New Return Path Research Study: Subscriber Experiences in the United Kingdom

Margaret Farmakis
By Margaret Farmakis
Senior Director, Response Consulting

I’m pleased to announce today the release of our newest research study: Creating Subscriber Experiences That Maximise Returns for UK Marketers.

We’ve spent a good amount of time in the past year studying the subscriber experiences created by top brands in the U.S. First was our Creating Great Subscriber Experiences: Are Marketers Relationship Worthy?, which looked at sign up, welcome messages, targeting techniques and more. We followed that up with a look at the experience created by the same companies when subscribers chose to opt out of receiving email in Keeping the Subscriber Experience Positive After “Unsubscribe Me.” And finally, our study on Increasing Revenues by Optimizing Emailing Practices with Online Buyers looked at how some of the top retailers in the U.S. handle email for buyers versus non-buyers and some of the tactics they use in their transactional messaging.

So this year we decided to turn some of our attention to the experience for email subscribers outside the U.S. We’ve said before that marketing in Europe is neither ahead nor behind the U.S. – it’s just different. This new study certainly proves that point. U.K. marketers aren’t doing demonstrably better or worse than their American counterparts. But they are definitely missing opportunities to improve their results with email marketing.

A few key findings:

  • 39 percent of the companies whose email lists our researchers subscribed to did not send an email within the timeframe of this study (35+ days). We suspect part of this problem is deliverability – messages were sent, but didn’t make it to the inbox of our researchers. In a time of global recession this is a huge problem for the companies affected.
  • 38 percent of companies required subscribers to create a website account for themselves to sign up for email. Most companies required filling out a number of mandatory fields before accepting an email subscription. Along with raising the specter of data privacy issues, this practice can seriously depress list growth rates.
  • 55 percent of the companies we studied did not send welcome messages to new subscribers. This is such a basic practice – and one that is so easy to implement – that it is a true shame that marketers are missing the chance to quickly build a relationship with new subscribers.
  • You can download the complete study here and read the press release here. And if you are an email marketer in the UK who needs help with improving deliverability or increasing response rates and ROI, contact us now.

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