Email Subscribe Forms Report

Brands are missing the boat on email acquisition

By Kath Pay

Email marketing is a brand’s best opportunity to encourage customers to stay loyal and spend more. But, Preparing for GDPR: The State of Retail Email Subscribe Forms in 2018, a new research report by UK email consultancy Holistic Email Marketing and in partnership with marketing-technology provider Pure360, found many brands pay scant attention to the all-important email subscription process.

“They look at it only as a simple transaction – they provide the form; the customer fills it in; the emails start to flow. But it’s far more important,” says Kath Pay, Founder, and CEO of Holistic Email Marketing and author of the report. “If you see email as the motivating factor that keeps customers moving on the path from inquiry to purchase to loyalty, then one thing quickly becomes clear: A subscribe process which has been optimised to be as seamless and painless as possible is a must-have for both short-term and long-term success.”

“Brands that can get this down to a fine art will see their lists grow like crazy,” says Komal Helyer, Marketing Director for Pure360. “This has a positive knock-on effect on customer lifetime value, setting the tone for a lucrative relationship.”

Six top findings in the report

Subscribe forms:

  • 87% of brands put the signup in the bottom half of their websites’ homepages, and one brand didn’t have a newsletter subscribe on the homepage.
  • Only 46% of subscribe forms listed clear benefits.

Account-registration forms

  • 38% of registration forms did not allow customers to open accounts using the same email addresses they provided to opt into commercial email messages.
  • Most account registration forms have 5 to 7 mandatory fields.
  • Nearly half – 49% – of permission-granting checkboxes loaded with the box already checked, requiring the customer to remove the checkmark to avoid opting in.

Post-registration process

  • Only 43% of retailers sent a follow-up email to confirm account-registration details.

Takeaways from the report and GDPR compliance

The report also outlines what brands can do right now to make their subscribe processes more appealing and less painful, resulting in many more new subscribers. Here’s a sample:

  • Be visible on the homepage and every relevant interior page.
  • Focus on benefits of opting in.
  • Add a checkbox to your account-registration form asking for permission to send marketing messages to customers who haven’t opted in for marketing messages.

Alerts Marketers to New Permission Requirements under GDPR

The report also explains new requirements for email permission under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect this May. It outlines what brands can and cannot do to gain permission to send marketing emails to their customers and subscribers and what the consequence is for not rising to the challenge.”

“Our concern is that brands that don’t study the matter, plan for changes and test to find the methods that work best while complying with the law may find their list growth severely reduced,” the report says.

How Preparing for GDPR: The State of Retail Email Subscribe Forms in 2018 was compiled

In January, employees of Holistic Email Marketing opted into the email programmes of more than 80 UK retailers. They also created accounts with retailers that offered that option and then compiled all the results to develop a comprehensive picture of retailers’ email practices.

Access your copy of the report by visiting the download link here

Originally posted on Market Insider