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Why Customers Want Off Your Lists--And What To Do to Keep Them

I don't want to hear from you too often, and when you do get in touch, make sure you've got something worthwhile to say.
That may sound rude, but that's essentially what 1,500 consumers told ExactTarget, a social media and email marketing services company, in a new survey designed to find out why consumers unsubscribe from opt-in email, unfollow marketers and their companies on twitter, and unlike them on Facebook.

Here are the reasons people gave for wanting off companies' email blasts.

  • Email was too frequent: 54%
  • The emails became repetitive or boring: 49% (an additional 25% said the emails were never relevant in the first place)
  • I get too much email and need to pare it down: 47%
When people do find a email from a marketer boring, about two-thirds say they'll click on the 'unsubscribe' link. But 8% say they'll classify the email as spam.

The top three reasons consumers 'unliked' a company on Facebook:

  • The company posted too frequently: 47%
  • My wall was becoming crowded with marketing messages and I needed to get rid of some of them: 43%
  • The content became repetitive or boring over time: 38%. (Another 19% said the content wasn't relevant from the start, and 17% said the company's posts were too chit-chatty and not focused on value.)
Why consumers unfollow on Twitter
  • The company's tweets became boring over time (52%). An additional 15% said the content wasn't relevant from the start. Some 21% say the tweets were too promotional, and 20% said the tweets didn't focus on value
  • 41% needed to cut down on the number of tweets they saw
  • 39% said the company tweeted too frequently
How often do you think is "too often" for a company to email you? How much activity do you want to see from marketers--even those from companies you like--on Facebook and Twitter?


Image courtesy flickr user mandiberg
Kimberly Weisul is a freelance writer and editor. Follow her at
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