As the holidays approach, retailers are looking for new ways to connect with consumers online. In the past few years, a favorite tactic had been encouraging consumers to forward promotional emails to their friends or family members. This year, retailers will be trying something new.
According the Responsys data, the effectiveness of the forward-to-a-friend email strategy has been falling, from 48% in 2009 to 41% in 2011. And the share-with-your-network activity has dropped 1% in the past year. At the same time, community links usage has soared from 30% to 88%. Analysts believe this is largely because retailers are now bringing consumers directly to their own Facebook and Twitter pages via email marketing messages. Use of Facebook by retailers has undergone some changes. For example, 59% of merchants show Facebook links on their product pages.
Email remains a key strategy for many retailers with the following tactics being used to improve effectiveness:
- Growing email lists by requesting information at every contact point 44.6%
- Adjusting graphics and content in emails 41.1%
- Triggering email marketing messages based on behavior/events 39.3%
And while email and social media are still considered separate marketing formats, their integration is a big focus for 43% of marketing executives. This strategy is likely to continue beyond the upcoming holiday season.[Source: Retail Email Does More to Direct Subscribers to Social Sites. Emarketer.com. 8 Sep. 2011. Web. 22 Sep. 2011]