Email falling short in travel

Email CRM falling short in travel

(11 March 2008)

Email marketing campaigns provided by some of the biggest names in travel are failing to comply with best practice guidelines and legal requirements, a survey has found.

The study of 46 major UK retailers across a number of industry sectors found 46% did not include basic legal information such as company registration number, country of origin and registered office address.

Amongst travel providers, STA Travel, Thomson and First Choice performed well on the index of companies, scoring 85.5%, 81.5% and 81% respectively.

However the survey found that Expedia – with 59% on the index – featured in the worst five offenders list.

Flight Centre and each scored 63% in the study carried out by Dotmailer.

A total of 20 different criteria were used to evaluate the email marketing campaigns of the 46 retailers in the study – a list which also included Topshop, ASDA, H&M, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Somerfield and Office.

These included use of landing pages, targeting, calls-to-action, timing, unsubscribe details, rendering across different email clients and recommendation information.

Dotmailer business development director, Tink Taylor, who is also a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Marketing Council, said: “There is a long way to go in understanding that email requires specific skills and expertise that offline designers and website developers do not always possess or are not actually aware of.

“These key elements are essential to ensuring that email marketing activity engages customers, encourages them to interact with brands, and ultimately, impact sales.”

The best performer amongst the 46 retailers was Topshop with 86.5%, followed by STA Travel, ASDA (84.5%) and Marks & Spencer (83.5%).

The worst included Office (54%), H&M and Lidl (both with 57%).

Taylor said: “With spam accounting for 85-95% of all emails sent, it is now more crucial than ever for marketers to get their message across.

“However, ISPs are filtering out marketing email and consumers are becoming more selective in the way they view, read and delete emails.”

by Kevin May