Subscriber Engagement: Top Apparel Brands Pulling Away From the Field
Customers go further for the brands that truly inspire them. In email, that means not merely reading their favorite brands’ messages, but searching the spam folder when they can't find them. Among top apparel retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew distance themselves from the rest in these as well as other measurements of subscriber engagement.
To compare apparel retailers’ email programs, Return Path examined a year's worth of engagement data across Internet Retailer's Hot 100 E-Retailers of 2013, including 43 brands in the analysis. We looked at how much of each sender's email was read, deleted without reading, delivered to the spam folder, complained about (this is spam, or TIS), and rescued from the spam folder (this is not spam, or TINS), and we calculated each brand's average Sender Score (a measure of sending reputation) for 52 weeks ending in early August. The difference between the winners and everyone else was striking.
Abercrombie & Fitch had the highest average read rate and Sender Score of the group, and managed to score in the top five in every metric we measured. J.Crew achieved the highest TINS rate, and only barely trailed Abercrombie in read rate and Sender Score. Compared to the rest of the group, these two brands’ messages were read more than twice as frequently and their Sender Scores were twice as high.
Comparing the blended averages of the top four brands to the bottom four, and to the other 35 senders in the group, presents a consistent picture of high performers pulling away from the field while low performers falling far behind. The combined average Sender Score for the top four (96) placed them comfortably ahead of the middle (86) and vastly ahead of the bottom four (54). The best senders’ messages were read 77 percent more frequently than the middle group's and 240 percent more frequently than the bottom four's messages. The top group's messages were more than 10 times as likely to be rescued from the spam folder than the bottom four's.