Email Experience Council Releases Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study
June 5, 2008 — The Email Experience Council (eec), the email marketing arm of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), today announced the release of its “Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study.” The new study examines the email design practices of 104 top online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot, and examines their performance in an images-off email environment. It also includes the results of a survey of 472 marketers regarding rendering issues, conducted in conjunction with SubscriberMail, the sponsor of this study.
“Increasingly, images are being blocked by default by email and webmail clients, changing the game for B-to-C marketers, many of whom have become accustomed to designing emails that are composed mostly of images,” said Jeanniey Mullen, eec founder and a chief marketing officer at Zinio. “The findings of this 41-page study should be extremely valuable to retailers, service companies, and other B-to-C companies who are looking for new ideas on how to make their email designs more effective in the current environment.”
“The results of this study underscore the importance of proactively designing email to compensate for image suppression,” said Jordan Ayan, CEO of SubscriberMail. “Specifically, email marketers must design emails to work with and without images present and test to ensure optimal image rendering. Marketers whose design accounted for image suppression reported impressive lifts in key performance areas. Still, a significant percent of email marketers realize this issue, yet fail to take action to address it.”
Commenting on the eec study, DMA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, Ph.D., said, “The email environment is constantly evolving, constantly challenging marketers to keep up with the latest best practices. Rendering within email clients and on mobile devices is currently one of those major challenges — and conquering these can make a significant difference to the success of a marketer’s email program.”
“By optimizing emails for image suppression, double-digit percentage improvements are possible," said Chad White, the eec’s director of retail insights and editor-at-large, founder of RetailEmail.Blogspot, and the study’s author. "So there’s ample incentive for marketers to follow the leaders and redesign their templates and alter their design processes.”
The new study, which is available in the eec’s Whitepaper Room, found that 23 percent of retailers send emails that are completely unintelligible when images are blocked. Of the 77 percent that sent intelligible emails, there were significant variations in clarity based on their use of HTML text and alt tags.
For instance, only 42 percent of retailers designed emails that were a good mix of HTML text and images, and only 63 percent of retailers used alt tags on their images adequately or extensively. A marketer’s use of HTML text and alt tags are major determinants of the intelligibility of their emails.
Findings from the eec’s Retail Email Rendering Benchmark Study include:
· 14 percent of retailers compose their navigation bars with HTML text rather than images.
· 3 percent of retailers used HTML call-to-action buttons rather than images.
· 88 percent of retailers include a “click to view” link in their preheader text.
· 63 percent of retailers include whitelisting instructions in their preheader text.
· The emails from only 21 percent of retailers displayed meaningful snippet text.
The new eec study can be purchased for $219 by visiting the eec’s Whitepaper Room at http://www.emailexperience.org/Login-Whitepaper-Room. Members of the eec may obtain the report at a discounted rate.
[Members of the press may request a free copy of the study by contacting Ali Swerdlow of the eec at 212.790.1483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.]
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About the Email Experience Council (eec)
The Email Experience Council (eec) (www.emailexperience.org), the Direct Marketing Association’s vertical working group that is focused on the email marketing industry, is a global professional organization striving to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and advocating its importance in business, and its ROI value. The eec is committed to regularly conducting a broad series of email initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle, and branding device. Additionally, eec members are setting the standards for email through Member Roundtables. The eec members are representatives of other trade organizations, agencies, advertisers, technology partners, clients, and companies focused on the potential of email marketing via mobile and other digital devices.
SubscriberMail provides email marketing services and easy to use, sophisticated technology for email marketers. Customers of all sizes and from diverse industries rely on SubscriberMail to help solve their email problems through proven processes, patented solutions and expert knowledge. Interactive marketers voted SubscriberMail the best email solution in ClickZ’s Marketing Excellence award three years consecutively. Inc. ranks SubscriberMail number 596 on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country. SubscriberMail is located in Lisle, Ill. For more information, go to http://www.subscribermail.com.
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