Research from Responsys, a global on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions provider, has found that more than one third (34%) of ‘e-tailers’ do not ‘welcome’ or ‘thank’ customers when they actively subscribe to email communications, meaning many are not engaging customers when they are most captive, incentivising them to shop.

The research, carried out by IMRG, analysed email programmes from the top 50 online retailers in the UK.

The majority (67%) of welcome emails did not include a call to action such as ‘start shopping now’ or offer promotions of any relevance. One third (33%) of welcome emails arrived as plain text without any messaging, branding, rich content or imagery.

Just over half (52%) did not use the customers’ name or personalise the content, and 42% did not send communications from the brand name but instead chose to send from ‘info’, ‘do not reply’, ‘help’ or ‘customer services’.

None of the companies surveyed included mobile integration and only three retailers embedded any social media into their email programmes. Responsys said that, despite the hype in the marketing industry for dynamic content and social and mobile engagement, few are putting this into practice with their email conversations.

Simon Robinson, Responsys marketing and alliances director in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, commented “The results show that many e-tailers fall short on welcome email programmes, with many failing to engage with customers using dynamic content, cross-channel integration or personalisation.

“Email is still the most popular communication channel for retailers, so I am surprised to see so many not even thanking customers for signing up to email communications. It is clear that many retailers lack the tools needed to boost customer engagement and brand loyalty, pointing to a gap between retailers talking about the importance of personalisation and cross-channel integration and acting on it. The reality is the majority have long way to go if they want to truly capture customer attention over email, and boost sales conversations.”

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com