We had an employee recently depart our company and agreed to forward emails to the employee’s personal email for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks the emails were then redirected to an address back at our company. I was assured by the former employee that the individual had opted out of newsletters and sea of emails they received on a daily basis (many, many emails), yet the deluge continued.
So I opted out on the employee’s behalf. That stemmed some of the tide but far from all of it. What began as a desire to simply stop the madness ended being a study in deception. I have come to realize that despite best practices being an easy email opt-out (most of the companies did have this procedure) there were a good number of companies that did not have an easy opt-out, and even more that ignored the opt-out request by continuing to send daily emails even after an acknowledgment was sent saying ‘sorry to see you go’. Those companies are not only breaking the law, they are taking down the medium day by day.
Our company supports email marketing to current customers as well as those would-be customers that have opted in to receive more information. We rarely use email as a customer acquisition tool. And for the Generation Y folks and Millennials email is a passé form of communication. It is seen as an irrelevant communication tool and my recent experience only goes to support that notion. And ask for an email address from someone and you are 6 times more likely to get it than to get access to their Facebook account. Pretty easy to see which is the more relevant communication.
What possible benefit could a charity, marketer, or anyone for that matter gain from continuing to send out emails to those that do not wish to receive them? Aggravating them? An unusual marketing tactic to be sure but I am hard pressed to think of any other reasons other than dishonesty, laziness or plain stupidity.
Email opt out should be obvious, easy and immediate. Those that are not doing so are just killing it for the rest of us.