Retailers Making It Tougher to Opt Out
It’s getting harder to say goodbye to some retailers. A review
of the 100 top online retailers find that a growing number are making it tougher
for customers to unsubscribe from email lists and are less gracious when someone
opts to not receive emails.
According to the Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study by Responsys,
39 percent of retailers studied required three or more clicks for consumers
to opt-out of mailings, up from seven percent in 2008. Retailers were also
sending more emails after a shopper opted-out with 30 percent sending one or
more emails following an unsubscribe request versus 26 percent in 2008. Only
16 percent send a “Goodbye” or “Thank you” message for those opting-out.
“When you’re competing against the ruthless efficiency and trustworthiness
of the ‘report spam’ button, your email opt-out process needs to
be friction-free and provide options ISPs can’t give their users,” said
Chad White, research director at Responsys and author of the study, in a press
“Savvy marketers respect their email subscribers and provide relevant
content to drive engagement — and they also let subscribers go when they’re
not engaged,” said Ed Henrich, vice president of professional services
at Responsys. “Marketers need to make it easy to unsubscribe and to re-subscribe
when the time is right.”
Discussion Questions: Are the findings of the Responsys
research worrying to you? What are your best practices for retailers handling
email communications with shoppers?