email marketing

This past summer, SmarterHQ began tracking and analyzing the e-mail newsletters of the top U.S. retailers in the department store segment and warehouse clubs as well as digitally native brands. The findings showed who was sending the most e-mails in each segment as well as the key messaging.

What the firm found was that despite consumers — Millennials, in particular — despising too much clutter in their inboxes, marketers at the top retailers pummeled shoppers with e-mails.

Researchers at SmarterHQ said the volume of e-mail jumped from July to August, and that among the department stores tracked, Neiman Marcus was the top sender, sending 80 e-mails in August compared with 71 for Saks Fifth Avenue. Nordstrom was third with 39 e-mails.

With warehouse clubs, Sam’s Club and Costco both sent out nearly the same number of newsletters, 30 and 27, respectively. In the digital native segment, Amazon was far ahead of the pack with 43 e-mails, which was followed by Warby Parker’s eight newsletters, and Everlane’s seven e-mails sent.

It’s important to note that retailers vary the number of e-mails it sends customers. Some loyal and more frequent shoppers may get more e-mails and promotions than what SmarterHQ revealed in their report. The data published is meant to serve as a comparative analysis between companies in regard to how often they ping shoppers.

The authors of the report also noted that most of the e-mails sent were “mass blasts” and likely exceeded what consumers expect and want. SmarterHQ, citing a prior study, said 70 percent of Millennials are “frustrated by irrelevant e-mails.” Instead, shoppers desire more personalized communications.

Regarding messaging, the e-mails sent in August focused on back to school, as expected, as well as Labor Day promotions. Other notable messaging was around free shipping and other delivery options such as BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in stores).


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