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Many times when I read best practice articles and case studies in the marketing media, retail companies are lauded for their innovative approaches and use of digital channels.

One channel that I’m thrilled has taken the limelight recently is email. Not only does it have almost unbeatable ROI, but it’s also the golden key to digital identity as Matt McGowan explained in a recent post.

So when you put the two together, you should get the winning combination right? Sure, this is the case many times but recent years have seen other sectors soar when it comes to email marketing performance. And retailers would do well to steal a trick or two!

ROI is the key stat

82% of retailers say ROI is excellent or good, which is well above the industry average as a whole so they are definitely using effective strategies. However, it’s worth noting that two sectors have pipped them to the top slot: travel and hospitality and charities, government and NFP.

2016 Sector Census ROI

In fact, retail performance is distinctly ‘middle of the road’ in many areas. Directly plotting sales against investment budgets shows that overall email still punches above its weight for every sector. Retailers achieve 21% of their sales from email marketing, yet only spends 13% of its total budget to achieve this – which is slightly below the industry average.

Confidence, it appears, has never been higher in email marketing overall. All sectors have seen a lift in their own email performance from 2015, some considerably more than others (-when asked How do you rate the performance of your company’s email campaigns?). However, retail email performance has slipped back in recent years relative to other sectors. Having topped the charts two years ago, firms in this sector are currently in the fourth position, just a single per cent above the industry average.

In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen other sectors adopt new email tactics and practices that enable them to ‘harvest the low hanging fruit’ and adopt best practices to close the gap on the industry leaders in performance terms, and even overtake them.

This article was originally published on the Internet Retailing website. Continue reading the rest of it >>