Merchants Honoring Email Unsubscribe Requests Faster Than Ever

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.

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.