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6 8 BUSINESS E-MAIL MARKETING IN THE MAIL-ORDER BUSINESS STUDY FOUND SHORTCOMINGS Although every fourth euro in online trading comes from an activity initiated by an email, the issue has not been fully exploited. The latest Absolit study on the e-mail marketing by 41 leading mail-order companies reveals major flaws. Ninety per cent have legal complaints, four even dispensed with the double opt-in. Search engine email marketing is the most important source of revenue for the trade. Nevertheless, companies do not actually make available enough resources for this. “Good e-mail marketing is a question of staffing”, claims the head of the study Dr. Torsten Schwarz. However, there appear to be changes since 46 per cent of German companies are increasing their budgets for email marketing. Other sectors are in a worse position. While mailorder companies on average fulfilled 64 per cent of the 40 criteria analysed by Absolit, only 52 percent of insurance companies met the criteria. LEGAL COMPLAINTS Mail-order companies score slightly better as multichannel distributors which were PSI Journal 7/2016 www.psi-network.de studied by Absolit in 2015. Whilst multichannel distributors understand the subject of mobile services better, mail-order companies have more professional greeting programmes for new prospects. “Alarmingly, however, legal flaws in e-mail marketing were detected among 37 of the 41 companies studied,” said Schwarz. A positive aspect was that the newsletter was accessed with no more than one or two clicks. However, only 22 per cent offer the possibility to indicate specific interests in order to customize the content. GREETING CAMPAIGN IS OFTEN LACKING According to the study, 83 per cent of companies provide a friendly greeting e-mail. However, only 18 per cent took the opportunity to offer a proper greeting campaign. “In such cases, the opening rates are considerably higher in the first e-mails sent by a company than in subsequent emails,” says Schwarz. Images were not always displayed. Only one in five e-mails was still legible without images. Many distributors also struggled with the smartphone: Every second mail had a far too small font. And 82 per cent lacked important short summaries for mobile devices. The situation with the smartwatch was “even worse”: 44 per cent were not readable. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Not only is a legally secure login mandatory, but also a hassle-free withdrawal. Only one quarter of the companies enable “unsubscribe” with a simple click. Usually it is more cumbersome. In 7 per cent of the cases, the statutory notice of withdrawal was missing altogether. “Plenty of room for improvement” was the bottom line of the study. – Absolit advises companies on the integration of emails in the marketing mix. Studies on newsletter software and email addresses give clarity to the market. Seminars provide the latest practical knowhow. The complete study and a free limited version can be found at: absolit.de/Versandhandel <

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