Nearly All Email Marketers Comply with 'Unsubscribe' Requirements, But Few Seize Opportunities to Reinforce Customer Relationships, Says New Survey from Lyris, Inc.'s EmailLabs

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Marketers Still View the 'Unsubscribe' Process as Merely a Legal Obligation, Rather Than the Customer Loyalty-Building Tool it Can Be

Email is the only marketing channel that gives consumers full control of the relationship

A full 96 percent of email marketing professionals include an unsubscribe function in their promotional emails, in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act and with email marketing best practices, according to a survey report released today by Lyris, Inc. (OTCBB:LYRI.OB), producers of the new integrated marketing platform Lyris HQ, and its email marketing component EmailLabs.

But most marketers leave customer retention opportunties on the table during the unsubscribe process, by not offering recipients alternative forms of communication or gathering valuable exit information. Still worse, many use methods to discourage users from unsubscribing - like putting unsubscribe language in a tiny font or hiding it altogether. Only 29 percent said they don't use such tactics.

These are the key findings of a new national survey conducted in the fall of 2007 by Lyris, Inc. More than 400 email marketers were asked about the unsubscribe policies they implemented throughout the year. The full report includes the data, detailed analyses of the findings and recommendations for implementing email marketing best practices. Download the full report here

More than 80 percent of email marketers said they make the unsubscribe process easy - recipients either click a URL for instant removal (53 percent) or reply directly to the email itself with "unsubscribe" in the subject line (29 percent). More than 90 percent allow subscribers to opt out through other channels, like call centers, postal mail, email and more.

While CAN-SPAM only requires the unsubscribe function in commercial messages, best practices recommendations go beyond that to say it should be included in all email communications. Nearly two-thirds of marketers (63 percent) said they include an unsubscribe option in welcome emails, 45 percent include it in customer service messages and 31 percent include it in transactional emails.

"Email is the only marketing channel that gives consumers full control of the relationship," said Stefan Pollard, director of Email Marketing Best Practices. "That doesn't have to be scary - in fact, it's actually quite savvy. Marketers clearly are complying with the law here. But the fact that so many still discourage unsubscribes shows that they don't fully understand the opportunity they have to reinforce the value of their brand by creating a transparent email program that inspires trust."

Missed Opportunities For More Customer Engagement

There are several potential points of contact throughout the unsubscribe process that give marketers a chance to offer communication alternatives - possibly keeping them as customers - or to gather valuable exit feedback. But many are missing those opportunities.

Profile pages, where email subscribers manage their accounts, could be useful channels of communication. But only 25 percent of survey respondents said their unsubscribe process includes a link to the profile page without requiring a password. Another 17 percent link to the profile but do require a password - adding a few steps to the unsubscribe process, especially for those who've forgotten their passwords.

When asked what appears on their unsubscribe confirmation landing pages, just 18 percent said they include a goodbye message, only 6 percent provide a customer service phone number, 5 percent ask unsubscribers why they're leaving, 5 percent provide a simple feedback form and just 4 percent remind them about other messaging channels.

"An unsubscribe isn't always about saying goodbye," said Pollard. "Maybe the subscriber's needs or interests changed, or he wants to update an address, or to hear from you more or less often. Too many marketers react to the unsubscribe request by simply cutting off contact. Sure, that's compliance, but it's also shortsighted. Take the opportunity to ask some questions, offer some alternatives or just to thank them for being your customer. Maybe you'll convince them to stay, and maybe you won't. But at least you'll leave with them a reminder of why they liked you in the first place."

For more information about email marketing best practices, visit the EmailLabs Resource Center at

About Lyris, Inc.

Lyris, Inc., (OTCBB:LYRI.OB), formerly J.L. Halsey, is a leading marketing technology company that provides hosted and installed software solutions for marketers at mid-size businesses. The company offers marketers an integrated technology platform through its Lyris HQ product and point solutions including ListManager, EmailLabs, ClickTracks, BidHero, Sparklist, Hot Banana and EmailAdvisor. These sophisticated, yet easy-to-use tools provide marketers a suite of best-of-breed applications for managing email marketing campaigns, publishing and managing Web site content, creating landing pages, optimizing Web sites and managing pay-per-click campaigns. Clients include Nokia, Adobe, PalmSource, Johns Hopkins University and Jupitermedia. For more information, please visit , , , , and . The company is based in Emeryville, Calif.

Media Contacts:
Loren T. McDonald
VP, Corporate Communications, Lyris, Inc.
(650) 388-3542

Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(818) 990-5001


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Edge Communications, Inc.
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