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How Can Your Unsubscribe Process Boost the Performance of Your Email Marketing Program?

Lyris/EmailLabs just released a white paper called "Unsubscribing in 2007: Marketers Can Get More Out of Goodbye" based on their survey of unsubscribe policies and practices among email marketers.

The good news is that almost all are complying with best practices about giving customers the opportunity to unsubscribe from their mailings, making it easy to find and use the unsubscribe link and honoring that unsubscribe relatively expeditiously.

However, marketers can do so much more to learn about their customers from the unsubscribe process and to offer alternatives that would retain them as customers somewhere within their databases.

Here are some of their findings:

  • 96% of marketers include an unsubscribe link in their promotional emails but fail to include it in other critical contact points in customers, including email communications, including welcome emails, transactional and customer support messages or autoresponders.
  • More than three-quarters of marketers use an easy unsubscribe method, such as a one-click unsubscribe link or reply to the email message, and another 25% let sub scribers access a profile-update page without having to log in first.
  • Over half of marketers acknowledge the unsubscribe on the landing page, while less than a third send an email confirmation. Eleven percent of marketers either don’t acknowledge the unsubscribe or have language that says they might continue to mail to the address until the 10-day CAN-SPAM window closes.
  • Fewer than 20% of marketers use the unsubscribe confirmation to remind recipients about other communication options or seek valuable exit information.
  • The bottom of the message, the area commonly called the “footer,” is the most likely location for the unsubscribe instructions.
  • Marketers continue to use tricks to discourage users from unsubscribing.
  • Most marketers rely on their email list software to encode the unsubscribe mechanism without testing the program to make sure it’s working.
  • 83% of marketers act to prevent future mailings to unsubscribed addresses, while 14% only delete the data records.
  • 6 in 10 marketers offer only a global removal option for unsubscribers.
  • Fewer than one-third of marketers go beyond the standard “click here to unsubscribe” language to include options that add value to their unsubscribe messages.
  • 90% of marketers honor unsubscribe requests that come through alternative channels.
  • Most marketers use one- or two-click unsubscribe procedures, although 1 in 10 requires three clicks or more.

Download the white paper here and read what they recommend us to do.

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