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Risk of opt-outs grows

15 Jun 2011 9:36 BST Back
Risk of opt-outs grows

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Marketing opt-out rates are a major business threat, as growing numbers of consumers refuse to share personal data.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in an Opt-4/Royal Mail survey agreed that marketing opt-out rates represented a major business threat, and close to 60% of brands reported an increase in refusals to share personal data.

The “Permission Please” survey showed for the first time that consumer behaviour varies according to the method of data collection; there is much less willingness to give permission online and on the telephone where the opt-out rates are usually highest.

Rosemary Smith, director of Opt-4 commented: “Permission is a key driver of customer value and electronic platforms seem to be encouraging opt-out. The more we can understand about permissioning best practice, the better.”

Consumer awareness, poor targeting and over-communication are seen as major drivers of opt-out, but only 22% of marketers recognised the impact of data protection wording on the level of permission received.

Less than a third of respondents had tested different permission statements but those that had reported massive variance between the best and worst permission rates achieved.

Jenny Moseley co-owner of Opt-4 observed: “Statements which are vague about data use may trick consumers into giving initial consent, but subsequent unsubscribe rates are very high.”

Mail typically has the lowest opt-out rate of the three main channels and is also the channel of choice for re-permissioning approaches. Nearly a third (30%) of brands had tried campaigns to get customers to opt back in, with the vast majority (73%) using the mail channel for their conversion efforts.

Judith Mclelland, media consultant, explained why Royal Mail co-sponsored the research: “Our Permission Users Group was keen to establish some benchmarks around gaining and winning back consent. These trends show categorically that marketing permission is becoming a much more challenging arena.”

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