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250ok-personal-data-requested-internet-retailers-email-sign-up-process-oct2016How are the top 500 internet retailers collecting email addresses – and other information? A new analysis from 250ok takes a look at these retailers’ email sign-up processes, finding that fewer than 4 in 10 incentivized consumers to sign up via offers and promotions. That’s an interesting result given that the top reason why consumers opt in to brand emails is to receive promotions.

Nevertheless, 250ok notes that the 38% incentivizing consumers is up almost 10% points from last year’s study (29%).

In terms of opt-in placement, the analysis indicates that the footer (83%) remains the most common placement, far ahead of pop-ups (32%) and header (26%) use. Surprisingly, the analysts failed to find an email sign-up form on 5% of the websites they reviewed. The most popular pop-ups used were welcome mats (82%), with fewer using timed or triggered pop-ups (14%) or scrolling pop-ups (4%). (See here for retailers’ modal lightbox conversion benchmarks.)

Interestingly, fewer than half of the retailers asked for information beyond email addresses. Only 4 in 10 requested a name during a promotional sign-up, and about half as many asked for event-specific details (21%) and location (18%). Birthday (13%), gender (10%) and interests (9%) data requests were also sparse; it makes some sense that those might not be prioritized in early sign-ups, though it’s worth noting that response rates for birthday emails are far higher than for business-as-usual emails.

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In other results from the 250ok analysis:

  • About one-third of retailers allowed subscribers to use a third-party account to sign-up for emails, with Facebook (49%) and Google (23%) the most popular options;
  • Facebook data collection centered around public profile and email addresses, though some sought subscribers’ birthdays (16%) and friends list (10%);
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 retailers (9%) used a double opt-in process, though that was an increase from last year; and
  • 96% of the retailers examined sent a Welcome message.

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