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BizReport : Email Marketing : May 01, 2008

Survey: Opt-in and opt-out procedures need improvement

Email marketers could do better when it comes to opting-in and opting out processes, and are missing golden opportunities for retention and data collection.

by Helen Leggatt

The number of email marketers that use a double, or confirmed, opt-in method when registering subscribers stands at just 30%, a low number considering the damaging effect spam, perceived or real, can have on a business or brand’s reputation.

Despite this, some marketers are avoiding double opt-in methods as they believe the extra stage will put consumers off registering.

eroi%20logo.jpgSuch are the findings of eROI’s annual “The Cradle & The Grave” survey, which this year involved over 520 email marketers.

It’s not just opting-in procedures that email marketers could improve. When consumers advise they wish to opt-out, a huge 90% miss the opportunity to put forward an exit survey to discover their reasons for leaving. Perhaps that consumer felt the email frequency was too high or the format annoying.

Likewise, eROI’s survey found that a third of email marketers don’t send an opt-out confirmation email which could offer alternative methods of communication or provide a final opportunity for the consumer to change their mind.

When consumers do finally part company and confirm their desire to opt-out, 30% of eROI’s respondents failed to delete that data from other systems that may have shared the consumer’s information, a situation which could breach CAN-SPAM compliance.

eROI’s report can be viewed online (.pdf).

Tags: email marketing, opt-out, permission-based

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  • If a customer unsubscribes from a mailing list because they got annoyed with the high frequency, or another similiar reason, do you think sending them an opt-out survey or confirmation email would help? Wouldn't something like that just add to the annoyance? I don't disagree with the recommend practices contained in our survey, but I believe there are exceptions.

    Jeff Kempf, marketing intern at



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