May is “Master Your Inbox Month,” according to these Australian productivity specialists. So if you’re targeting busy buyers, this is an ideal time to think about your emails (and your email opt-out solution)… from a consumer’s point of view.

Ready for some stats about email overload? Working Americans spend between 25 and 50% of their workdays writing, reading, or replying to email. Over one-third of these adults continue checking email on a frequent basis, after work is over. Ultimately, too much email overwhelms basic brain functions (how many times have you replied to the wrong person?), while increasing stress levels.

Experts say the only solution is to “ruthlessly unsubscribe” from all unwanted email. Many consumers are taking this advice to heart. Does your email opt-out solution support them?

Here are three things that real consumers want (as evidenced by their tweets) from brand emails and opt-out solutions:

  1. Transparency

Hopefully you’re already taking steps to minimize opt outs in the first place. Offering email preference options, for example, might help you preserve connections with buyers who only want to receive print catalogues or once-a-month email updates, for example.

But don’t get crafty with your unsubscribe options list. One of the biggest reasons why consumers opt out of email is because they’re too busy to spend time on messages that no longer interest them. So why would you use a stealthy default selection to avoid giving them what they want?

Unsubscribers may not have the patience or the user-experience savvy to read your list of alternative actions. Plenty will click on “Update” (as in the example below) without realizing the misstep. In the end, you’re not preserving a contact; you’re just aggravating (and potentially losing) a customer who wants your products but not your emails.

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  1. Convenience

You can’t please all the people all the time. But Gmail came pretty close, when it added the one-click Unsubscribe button to the top of all promotional emails. Most people who click “unsubscribe” want to end the email relationship…like, now. Providing alternatives is a smart way to retain the remaining group—as long as you minimize clicking and navigation.

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  1. Functionality

This consumer just wants your opt-out mechanism to work. CAN-SPAM Act enforcers do, too. According to the FTC, any opt-out solution you offer “must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message.” You should also ensure your own SPAM filter isn’t blocking opt-out requests. Meanwhile, monitor your support tickets and social media accounts for alerts like these:

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Even though studies show 91% of adults like getting email from their favorite brands, you can’t be a favorite brand to everyone. For some folks, opting out is inevitable. It’s essential that you have transparent, convenient, functioning mechanisms in place for them.

Learn more about our email opt-out solution, and check back for a list of enhanced features we’ll be launching this month!