Survey: Segmented e-mails are key drivers for online sales

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Segmented and tailored e-mail messages can be a key driver for sales and personalized follow up can turn a one-time customer into a loyal repeat one.

This was a key finding from the recently released "Online Retail Report," sponsored by Bozeman, MT-based RightNow Technologies and conducted by Harris Interactive. RightNow is a provider of hosted customer service and support solutions.

The Online Retail Report revealed that 68 percent of consumers said they were prompted to browse a Web site after receiving an e-mail from a retailer, and 73 percent said they would appreciate any post-purchase follow up.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of RightNow Technology from March 26 to 28, among 2,873 adults.

The survey also found that 48 percent of consumers said they have increased shopping online "a great deal" or "somewhat" in the past five years.

In addition, the Online Retail Report found that turning browsers into buyers requires immediate access to information throughout the entire purchase process, and when customers can quickly and easily find answers to their questions, their satisfaction goes up and retailer's costs go down. In fact, 42 percent of consumers said they would prefer to be able to find the answers they need online by themselves if they had a question or needed help during an online shopping experience.

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