The Early Bird Catches the Worm

According to Direct Marketing Association’s E-mail Experience Council, nearly one-third of major online retailers that participated in the Retail Email Subscription Benchmark Study didn’t deliver their first regular email within two weeks of the subscription date. One-fifth took more than a month to deliver their first regular email or failed to deliver at all. That stands in sharp contrast to the 18% that delivered their first regular email within three days.

There are several opportunity costs associated with the delay of sending that first email promptly:

1. The more time that passes between sign-up and that first regular delivery, the greater the chance that subscribers will forget that they subscribed and will flag the email as spam.

2. Those customers who actively sought out your newsletter and subscribed may become annoyed at not receiving email within a week or two, and may feel like they have to take the time to resubscribe. The delayed or failed delivery will hurt the customer’s impression of your brand and cast doubt on the reliability of your Web site and IT systems.

3. Perhaps most important, you’re missing out on possible sales. I haven’t seen any research on this, but I’d also bet that subscribers who start receiving emails earlier are more likely to make a purchase earlier, because they were already in the mode of shopping or interacting with the retailer.

This shows the importance of having an automated marketing solution to ensure rapid response.

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