Top 25 Most Annoying Email Newsletters

Here at The App Store Chronicle, we try to make all of our emails helpful. Sadly, many major companies don’t share our values, and in return, people flee their email lists at the first opportunity.

Who are the worst offenders? Who makes the worst, most annoying, or boring email newsletter? We’ve gone through the data to find the 25 worst email newsletters.

#15 Runner’s World

Running may be an enjoyable activity, but it’s really not that interesting to read about. Nearly 40% (39.50%, to be exact) of Runner’s World readers opted out of their emails, when given the chance.

#14 Angie’s List

Another subject that’s not too interesting: Plumbers, electricians, and contractors. 39.70% of Angie’s List subscribers fled, when given the chance.

#13 Polyvore

Social shopping is hot right now. Unfortunately, the newsletter from Polyvore, a social shopping startup, is not so hot. 40.40% of Polyvore’s shoppers chose to opt out of their email newsletter, when given the chance.

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#12 Care.com

There comes a point in many lives, when we need someone to take care of us. Usually, it falls upon our family members to find help, and find it fast. That’s where Care.com comes in. Unfortunately, the topic of long-term care is a bit too morbid for most normal people, so not-too-surprisingly, 40.60% of Care.com’s subscribers opted out of their newsletter, when given the chance.

#11 Schoolfeed

Schoolfeed is a great idea in theory. Communicate easily with your classmates, and stay informed. Unfortunately, in practice it can get a bit annoying, which is why 40.60% of subscribers chose to opt out of their email newsletter.

#10 Party City

Parties; By definition, they’re special occasions, which means that hearing about them on a daily basis can be a bit depressing. Perhaps that’s why 41.60% of Party City subscribers opted out, when given the chance.

#9 1800 Contacts

1800 contacts specializes in contact lenses, and contact lenses only. When I think contact lenses, generally I think of someone who habitually buys the same brand without a second thought year after year. Perhaps that’s why 42% of 1800 Contacts’s subscribers said that they had no interest in receiving emails from the lens discounter.

1800 contacts - one of the most annoying email newsletters

Contacts – Fascinating Stuff

#8 Shopittome

When it comes to clothes shopping, it seems that people prefer to go to the shopping site, rather than having the shopping come to them. At #8, Shopittome subscribers unsubscribed at a rate of 42.10%

#7 Oriental Trading

Party supplies and crafts. These are things that don’t change much! Craft supplies aren’t exciting, and they aren’t dynamic, which is why Oriental Trading sees unsubscribe rates of 43.60%

#6 Eventful

This is just an example of poor execution. Ticket site emails can be exciting – if they are well targeted, but when ticket sites simply send out indiscriminate emails by locations, unsubscribe rates come in through the roof. That’s why Eventful sees unsubscribe rates of 44.20%

#5 Active.com

Active.com combines two things that we’ve already determined aren’t that interesting in emails: Fitness, and events. And it shows. Active.com sees an unsubscribe rate of 44.70%.

#4 Expedia

Expedia is the lone travel website on the list, and they’re pretty high up the list, which makes analysis a bit hard. Perhaps hearing about your dream vacation, while sitting at home, is a bit of a tease, but my guess is simply that they send boring, complicated emails. That’s why 45% of their subscribers flee, when given the chance!

#3 Pro Flowers

Another in the list of things that nobody wants to hear about by email: Flowers. They’re for special occasions, and it’s the kind of product that you seek out, rather than buying it when you come across it. Very few people buy it frequently, so there’s no reason to hear about it frequently. That’s why Pro Flowers, our 3rd-least-liked marketer, sees unsubscribe rates of 45.10%.

#2 Ticketweb

As we pointed out in #6, there’s a right way and a wrong way to email about tickets. Ticketweb does it the wrong way, and in return, they see the crazy unsubscribe rate of 47.50%.

1800 flowers - the worst email newsletter

Perhaps this example sheds some light on their unsubscribe rate. Apparently the person who received this email had just broken it off with “Erin”. This must have been uncomfortable.

#1 1800 Flowers

And, in our number one spot for the worst email newsletter/marketer we have…another flower shop. The second in the top three. Interestly enough, it’s also one of two “1800” companies in the top ten. This reinforces the lesson that very few people want to read about flowers (not surprising), but it also reinforces that companies with brands based on a phone number, should focus on that phone number(also not that surprising).

 

1800 Flowers loses 52.50% of their subscribers, when subscribers are given the chance to opt out! That’s crazy! Over half of their subscribers. They really need to work on their brand image, or at least make their emails less terrible.

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Methodology:

This unsubscribe data is from Unroll.me, a service that helps users easily unsubscribe from a variety of newsletters with ease. Unsubscribe rates using the familiar link at the bottom of the email is definitely much lower for each of these providers, because it’s more difficult, but nevertheless the methodology is accurate for determining the worst, or at least, the least-enjoyed email newsletters.

 

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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