Commentary

Self-Serving Subscribers: Most Opt Out After Getting A Freebie, Study Finds

Consumers are tired of marketing emails—so much so that 66.9% have a junk email box that they use apart from their main email address, according to "Reaching Your Audience: Which Online Marketing and Advertising Tactics Actually Work," a study by Buzzstream Research, working with Fractl.

What’s more, 72.9% will provide their email address for a free resource, then unsubscribe the minute they get it.

And they’re not always reading email newsletters.

Of the individuals polled, 46.8% read 25% or less of the newsletters they sign up for, and 25.8% read roughly 50%.

Only 15% read 75% of the newsletters they receive, and a mere 7.3% read all of them. And 5.1% never read email newsletters at all. 

Yet they sign up, 85.5% because they want those freebies: ebooks, pdfs and webinars.  

In addition, 69.7% subscribe because they like the content they see on a site and want to hear more in a newsletter.

Another 38% will provide their email address because they hope to keep up with a blog, and 12%  will do so after a pop-up asks them to. Respondents could choose more than one reason.

Most consumers—63.5%--subscribe to from 1 to 10 newsletters, and 23.6% from 11 to 20. Another 6.5% sign up for  21 to 50, and 4% to 51-plus.

Only 2.4% subscribe to zero. 

Despite those sign-up rates, consumers remain wary about surrendering personal information online.

For instance, 73.1% will hesitate to supply personal data online because they don’t want to be contacted by salespeople.

In addition, 67% worry that the company will sell their data. And 57% fear a hacker will get their hands on it.

What’s more, 74.6% would rather watch a 30-second ad than give  up their email address. And even more -- 88.6% -- would rather see the ad than provide their phone number. 

If they have to give up anything, 94.7% would choose their email, versus 5.3% who prefer their phone number.

BuzzStream surveyed 1,001 consumers.

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