First impressions are everything. When it comes to their newsletters, the top retailers largely fall into two camps: those that make the sign-up process as quick and painless as possible, and those that make it rich and personalized.
Half of the top retailers offered one-click sign-up for their newsletters, allowing people to sign up by entering their email address in a field on the retailer’s homepage and clicking “sign up.” It doesn’t get any more pain free than that.
The second group, representing 24 percent of the retailers in the study, went for personalization, offering subscribers more than one newsletter or product focus from which to choose. In fact, these retailers offered an average of 9.5 different newsletters or product focuses to choose from. Barnes & Noble had the widest selection, offering 24 newsletters on a variety of subjects.
Unfortunately, there is also a third group of retailers, the 26 percent that make signing up for their newsletters cumbersome or intrusive. This group includes the 13 percent of the top retailers that require subscribers to create an account in order to sign up for their newsletters. It also includes the 7 percent that required the subscriber’s mailing address and the 4 percent that required their phone number—both pieces of sensitive information that many people aren’t comfortable giving out just to receive an email newsletter. These retailers risked not only losing potential newsletter subscribers but also ...