I was at Shop.org's annual conference last week, and found some retailers expressing concern about holiday sales. The economy is weighing heavily on everyone's shoulders. Not surprising. An article in Promo reports a study by TNS/Retail Forward predicting retail sales in November and December to increase by only 1.5 percent.
It's time for online retailers to get their programs in order to maximize their results. There was certainly a lot of interest (standing room only) at the Shop.org event when I presented the findings of a study Silverpop conducted in conjunction with Internet Retailer magazine.
We found that the most successful email marketing programs—those run by online retailers ranked as among the Top 500 in America—offer consumers who sign up to receive emails options concerning the types of messages they want to receive. In fact, 56 percent of the Top 500 retailers offered subscription options, compared to only 26 percent of retailers who failed to make the top list. For example, Zales links its opt-in to a preference center offering subscribers choices of messages—wedding, anniversary, men's jewelry, clearance, etc.
Linking opt-in requests to a preference center can be a win-win situation. You gather information that allows you to send offers of interest to customers and prospects, and they enjoy receiving promotional messages likely to be of interest. It can make the difference between developing a relationship with a customer and having an email recipient ignore your messages or worse, hit the spam button.