9 in 10 Email Users Have Unsubscribed

February 9, 2011

exact-email-profile-feb-2011.JPGNine in 10 (91%) US email users have subscribed to a company’s email and later decided they don’t want to receive it, according to [pdf] a new report from Exact Target and CoTweet. Data from “The Social Break-up” also indicates 18% of email users say they never open email from companies, and 77% of all US online consumers say they have become more cautious in the past year about giving their email addresses to companies.

Email Still Popular

Despite the above statistics, email use in general remains extremely popular with US online consumers. A full 95% use email, and 93% subscribe to at least one permission-based email per day. Forty-two percent of those subscribers say they are more likely to buy a company’s products once they have signed up for its permission-based email.

Unsubscribe Most Common Negative Email Reaction

exact-email-responses-feb-2011.JPGStudy data indicates that when online consumers are no longer interested in a company’s permission-based emails, they get right to the point. Two-thirds (67%) simply unsubscribe. Another 17% delete the emails when they arrive, and 8% click a spam or junk button.

More passively, 6% simply do nothing. Two percent take the action of setting up a filter.

Frequency Biggest Email Turnoff

exact-email-unsub-feb-2011.JPGThe most common complaint given by consumers as a reason they unsubscribe from a company’s permission-based emails is that they come too frequently (54%). Another 49% (more than one answer permitted to this question) cite the content becoming boring or repetitive over time. Receiving too many emails closely follows, being cited by 47% of respondents.

After these three reasons, the percentages drop significantly. Twenty-five percent of respondents say they unsubscribe because the content wasn’t relevant from the start, and 24% prefer to seek out information rather than have it pushed by companies. Another 22% only signed up for a one-time offer, with smaller percentages citing changing circumstances, switching to another company, and finding another way of getting the information.

Email Segmentation, Blasts Most Common

Four in 10 global marketers (43%) use email segmentation to personalize messages by audience, according to a recent survey from Alterian. Another 44% are still employing email blasts of some kind, although 26% use basic personalization and 18% blast out on a mass basis.

This means only a small portion (13%) deliver emails based on preferences at the individual customer level, monitored in real-time.


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