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Merchants Honoring Email Unsubsucribe Requests Faster Than Ever

Posted on 11.01.2016

Data revealed in a report from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the "2016 Email Marketing & Unsubscribe Audit" report, found that 86 percent of the examined retailers stopped sending marketing emails to consumers immediately after they placed an unsubscribe request.

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OTA’s research showed nearly six percent of the retailers did not honor unsubscribe requests which violates U.S. and Canadian anti-spam laws. This underscores the need for retailers to constantly monitor and manage their email infrastructure. OTA expanded the 2016 Email Marketing & Unsubscribe Audit report from past years to examine the entire email marketing engagement process, from signup to the unsubscribe user experience. Among its determinations, OTA found the use of: 

  • Unsubscribe headers (which presents as links or buttons in many consumer client mailboxes) increased to 89 percent in 2016 from 85 percent in 2015
  • “Clear and conspicuous” unsubscribe links at 81 percent in 2016, declining significantly from 97 percent in 2015
  • Preference centers and opt-down choices during the unsubscribe process continued to drop. These provide consumers the choice to still receive emails from a retailer while decreasing their frequency.
  • Email Authentication was exceptional, with 94 percent of retailers using SPF (Sender Policy Framework), 98 percent using DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and 51 percent using DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). Email authentication helps counter fraudulent and malicious email, the leading tactic for phishing exploits.


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