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Why people unsubscribe and unfollow

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday February 13, 2011 )

What turns people off from staying on an email marketing list or following a company on a social network? A new survey report reveals some interesting insights.

The ExactTarget/CoTweet report looked into the motivations and actions as people end their relationships with brands through Email, Facebook, and Twitter:

The top three reasons for unsubscribing/unfollowing in each medium are quite interesting in that they are basically the same:


– Emails too frequent (54%)
– The content became repetitive or boring over time (49%)
– General email overload and needed to unsubscribe from some lists (47%)


– The company posted too frequently (44%)
– Person’s wall was becoming too crowded with marketing posts (43%)
– The content became repetitive or boring over time (38%)


– The content became repetitive or boring over time (52%)
– Person’s Tweet stream was overloaded with marketing posts (41%)
– The company tweeted too frequently (31%)

.. and just because people aren’t unsubscribing, it doesn’t mean they are interested any more. The survey report says 17% of subscribers will continually delete or ignore email from companies with whom they no longer wish to interact, rather than making the effort to unsubscribe or hit the spam button.

Some other statistics from the report:

– 83% of U.S. online consumers say they check email at least once per day
– 65% are currently active on Facebook
– 64% of Facebook users have “liked” a company
– 9% of U.S online consumers are currently active on Twitter and 5% are following at least one company

The report is very interesting reading and well worth downloading (pdf).


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