My company, Silverpop, recently unveiled some interesting findings in the final phase of its study of the email marketing practices of 175 major retailers.
Phase III of the "Retail Email Marketing Study" examines retailers' opt-out practices. In a nutshell, it found that companies generally do very little to maintain email relationships once recipients express a desire to opt-out. As a result, companies may be needlessly losing subscribers. For instance:
- Only 12 percent of retailers studied offered customers a chance to change their preferences in addition to simply opting-out.
- Only 3 percent asked customers why they were unsubscribing.
- Only 7 percent gave customers an opportunity to reconsider before leaving.
Although you should never place obstacles between your email customers and an easy opt-out, you still may be able to re-engage them. Phase III concludes that the most successful email programs treat opt-outs as critical customer touch points -- customers don't leave a list without being given an opportunity to state why, and each is presented with a variety of new options and real incentives to stay in addition to a fast and easy way to get off a list.
The study presents all sorts of interesting findings. If you'd like a copy, you can get it here.