SOURCE: Responsys


March 23, 2010 13:48 ET

Responsys Releases Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study

Report Reveals Trends Around Opt-Down Options, Unsubscribe Efficiency and Opt-Out Honoring

SAN BRUNO, CA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) -  Responsys, a global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions, today announced the release of the Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study. The complimentary 24-page report discusses best practices and trends in email opt-out practices while examining how 100 top online retailers handle unsubscribers.

"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. "But an examination of the unsubscribe processes of the largest online retailers shows plenty of room for improvement on both those points."

For instance, 39% of major online retailers require three or more clicks to opt-out, up from 7% in 2008. It's a worrisome trend since anything beyond two clicks simply represents poor process design. Also, 30% of retailers send one or more emails following an unsubscribe request, up from 26% in 2008.

"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. One of my favorite ratios is the number of buyers divided by the number of unsubscribers: how many people today thought you hit the mark versus totally missed the mark?"

The Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study examines the current state of retailers' email opt-out processes by drawing on data collected while unsubscribing from the email marketing programs of 100 top online retailers tracked via the Retail Email Blog. It examines the opt-out process chronologically -- looking at everything from unsubscribe instructions in emails to opt-out page components and confirmations to the honoring of unsubscribe requests -- so you can easily map yours to what the general practice is currently and where it's trending.

Other findings revealed in the study include:

  • In order to keep subscribers, marketers are giving subscribers more control over email frequency, with 35% of retailers allowing subscribers to reduce the number of emails they receive, up from 16% in 2008.
  • Marketers remain icy and indifferent toward subscribers who opt-out, as evidenced by the fact that only 16% of retailers say "Goodbye" or "Thank you" to departing subscribers. That's down from 18% in 2008.
  • Marketers have been slow to present alternative channels like RSS and Facebook pages to departing subscribers. Only 7% of retailers do this currently, despite the fact that more than 30% of them include community links in their emails.
  • Due to failures to honor opt-outs, 4% of retailers are not in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, which is similar to 2008 levels.

For information on how to obtain a copy of the complimentary Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study, please visit 

About Responsys
Responsys is a leading global provider of on-demand marketing solutions that empower businesses to market more effectively through email, web, print, mobile, and social media channels. The company helps organizations increase revenue and customer loyalty through successful email and cross-channel marketing. Responsys helps marketing organizations maximize their results by enabling every customer interaction to be highly automated and individualized, and every process to be highly collaborative, efficient, and error-free. With its on-demand, software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model, award-winning services, and proven Individualized Lifecycle Marketing™ approach, Responsys offers the highest ROI, the lowest total cost of ownership, and the fastest time-to-value of any marketing solution available today. Founded in 1998, Responsys is headquartered in San Bruno, California and has offices throughout the world. Responsys is trusted by world-class brands such as: Avis Europe, Continental Airlines, Deutsche Lufthansa, Dollar Thrifty, Lands' End, LEGO, Men's Wearhouse, PayPal, Southwest Airlines, StubHub, and UnitedHealthcare. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kimberly Canedo
    Responsys, Inc.
    (650) 745-1720
    Email Contact