February 24, 2004, 12:00 AM

Wal-Mart converts 73% of permission-based e-mail recipients into buyers

Wal-Mart Stores led all retailers in a survey of recipients of permission-based e-mail marketing during the 2003 holiday shopping season, converting 73% of recipients into buyers, a survey commissioned by BigFoot Interactive says.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. led all retailers in a survey of recipients of permission-based e-mail marketing campaigns during the 2003 holiday shopping season, converting 73% of recipients into buyers, a survey commissioned by BigFoot Interactive says. The survey also reports conversion rates for Sears, Roebuck and Co. at 41%; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 39%; Gap, 25%; L.L. Bean, 20%; Eddie Bauer, 17%; and J. Crew, 6%.

The survey noted that the percentages of consumers who said they had made a purchase at one of these retailers were several points lower when the survey factored in consumers who had not subscribed to or received permission-based e-mail.

The survey also found that 94% of consumers who subscribed to or had received permission-based e-mail in the past three months made a purchase from one of the retailers in the study, compared to 86% who had made a purchase but had not subscribed to or received a permission-based e-mail. The survey was conducted by NOP World Research, which contacted 1,019 consumers aged 18 and over by telephone during the 3-day period of Jan. 16-18. About 30% of the respondents, or 304, said they subscribe to or receive permissioned-based e-mail.

In addition, the survey found that 66% of consumers expressed "general satisfaction" with the e-mail they received from retailers. But 40% of consumers said they "believe the retailer could do a better job sending more targeted offers based on their interests and past purchase behavior," BigFoot says.

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