ATLANTA, June 10, 2009-Attendees of the "Internet Retailer 2009 Conference & Exhibition" in Boston June 15-18 will be interested to discover the findings of the latest evaluations of top online retailers conducted recently by Silverpop, a leading provider of B2C customer engagement marketing solutions and multichannel B2B marketing automation. In its annual review, researchers found that retailers have increased the frequency of communications to their customers-potentially a risky endeavor if the messages aren't highly relevant.
The finding was part of a Silverpop study evaluating email practices of top online retailers throughout North America. The study, published in Internet Retailer's "Top 500 Guide," evaluated the email marketing programs of 895 top retailers based on annual revenue, as identified by the publication. Silverpop researchers registered with each company that offered email opt-ins and reviewed messages received between November and December of 2008. Email programs were evaluated for frequency, incentives, preference centers and personalization. Findings were compared between the top 500 retailers and others as well as with results from a study completed during the previous holiday season.
"Perhaps because of the tight economy, or because retailers have found that email marketing works so well, retailers making the Top 500 list sent more than two additional emails a month compared with those companies that didn't make the revenue cut," said Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop. "Overall, Top 500 retailers sent an average of 8.6 emails to recipients during the 30-day evaluation period, compared with an average of 5.7 emails from the 395 retailers that didn't make the list."
In comparing 2008 to 2007, Top 500 retailers sent a total of 3,242 emails last year compared to 2,645 in 2007. Silverpop also found that a greater percentage of smaller retailers are engaging with customers through email. Ninety-one percent of retailers ranked between 501 and 895 now offer email programs-up from 83 percent last year. Also, 17 percent more retailers included special sales or discount incentives this year versus last year.
What didn't increase this year was the number of companies offering subscribers options of the type or frequency of messages they would like to receive. Only 28 percent of the Top 500 and 14 percent of the remaining retailers offered choices at opt-in. This is down from 56 percent and 26 percent respectively last year.
Among retailers that clearly understand the importance of listening to customers and the value of relevancy is Diapers.com-a Silverpop client and the 140th largest online retailer, according to Internet Retailer's guide.
"Our customers tend to be moms who are very busy and have their hands pretty full raising their little ones, so our goal is to make their lives just a little easier, and email is one of the tools we use to do this," said Matthew Lindenberg, assistant director of marketing for Diapers.com. "We speak to moms in an extremely targeted manner by distributing emails featuring customized content and appropriate products based on the ages of their children, and also send reminder emails to moms who added items to their shopping carts but forgot to check out. These communications provide relevant content and engage our customers despite their hectic lives."
"Email has become a frequently used tool for retailers, but taking the time to do it right will require dedication and support" said Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop. "As retailers begin to rely on email more heavily, it is important they recognize that consumers are in control and become adept at engagement marketing. Engaging with consumers will become critical for retail success in the coming years."
Silverpop's Engagement Marketing suite helps turn prospects into customers, and customers into fans. Silverpop's Web-based solutions enable companies worldwide to build relationships with customers and prospects through the creation, automation and delivery of relevant, online messaging.
Companies rely on the Silverpop Engage platform to create and manage multichannel marketing campaigns that reach millions of individuals-one at a time-enhancing lifetime customer value and brand loyalty. Silverpop's Engage B2B platform seamlessly scores sales leads, nurtures them through the pipeline and measures campaign return on investment. And Silverpop's strategic counsel, service and support helps clients with the precise level of training and advice needed to quickly improve campaign results and ROI. Silverpop makes it easy and affordable for marketers to create, automate and execute campaigns ... from first click to lifetime customer. With offices in the United States, England and Germany, Silverpop's engagement marketing technologies are used by industry-leading brands around the globe. Best practices and white papers are available at www.silverpop.com.