CHICAGO, IL: Integrating email with other digital channels is one of the top three email marketing priorities for retailers in 2016, but many are still failing to make adequate use of the existing data they possess, according to a new study.

The 2016 Yesmail Marketing Channel Report was based on a limited sample of 200 retailers attending the National Retail Federation's Digital Summit last October but the findings were described as potentially "alarming". 

The report said that some 60% of retailers were integrating email with social channels like Facebook and Twitter, but almost half did not collect email addresses via any social media channels or at in-store locations.

Specifically, more than two thirds were not capturing addresses through the brand's mobile app, while 17% did not harvest addresses from visitors to a website.

Further, two thirds (64%) of retailers were not using customer data to personalise their email offers, while more than one third didn't personalise subject lines, and over half failed to use a recipient's name in the body of their emails.

"What used to be a 'bare minimum'" for email marketing has changed, Yesmail director of marketing Ivy Shtereva, told Marketing Land: personalisation is the new floor.

"While many brands have adopted a variety of digital channels, a surprising number of them are not implementing basic email marketing best practices," said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

He went on to argue that, before retailers thought about integrating with other digital channels, they ought to focus on utilising readily available data to improve existing email marketing strategies.

"From growing their subscriber base to developing more personalised content, as retailers fine-tune their email programs, integration with other channels will come more naturally," he added.

Data sourced from Yesmail, Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff