02 08/2007Damien Buckley Trend towards smooth, transparent email subscription

A report recently published by The Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council found that there’s a clear trend toward subscription processes that are quick and easy, and increasingly transparent.

“The old adage ‘you only get one chance to make a good first impression’ transcends to an email marketer’s efforts in creating a good opt-in experience,” says Elie Ashery, president and CEO of email marketing software and services company Gold Lasso, the sponsor of the study. “The opt-in process sets the tone of how a future email relationship between a company and customer will unfold.”

Another best-practice approach is the provision of sample newsletters, according to the study.

Among other findings:

  • 28 percent of retailers offer more than one email content selection, ranging from two to 50.
  • Less than a mere 7 percent of retailers tell subscribers how many emails to expect.
  • Nearly 12 percent of retailers offer plain-text versions of e-newsletters during sign-up.
  • Just 3 percent of major online retailers use double-opt-in.
  • 92 percent of retailers have an email sign-up form or link on their homepage.
  • Some 43 percent of retailers allow customers to sign up for email with one click from their homepage.
  • Subscriber name (31 percent) and ZIP code (18 percent) were the two most often required pieces of information.

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