Less advanced tactics mean Nordic brands are missing out on key customer experience opportunities, according to a new report by dotmailer (featuring yours truly!) In this post, the folks over at dotmailer share a few of their findings, which may surprise you…

 

In an extension of dotmailer’s annual Hitting the Mark benchmarking report, 20 Nordic retailers went through a secret shopping and marketing communications evaluation. The goal? To reveal top email marketing tactics and pitfalls. The research process involved analyzing brands over a six-week period, reviewing everything from signing up to the mailing list, making searches on the website and purchasing a product, to scoring the emails that arrived as a result of the actions taken.

Interesting insights in terms of email marketing maturity emerged from the report, most notably:

 

  • Lack of relevancy in email marketing strategies

In terms of email marketing maturity, insight revealed retailers’ lack of relevancy. Just five of the 20 in the sample used basic segmentation to drive engagement in the inbox; this is alarming considering segmentation is one of the most rudimentary forms of targeting in the email marketing channel.

 

  • The absence of a proper ‘welcome’

It was surprising to see that 14 of the 20 brands failed to deliver the easiest and most common automated program: the welcome email. An email welcome series provides a key opportunity for retailers to build a stronger relationship from the start, promote unique selling points, and collect valuable data with a preference center.

H&M engages with new members of their shopping club by sending them this welcome email, which clearly introduces their offerings and encourages action.

 

One positive commonality…

While proper segmentation and welcome email messages were lacking across most brands, almost half of the them used email to combat cart recovery with personalized follow-up messages. This is a wise tactic when you realize that the average global cart abandonment rate sits at 69.23%.

 

Who ruled in the inbox?

Despite the concerning results, there were two retailers which really shone through. Musti ja Mirri, the Finnish pet food and accessories retailer, was the highest scorer by far in the report. It delivered a solid performance in all areas, but some of the most prominent highlights included tone of voice, personalization, branding and creativity.

 

Another top performer was Zalando, the Berlin-based online fashion retailer, which came in second and scored top overall for customer experience. It stepped things up a gear with its personalized and powerful abandoned cart emails, timely newsletters, and consistent tone of voice. In addition, the website was highly searchable and intuitive.

 

Did location play a role in email marketing performance?

Interestingly, no particular country has it completely in the bag.

There is no clear trend when it comes to geographic location, with retailers across the Nordics displaying varying levels of email marketing prowess. For example, Swedish business Åhlens came second in the table, with Webhallen, another Swedish firm, bringing up the rear.

If you’re interested in getting the full scoop, with a detailed analysis of each brand’s performance, you can download a free copy of Hitting the Mark here.