Smith-Harmon just released its Retail Welcome Email Benchmark Study, which examines best practices at 112 of the Internet's largest retailers. And in a recent post at the Email Karma blog, Matt Vernhout highlights some of the study's key takeaways:

  • Text-only Welcome messages are becoming a thing of the past. "More than 89% of retailers sent HTML welcome emails," notes the study, "up from 78% in 2007 and 69% in 2006."
  • Welcome messages are often used to enhance deliverability. Almost 70% of the survey's participants invited new subscribers to add the sender address to their address books.
  • CAN-SPAM compliance continues to strengthen. Over 70% of respondents reported the inclusion of unsubscribe links and physical mailing addresses in their messages.
  • Few take advantage of forwarding links. A scant 15% invite recipients to forward a message to a friend; and none include a share-with-your-network (SWYN) link, which is expected to become more popular this year, even in Welcome emails.
  • Only 76% even send Welcome messages to new subscribers. "Given the opportunity to build trust between the consumer and the marketers," Vernhout says, "it's unfortunate that so many [companies] still don't seem to be taking advantage of these messaging programs."

The Po!nt: Be a gracious host. If you're not sending out optimized Welcome messages to your new subscribers, now is the time to do so!

Source: Email Karma. Read the full post here.

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