Fewer voters opt-out of data use

For the first time in a decade, the proportion of adults registering to vote who opt-out from having their data used for marketing purposes has fallen.

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The overall average opt-out rate on the current Edited Electoral Roll (EER) stands at 45 per cent, compared to 46 per cent last year. This represents a reversal of the trend which has seen opt-out rates rise rapidly from 22 per cent in 2003, the first year consumers could exercise this right.

The finding is based on analysis of 98 per cent of rolls completed by Callcredit Information Group. The EER is used by marketers for targeting, profiling and validation and the softening of opt-out rates is likely to be welcomed.

Chris Savage, managing director at Callcredit’s marketing solutions division, says: “The Edited Electoral Roll continues to play a vital part in the direct marketing world today. The good news is that the opt-out rate is plateauing. But it is still at a significantly high level, which continues to concern us both as a business and as an industry. Large regional variations still exist, which make it difficult for marketers wishing to verify customer data or target direct mail campaigns.”

That variation in opt-out levels ranges from just 9.54 per cent in North Tayside and Angus up to 81.95 per cent in South Gloucestershire. Although the overall rate may have fallen, Callcredit has found that 41.6 per cent of all councils now have more than half of their residents opting-out. This compares to 39.9 per cent of councils reporting this rate in 2010.

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