Good to see that airlines aren’t the only ones having trouble getting the basics of email marketing correct. A study looking at 41 UK retailers put Marks & Spencer and H Samuel at the top of the list, but Somerfield and H&M were left sharing the wooden spoon. Some valid criticism was made of many of the companies in their study, for example:

  • Failing to use a personal greeting on emails, despite getting recipients’ names when they signed up
  • No clear call to action, or not placed in a prominenet position above the fold
  • Complex unsubscribe process, or no middle ground with unsubscibe requests (all or nothing approach)

I heard of one job currently open: working for Oprah as her email marketing analyst based in Los Angeles; looks like she is one person who recognizes the importance of getting this right. The applicant needs to possess  “Strong quantitative skills and analytical abilities” which is my way of leading into a great quote I read last weekend whilst perusing the McKinsey Quarterly. It comes from Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google

“I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?”

Maybe combine that with my post from yesterday about there being a great future in airlines for good revenue management people who can model and implement variable pricing for a la carte airline services and it all leads to the tenth bullet point in PhoCusWright’s top 10 travel technology trends for 2009 released yesterday: Business intelligence and analytics move to the forefront. Enough said.