New Research Study: How the Unsubscribe Process Impacts Sender Reputation

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

In June we published a research study on how top brands manage the sign-up and welcome experience for their subscribers. As you might recall, our findings were rather shocking. Big, well-known brands were falling down on what many email marketing experts consider basic best practices. We decided to re-visit those same companies and see if they handled the unsubscribe experience any better. Download this new study now.

The good news is that most of the companies studied had the basics in place. They may not have optimized their experience, but they at least stopped sending email quickly.

The bad news is that, again, we were shocked to discover top-brand marketers failing to meet the most basic email marketing necessity – honoring an opt-out request. In fact, many marketers continued to send email – in some cases multiple messages – after an opt-out was requested. While it’s true that the CAN-SPAM act allows 10 days before you must stop sending email, it is in the best interest of your sender reputation to stop sending email as soon as possible. Even one more message to an irate subscriber can lead to spam complaints. Multiply this effect across your total unsubscribes and you can end up in big trouble when it comes to email deliverability and brand reputation.

With these basics not yet mastered, it was no surprise to find these marketers completely missing the boat on optimizing the experience. So where do you stand? Don’t wonder – – go test your unsubscribe functionality right now! You probably think it’s fine – and perhaps it is. Although, I’m sure many of the marketing folks at the companies we studied think their process is fine, too. How else to account for the fact that five of America’s top brands continued to send email messages more than 10 days after the opt-out request, five years after the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act? Someone isn’t paying attention.

So, do whatever you need to do and rally the resources you need to get your process fixed if it’s broken. You don’t have a moment to waste! The risk to your company’s sender reputation and email deliverability – especially during this holiday season – just isn’t worth it.

Download the study now and get our expert advice on optimizing your unsubscribe process.


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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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