August 21, 2003, 12:00 AM

How retailers can build better e-mail marketing relationships

At a time when consumers’ in-boxes are swamped with unsolicited e-mail marketing messages, retailers like T.J. Maxx are seeing higher click-through rates by researching customers’ interests before e-mailing them.


At a time when consumers’ in-boxes are swamped with unsolicited e-mail marketing messages, retailers must be more careful than ever in the way they design their own e-mail campaigns. One method being used by T.J. Maxx and other retailers is to first survey customers to find out what kind of merchandising information they’d like to receive, then e-mailing marketing messages based on their survey responses, says Jere Doyle, president and CEO of Prospectiv Direct. “Retailers are getting extremely high open and click-through e-mail rates by matching their customers’ interests,” he says.

“We’re starting to see more retailers use this as an effective means of e-mail marketing,” he says. “Over the course of a year, they get more bang for the buck by focusing on building their relationships with customers than by renting a lot of lists to target new customers.”

Following are 10 steps he suggests for developing stronger e-mail relationships.
• Build files responsibly. There should be a clear opt-in system requiring an action by a consumer to join.
• Affirmative consent. Every e-mail marketing campaign should be permission-based. No third-party opt-ins or opt-outs should be included on lists.
• Confirm e-mail registrations. An immediate e-mail should be sent to customers when they sign up to validate registrations.
• Consumer privacy is the No. 1 priority. Do not sell or share e-mail addresses or personal information without the express consent of consumers.
• Information must be relevant. Send only valuable, relevant offers to consumers.
• Don’t over-communicate. Carefully manage the amount of offers sent to customers. The goal should be not to exceed one e-mail per day per customer.
• Opt-out must be immediate. Provide clear, easy, one-click opt-out system in all e-mails and on web site.
• Consumer assistance. Provide full customer service to answer in-bound e-mail messages from customers.
• Maintain a fresh, responsive database. Pro-actively remove non-responders from files after a period of time.
• Privacy policy must be clear and visible. E-mail messages and web site pages should contain conspicuous links to clearly stated standards, such as a certified privacy policy.


comments powered by Disqus




From The IR Blog


Jason Miller / E-Commerce

Six steps to take to make your site ready for the holidays

Images, tags and mobile performance are among the key areas to focus on in the ...


Anna Buchalova / E-Commerce

Four e-commerce metrics that can help increase ROI

Many e-retailers focus on conversion rate, but here are four less-obvious ways to analyze your ...