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Email unsubscribe process improves, but beware 'silent unsubscribes'
Over the past five years, marketers have made it simpler for consumers to unsubscribe from a brand's email marketing program, according to new research from Return Path. But, beware a potential problem with one-click unsubscribes - the 'silent unsubscribe'.
In 2008, it was relatively easy to unsubscribe from a brand's email marketing messages, although attempts to tempt consumers back into the fray with a final plea message were common. Today, those final pleas aren't as prolific, and email marketers are ceasing to send marketing messages within the CAN-SPAM Act's 10-day window, according to Return Path's "Email Subscriber Experience 2008-2013 Report" (.pdf).
Instead, more best practice methods have been implemented by brands sending email - methods such as asking consumers' preferences in terms of message type or even email frequency. And, while very few marketers (2 in Return Path's 2008 study) asked those who unsubscribed from email in 2008 why they did so, that has now risen to almost a quarter of marketers.
"These brands represent some of the most sophisticated email marketers in the world, as well as category leaders in customer care and relationship development. To see from the subscriber's point of view how their tactics have evolved in the past five years offers invaluable insight into what consumers want and how leading marketers are shifting to accommodate them," said George Bilbrey, Return Path co-founder and president.
While making it easier for recipients to unsubscribe from email is the preferred way forward, brands must be aware of a potential problem - the 'silent unsubscribe' - as discovered by email test and tracking firm Litmus earlier this year. Recipients of email messages, forwarded by original subscribers, who believed the message to be spam, may click on the one-step unsubscribe message and remove the original, and potentially engaged and active, subscriber.
Image via Shutterstock
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