March 17, 2009

New Chart: The Real Culprit Behind Unsubscribes

SUMMARY: This week’s chart comes to you from MarketingSherpa’s email summit, happening today in Miami. In the opening session, we spent some time looking at the challenges facing email marketing. Year after year in our email benchmark survey, the top challenge is identified as ‘Inbox clutter’ and its effect on all email communications. “Delivering on the promise of relevance to our list” comes in a distant second (17% compared to 36% for clutter). So, marketers seem to agree, but are they right?
Inbox Clutter Isn’t the Problem

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The chart above paints a different picture. The top two answers both speak to the importance of the individual relationship between emailer and recipient. They identify relevance and campaign-level frequency as the top reasons for opting-out or simply ignoring a sender’s email. Only when we get to the third most popular response do we see overall frequency as the culprit.

The bottom line is that people are able to observe and process an immense amount of content on a daily basis. They’re able to identify relevant quality content regardless of the white noise surrounding it. Don’t let the myth of email clutter lull your organization into a belief that a decline in email efficacy is beyond your control.

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More Research Data from Sherpa:

'Best Practices in Email Marketing Handbook'
The Practical Encyclopedia Of Email Marketing

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