Email is a challenge for CPG brands. The category has one of the lowest email open rates, but it is second best when click-to-open rates are calculated. The contradicting findings suggest that email can be an effective marketing and conversion tool once opened.

Yet, CPG brands’ marketing efforts are disorganized. For example, 70% of brands have email sign-up on their site but only 40% of them sent a single email during the study period. Unilever is the biggest culprit; it offers email sign-up for 92% of its 12 brand sites, but has the sign-up buried in the Contact Us page. Unilever brands are among the most inactive in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care | US, sending an average of 0.03 emails per week. Kao brands Jergens, Curél and Ban send welcome emails after sign-up, but that is the last consumers hear from them.

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Kimberly-Clark has the most active email program of all brands in the L2 study. All of its brands have email signup, and users can user the same login across various brand sites. Pampers, Burt’s Bees, Gillette, and Dove also have creative email programs. Pampers times its emails to the baby’s age, which is collected at sign-up. Burt’s Bees sends mostly promotion-oriented emails and Dove Insider email subject lines promote freebies. Gillette sends one email per month promoting its razor subscription program or ongoing contests.

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