Email Experience Council Releases 'Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study'
January 25, 2007 — The Email Experience Council (eec), the email marketing arm of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), today announced the release of its first annual “Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study.” The new study examines the opt-out practices of 94 of the top online retailers tracked via RetailEmail.Blogspot.
“This 30-page study dissects the unsubscribe process and examines its various elements, giving email marketers an in-depth look at all of the issues to consider,” said Jeanniey Mullen, eec founder and a senior partner and executive director for Email and Dialogue Services at OgilvyOne worldwide. “Its findings should be extremely valuable to retailers, service companies, and other B-to-C companies who are looking for new ideas and benchmarks against which to measure their own opt-out practices.”
“Email is a relationship channel, and opting out of the relationship is just another step in the lifecycle,” said Kara Trivunovic, director of strategic services at Premiere Global Services Inc., the study’s sponsor. “Ignore it at your own peril.”
Commenting on the eec study, DMA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, Ph.D., said, “A new marketing paradigm has emerged — one in which the consumer is in control. In this environment — regardless of the marketing channel employed — the savvy marketer respects consumers’ needs and preferences, including, of course, honoring a person’s choice to opt out of future solicitations. Those organizations that recognize and respond to consumers’ choices will find themselves the marketplace winners.”
“Increasingly, one of the most important benchmarks for your unsubscribe process should be the single click of the ‘report spam’ button," said Chad White, the eec’s director of retail insights, editor-at-large, and founder of RetailEmail.Blogspot, and the study’s author. "Unfortunately, some consumers already regularly use it to unsubscribe from email that they no longer want. So if your process becomes confusing or cumbersome, consumers know they have that easy-to-use fallback. This makes it more important than ever to have a frictionless opt-out process.”
The new study, which is available in the eec’s Whitepaper Room, found that while major online retailers do a great job of honoring unsubscribe requests quickly, there’s plenty of room for their opt-out processes to improve — most notably in the areas of providing subscribers with alternatives to opting out and of lowering barriers to opting out.
For instance, only 66 percent of retailers use their opt-out processes to attempt to engage subscribers to ask why they want to opt out — and few do more than a superficial job of it. When looking at opt-out barriers, only 9 percent of major online retailers employ a one-click unsubscribe process, while another 35 percent easily could, but don’t.
Here are some other findings from the eec’s Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study:
· More than 86 percent of retailers honored opt-outs within three days, with most of them effective immediately, as evidenced by the number of emails received after opting out.
· 4 percent of retailers were in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 by either failing to honor opt-outs or taking longer than 10 business days to do so.
· 73 percent of retailers sent no more emails after receiving an opt-out request.
· 16 percent of retailers gave those trying to opt-out an opportunity to reduce the frequency at which they would receive emails.
· 17 percent of retailers solicited feedback from those who had opted out.
The new eec study can be purchased for $179 by visiting the eec’s Whitepaper Room at http://www.emailexperience.org/Login-Whitepaper-Room. Members of eec may obtain the report at a discounted rate and, as part of a special promotion, attendees of the eec’s Email Evolution Conference can receive the study for free.
[Members of the press may request a free copy of the study by contacting the eec’s Ali Swerdlow at 212.790.1483 or email@example.com.]
Email Evolution Conference
Feb. 12-13 in San Diego
To register or access additional information about the Email Evolution Conference, which will be held February 12-13 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego, please visit www.emailevolution.org.
About the Email Experience Council (eec)
The Email Experience Council (eec) (www.emailexperience.org), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) vertical working group that is focused on the email marketing industry, is a global professional organization striving to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and advocating its importance in business, and its ROI value. The eec is committed to regularly conducting a broad series of email initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle, and branding device. Additionally, eec members are setting the standards for email through Marketing Roundtables. The eec members are representatives of other trade organizations, agencies, advertisers, technology partners, clients, and companies focused on the potential of email marketing via mobile and other digital devices.
About Premiere Global Services, Inc.
Premiere Global Services, Inc. is a global provider of on-demand business process improvement solutions that enable businesses to automate and simplify their business processes and to communicate more efficiently and effectively with their constituents. Its Premiere Global Communications Operating System offers hundreds of industry-specific business applications within the following solutions: Conferencing, Desktop Fax, Document Delivery, Accounts Receivable Management, Notifications & Reminders and eMarketing.
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and with presence in 19 countries worldwide, Premiere Global delivers solutions to an established customer base of over 47,000 companies, including nearly 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Additional information can be found at PGiConnect.com.
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