By Joanna Perry | Head of Marketing

Practicology Customer Communications Report 2015 tracked the email marketing programmes of leading UK retailers for six months.

Practicology has released the findings from six months of research into retailers’ email marketing campaigns. The Customer Communications Report 2015 tracked the email newsletter activity of almost 100 retailers and highlights both good practice and areas where there is substantial room for improvement.

100 well-known retailers were chosen, and of these we were able to sign-up to receive email marketing from 91 of them (without having to register for an account with the site). Of those 91, we discovered these key findings:

  • 15% never contacted us once we had signed up for their newsletters. These include Marks & Spencer, Majestic Wine, Bathstore, Halfords, Mothercare, Jigsaw and Tesco F+F
  • Only 67% sent us a welcome email, and 63% sent the welcome email the same day we signed up
  • 7% now email us on a daily basis – Practicology only advises retailers to do this if they have genuine, engaging content to warrant such regular communication
  • 76% send us emails with links to their social media accounts included
  • Only 48% have sent emails which are fully responsive (change design to suit the size of screen on which they are displayed). Retailers who have responsive/mobile websites but sent emails which were not responsive include: Argos, Sports Direct, Lakeland, Ikea, Fat Face, Boohoo, Paperchase, Karen Millen, Bonmarche and Boden
  • Only 47% acknowledged at least one of four key events that took place during the six months: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Wimbledon.

The report provides examples of good practice around many aspects of email marketing including welcome programmes, subject lines, using significant events as a hook, quick reaction to events such as a heat wave, responsive design and legal requirements. We also provide 10 recommendations based on our findings.

Practicology’s Head of Data & Analytics Will Dymott said of the report’s findings: “It seems perverse that so many brands would ask for a customer’s email address and then do nothing with it. But even for those brands that did begin to contact us, there are many improvements that could be made. A well-constructed welcome programme, followed up with a grow-and-nurture programme which begins to tailor email content, should deliver you first-time buyers and convert them into more valuable repeat customers in time.”

He added: “Retailers who have invested in a dedicated mobile site or a responsive site, but have not moved their email marketing to responsive design should think about this as a next step. If consumers are browsing your website and even transacting on smartphones, then they will be opening your emails on those devices too.”     

The report is free to download here.

Further information 

Practicology Head of Marketing Joanna Perry:     T: +4420 7323 0539    E: joanna@practicology.com

About Practicology

Practicology is a strategic multichannel consultancy with offices in London, Sydney and Melbourne, founded in 2009. The 40-strong team continues to grow, with every consultant having worked within retail and understanding our clients’ challenges. We offer an end-to-end portfolio of services including strategic consulting, CRM, analytics, design, marketing, ecommerce trading and training. Clients include Dreams, Hobbycraft, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Rapha, Ted Baker, Konditor & Cook, Nike, Sealskinz and Kathmandu.