Insights from Email Opt-Outs


Email Opt-Outs can Provide Great Insights

Seasoned and successful email marketers are always looking for ways to learn about campaign performance and ways to optimize future mailings. The email channel provides a wide variety of metrics and performance measures – most focused on positive signals sent by recipients. Think opens, clicks, conversions, etc. In a recent article, I wrote about the ways that marketers could leverage negative marketing signals to drive better campaign performance. One of those negative marketing signals was unsubscribes or opt-outs.

Email opt-outs can provide a wealth of data for marketers by providing insights on users who have chosen to actively dis-engage with your email program. This goes beyond looking at the unsubscribe rate (in aggregate or at the audience segment level) and instead delves into some of the specific data points that can be associated with opt-out request activity.

One interesting way to gain some of these insights is to examine opt-out request data on a global level. This type of email information hasn’t been readily available to marketers until relatively recently, when OPTIZMO™ Technologies began releasing a series of infographics on email opt-out requests across the industry. The most recent infographic in the series provides insights into when opt-out requests are received.

This data is particularly interesting when matching it up to the numerous reports that detail the best days/times to send commercial email campaigns.

A Case of the Mondays?

Conventional wisdom has long said the best days to send email marketing campaigns are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It is often recommended to avoid mailing on Monday and Friday because various reports show that overall performance is lower on these days. But, email marketers haven’t had a successful 40+ year run by simply following the crowd.

The most recent infographic shows that, on average, Mondays are the most active days of the week for opt-out requests and that the trend declines each following day, through Saturday (there is then a slight uptick on Sunday, but it is still the second least active day of the week after Saturday). So, what does this mean for email marketers? One argument is that Mondays really may be a difficult day to send commercial email, since there are so many opt-out requests on that day. Alternatively, this data shows that email recipients may be more highly engaged with their inboxes on Mondays. So, mailing on a Monday can present either a challenge or an opportunity, depending on how a mailer wants to look at it.

Personal Email on Business Time

There have been numerous studies showing that people engage with their personal email during regular business hours. The email opt-out request data supports this idea, as it shows that opt-out volume rises from the beginning of the weekday as people wake up and head into the office, is strongest over the middle hours of the day, and then tails off steadily from mid-afternoon through the end of the evening. If more people waited until getting home to access their personal email accounts, one might expect to see a bit of a spike in opt-out requests in the early evening, but this isn’t the case. It’s a good reminder for marketers that whether you are reaching your audience at their personal or work email addresses, they are likely reading those emails during the workday.


OPTIZMO’s Email Opt-Out Request Infographic – Time & Date is available here

Previous infographics in the series covered aspects of where requests come from (geography, and email platform) and what technology is involved in those requests (devices, browsers, operating systems).

All three Email Opt-Out Request Infographics are available to download from the OPTIZMO website.



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