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Email unsubscribe survey results

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday March 28, 2010 )

While no marketer likes people unsubscribing, making people jump hoops to get off a list is counter-productive – and can be illegal.

According to a Responsys Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study, 39% of major online retailers require three or more clicks to opt-out, up from 7% in 2008.

There’s just no point to this – making people cranky isn’t a great way to win friends and influence people. A single click is all it should take. If a merchant is concerned about “accidental” unsubscribe link clicks – and it does happen from time to time, on the “success” page after clicking the link simply have something like:

“Did you unsubscribe by accident? Don’t panic! You can enter your email address below and be back on the list in a jiffy!”

.. or similar.

In 2008, the Federal Trade Commission added new rule provisions to 2003’s CAN-SPAM act, one of which included that an email recipient must not have to take any steps other than sending a reply email message or visiting a *single* Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future email from a sender, nor have to provide anything more than an email address.

The Responsys survey also found 30% of retailers send one or more emails *after* an unsubscribe request, up from 26% in 2008. I’ve seen the excuses before such as “it may take up to 7 days to remove your name from our list” when unsubscribing. It simply doesn’t wash – most good email marketing software applications allow for immediate unsubscribe that is fully automated – it requires no human intervention at the marketer or merchants end.

Another interesting statistic mentioned in the survey report is that only 7% of marketers offer alternative channels like RSS, Facebook pages or Twitter profile details to departing subscribers. I certainly haven’t tried that and it’s an interesting idea worth a whirl as it wouldn’t take long to set up and then afterward requires zero maintenance.

Read more of the Responsys Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study



 

 
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