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Study: E-mail unsubscribe requests sometimes go unacknowledged

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New York—In a newly released study of e-mail subscription practices, 20% of top brand marketers sent additional e-mails even after confirming an unsubscribe request.

E-mail service company Return Path conducted the study—titled "Keeping The Subscriber Experience Positive after 'Unsubscribe Me' "—by first subscribing to, then unsubscribing from, the e-mail lists of 45 companies from the retail, consumer goods, travel and media/entertainment industries.

The study also found that 11% of the companies continued to send e-mails more than 10 days after the unsubscribe request, a violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act. Return Path concluded that marketers that don't immediately honor an unsubscribe request risk consumers clicking their “report spam” buttons, negatively affecting e-mail reputation and effectiveness.

—Christopher Hosford

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