E-Mail?

A look at best practices

September 28, 2009

With social media presence rapidly becoming a must for online retailers, Email Data Source and Goodmail Systems studied how often retailers were including social media marketing links in their e-mail campaigns.

Large majorities of the top 100 companies according to Internet Retailer had a profile on Facebook (79%), Twitter (69%) or both (59%). Formerly hyped technologies such as blogs and RSS feeds were much less popular among these online retail leaders—fewer than one in five used either.

But many of those that had a Facebook or Twitter account did not promote it. Just over one-half of social media participants included links in their e-mail campaigns. Further, less than 30% mentioned their Facebook and Twitter accounts on their company Website prominently.

Facebook and Twitter Usage of US Online Retailers, First half 2009 (% of total in each group)

Online retailers that linked to their social media pages in e-mail campaigns were somewhat more likely to also promote them on their Website. Still, the majority of the Internet Retailer top 100 sites (63%) did not link to a social media presence.

The e-retailers were more likely to include a less social but perhaps more practical feature in their e-mail campaigns: store locators. More than three-quarters of the Web retailers studied that had a physical presence included a locator tool in their marketing e-mails, up from 70% in 2008 and 60% in 2007.

US Online Retailers Who Include a Store Locator in Their E-Mail Campaigns, 2007-2009 (% of total)

Links to social networking sites may be rising quickly—appearing in 20% of marketing e-mails in July 2009, up from just 2% in February—but the majority of leading online retailers have yet to jump on the bandwagon.

Keep up on the latest digital trends. Learn more about an eMarketer Total Access subscription, today.

Check out today’s other article, “Internet Is Top Banking Method.”

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