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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Retailer Study Follow-up: Pass CAN-SEND Now

We’re very close to writing letters to our representatives in Congress to have them reopen the CAN-SPAM Act and add a rule that says that companies have to start emailing people within 10 days of them signing up for newsletters—a sort of corollary to the rule that says companies have to honor unsubscribes within 10 days. Here’s why:

We did our initial research for this Benchmark Study back in mid-June, signing up for the email newsletters of 101 of the largest online retailers. In the months since then, we have received regular emails from just 86 of those retailers. Of the remaining 15 retailers, eight of them sent us welcome emails but nothing since (Amazon, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Diamond.com, FTD, Lowe’s, and Ross-Simons). The other seven retailers—1-800-Flowers, CDW, iTunes, Niketown, QVC, Sears, and Walgreens—have sent nothing at all.

Now one might conclude that after so many weeks that the subscription processes at these 15 retailers have completely failed, but we’re not so sure that can be said yet. The reason is that each week, a few more of the subscriptions finally kick in. For instance, within the last few weeks, we’ve started receiving regular emails from Sony, MLB, Reebok, Sam’s Club, Staples, Drs. Fosters & Smith, and J. Crew.

While the sign-up processes at these retailers turned out not to be complete failures, they were anything but a success. Surely the average person expects to start receiving ...

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