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BizReport : Email Marketing : February 10, 2011

Email: Why are people disconnecting from you?

Over 90% of consumers have unsubscribed from permission-based emails because they are too frequent, irrelevant or uninteresting, according to a new study released this week by ExactTarget and CoTweet.

by Helen Leggatt

exacttarget logo.jpgThe study (.pdf) of over 1,500 consumers in the U.S. makes for interesting reading - 91% have unsubscribed from permission-based marketing emails, 81% have either unliked or removed a company from their Facebook newsfeed and 41% have unfollowed a company on Twitter.

Why are consumers binning their connections with brands they opted to engage with in the first place? Because, in most cases, they aren't being communicated with in a timely, relevant, and engaging manner.

The most common reason for unsubscriptions from permission-based email was frequency - 54% said they received too many. Another problem is engagement and relevancy of content - almost half (49%) unsubscribed if they became bored with email content over time.

"If after two or three emails there isn't anything relevant or exciting for me, I unsubscribe myself," said one 19 year old male respondent.

Forty-seven percent said they received too much email in general and unsubscribed from emails they haven't opened in a while to de-clutter their inbox.
"I'm on too many emailing lists and it's just taking up too much space in my inbox," said another respondent, a 27 year old female. "So if I notice that I never buy anything from them or haven't been reading their emails, I unsubscribe."

Not all subscribers bother to disconnect. Although Facebook and Twitter subscribers can unlike or unfollow, many choose to ignore Tweets or hide newsfeed posts rather than disconnect.

Email subscribers, on the other hand, usually take more action to be removed from a mailing list - 67% unsubscribe.

However, some don't bother to let a company know they don't want to continue receiving email messages. Seventeen percent simply delete emails as soon as they arrive in their inbox and 8% label them as spam or relegate emails to a junk folder. Just 6% do nothing.

Tags: consumer engagement, email, social media

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  • It only makes sense that people would unsubscribe after a while. This is just like the national do not call list and the tendency of junk mail to visit the waste receptacle.

  • I read the reviews on the basis of permission-based email marketing and makes it all too much sense. Me and a partner owned a small publishing house and over the years have always been based on direct mail. Over the years the response has declined and costs increased. We went to the email marketing and this is all new to us, we find very difficult, but there have been many improvements.



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