MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Email subscribers on the rise, post-engagement lags

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

New subscribers are bolstering marketers’ subscription bases by leaps and bounds, yet click rates continue to decline.

New subscribers make up an average of 6% of marketers' subscriber bases. This is an 8% increase year-over-year (YoY), and 30% jump over the last three years, according to “Q1 2017 Email Marketing Compass: The New Age of Email Marketing,” a report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

Subscriber motivation to open brand emails has also increased. Open rates grew 4% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and 9% YoY to reach 16.1%, the highest it's been in the last four years.

However, click rates have consistently declined over time. In Q1 2017, the average click-to-open (CTO) rate decreased by 13% YoY and 22% over the last two years, indicating that brands are not giving consumers what they're looking for in the long run, the study revealed.

"Our findings show that, contrary to what some may believe, consumers actually want to receive marketing emails," said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

"At the same time, however, the decline in click rates shows that marketers' content isn't meeting subscribers' expectations,” he said. “To maintain an engaged subscriber base, marketers need to offer valuable, relevant, and personalized information at every stage of their customers' lifecycles.”

According to the report, one of the best ways for marketers to combat engagement challenges is by implementing triggered campaigns. While triggers are growing in adoption, they made up less than 7% of total emails sent in the first quarter of 2017. Yet, they generated almost five times the click rate, almost double the open rate, and nearly triple the CTO rate of business-as-usual emails.

Other findings include:

• The average order value for triggered retail messages was $61.54 compared to $56.34 for non-triggered messages, a 9% increase.

• The average click to open rate was 8.9%, which remained about the same QoQ and decreased 13% YoY.

• With the exception of Q4 2016, Saturday emails have been the best for conversions three out of the last four quarters.

"It's evident that marketers are working toward mastering subscriber acquisition, but they still struggle to create engaging, long-lasting relationships with their customers," said Michael Iaccarino, CEO and chairman of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing. "Marketers need to communicate faster, smarter, and better at every step of the customer journey.”

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FINANCE

Sporting goods retailer’s sales disappoint in Q1; to streamline ops

BY Marianne Wilson

Dick’s Sporting Goods came up short on same-store sales growth in its first quarter amid what the company called “a challenging retail environment.”

Dick’s, the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, also announced it has conducted a corporate reorganization to streamline its operations and reduce expense. In the second quarter, it expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $7 million for severance and other employee-related costs associated with the elimination of positions, primarily at the company's store support center.

The company reported net income of $58.2 million, or 52 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared to $56.9 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted EPS was 54 cents, in line with expectations.

Net sales for the quarter increased 9.9% to about $1.8 billion. Consolidated same-store sales rose 2.4% below expectations. E-commerce sales increased 11.0%. Online penetration for the quarter equaled 9.3% of total net sales, compared to 9.2% last year.

"Despite a challenging retail environment, we realized growth across each of our three primary categories of hardlines, apparel and footwear, and were pleased with the performance of our newly relaunched e-commerce site," said Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO. "We remain optimistic as we drive profitable growth on our new e-commerce platform, make marked progress on our new merchandising strategy and continue to capture market share."

Dick’s expects to open approximately 43 new namesake stores in 2017, along with approximately eight new Golf Galaxy stores, and eight new Field & Stream stores. As of April 29, 2017, the company operated 691 Dick’s stores in 47 states, 98 Golf Galaxy stores in 32 states, and 29 Field & Stream stores in 14 states, with approximately 1.4 million sq. ft.

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M.Kavanagh says:
May-17-2017 02:26 pm

Dick's sales
It would be interesting to see exactly where sales shortfall was. With all of the eliminated competition in sporting goods, I expected sharp sales increase at Dick's. Is decline of golf hurting them that badly? That would be across hardliners and apparel, and to lesser extent footwear, I assume.

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C-SUITE

Pilot Flying J adds new executive position

BY Marianne Wilson

Pilot Flying J has added a new title to its management team.

The company announced that Whitney Haslam-Johnson, previously VP of brand and customer experience, has been named to the new position of chief experience officer at Pilot Flying J. Johnson is also a member of the company’s board.

In her new role, Johnson's primary focus will be on creating positive and memorable moments, while elevating the overall team member and guest experiences. She will lead Pilot Flying J's marketing innovation and enhancements across all channels. Johnson will also play a key leadership role in the continuing modernization of existing travel centers that includes new food options, improved retail offerings, upgraded restrooms and more efficient parking solutions for professional drivers.

In addition, Johnson will continue overseeing a portfolio of responsibilities from her previous position, including: advertising, media, public relations, rebranding and remodeling of all Pilot and Flying J locations, directing sports and marketing sponsorships and the rollout of new digital communication tools.

Pilot Flying J is the largest operator of travel centers in North America. It has more than 750 retail locations, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers and 35 Boss Shops.

"Making Pilot Flying J a great place to work and shop is something we talk about constantly, and Whitney has the passion and drive to do both," said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. "It's that best-in-class experience that will help Pilot Flying J remain the leading travel center brand in North America."

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