Best of the Best: Which Department Stores Have Optimized Their Email Programs
While Kohl's earned the top spot for department store marketers, nearly all the brands we observed earned higher placement and engagement over the holiday season. This may be a reflection of an increase in demand for holiday content during the gift-giving season.
The department stores (and other industry's brands) that are missing the most from their email marketing program are those failing to connect with their customers. No matter how clever your copy is or how enticing your offer, if your emails aren't making it to your customers you're not getting their business. Having a low inbox placement rate and reputation score hurts your brand and causes you to lose customers.
For those messages that passed the first hurdle of landing in the inbox, the next step is creating a positive, worthwhile relationship with your customers. When your subscribers show passive disinterest (i.e., delete unopened rate) or active displeasure (i.e., spam complaints), mailbox providers take notice and limit your inbox placement, placing you back at square one. Retailers should constantly monitor their email metrics to ensure they're connecting with their customers and quickly addressing any signs of a declining relationship.
Tom Sather is the senior director of research at Return Path, an email marketing solution that helps to improve deliverability and ROI.