In a second major finding, email recipients are tending not to "unsubscribe" from emails, according to the report, which shows a steady decline in unsubscribe rates since January. Rather than officially unsubscribing, recipients are now more likely to simply delete unwanted emails.
Somehow I doubt very much that everyone is hitting the delete key. More likely, people are a) allowing their spam filters to do the dirty work for them or b) simply implementing a "kill" filter. Either way, the message here (no pun intended) is that folks don't trust E-mail publishers to honor their unsubscribe requests, fearing that their either remain on the list or magically find themselves appended to other, marginally related lists.
For us, as E-mail publishers, we work very hard to ensure that anyone who asks to be removed is permanently removed. Moreover, those who ask not to receive "anything" are placed on a master suppression list. I'm certain that most legitimate publishers have enacted the same measures.
And yet as this report points out, most publishers have woefully low "open" rates, where readers actually read their mail. Obviously it's time for a change in the industry. Whether that's a reliance upon reader-driven subscriptions (ala RSS), only time will tell, but one thing is for sure. E-mail does not allow readers to feel a sense of control over their the information they choose to receive. That must change.