Looking at the top 100 UK retailers, email marketing commitment and effectiveness across the group does unfortunately suffer from some weak spots, according to a new study by technology supply organisation, Silverpop TM.

The Silverpop study, an annual examination of the top 100 UK retail companies as defined by the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) organisation, found that over 20% of those in the list did not send their customers an email within 30 days of receiving permission for such email communications to be sent.

Silverpop points out that as well as missing out on potential sales by not contacting customers, there is also a danger that a customer might forget about giving consent and therefore react badly when emails do eventually start to come through.

A second issue identified in the report is that of a failure among almost 90% of top retailers to contact customers when online shopping baskets have not been taken through to checkout. The report suggests that a prompt engagement with such ‘interrupted’ customers could well provide a valuable opportunity to rescue a potential sale.

On a positive note, the report points out that, generally, email marketing is proving to be a sophisticated and effective tactic among the retailers surveyed.

Siverpop’s director of marketing EMEA, Richard Evans, does however warn that ‘as more consumers demand relevant, personalised content’, the most successful retailers will be those that are ‘the best listeners’ and who use use proven, sophisticated techniques such as relevant automated emails in response to specific actions on the part of the customer.