2010 Customer Registration Best Practices Report

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Don't leave them on the table.
One of the most important ways to grow a database is through email acquisition. Whether it’s through promotional efforts, incentives, or ordinary customer sign ups, a company’s website is a natural tool to collect email addresses. And retailers have a bevy of methods in which to collect emails—from text boxes and pop-ups to email address-only captures and full-length registration forms. 

The consensus is that consumers typically favor short forms. But length isn’t everything. Some companies may find value requesting additional information to personalize their communications. Over time, retailers can direct customers to preference centers to update personal information, manage contact frequency, and select content they want to receive.
The opt-in process should be painless and speedy. Yet Email Institute’s and Multichannel Merchant’s examination of 182 top retailers and their respective registration processes shows some areas need improvement. For example, 75.2% of retailers surveyed require a multi-step email sign-up process. What’s more, some retailers miss out entirely on crucial communications. Only 48.3% of retailers surveyed send customers a welcome email.
This report details the current customer registration processes based on data collected over a two-month period when Email Institute and Multichannel Merchant subscribed and documented email marketing communications from 182 top brick and mortar and online retailers and top restaurant brands. The report explores the entire registration process—from sign-up locations and the prevalence of geo-targeting to email format and confirmation pages. The research includes case studies and best practice tips to help retailers improve their registrations strategies.
Beyond registration, this report also covers the prevalence of social media registration and SMS opt-in registration.
No matter which strategy retailers use for their customer registration, testing is key. With any acquisition, it’s important to test registration locations and the length of required fields. Nothing is set in stone, and testing often will determine which tactics work best, the profitability of email addresses, and what marketing strategies rise to the top to build long-term customer response.
Beyond the research, Email Institute and Multichannel Merchant wrote case studies documenting the registration process for three major retailers— Gap, IKEA, and Staples. Each case study includes a critique and overview of the registration process, as well as best practice tips.
Fill out the form to the right to view the on demand webinar and download the full report and associated case studies.
*Please note, as this is a joint research project with Multichannel Merchant, your registration information will be shared jointly.

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