The Power of Unsubscribe

The unsubscribe link is a crucial tool for every email marketer. Email marketers already know that an unsubscribe link is a legal requirement for CAN-SPAM, as well as a necessary tool for allowing subscribers to remove themselves from your list. But did you know also that having a visible and working unsubscribe link can also help in reducing email abuse complaints? Subscribers who find it difficult to get off your list will get annoyed (rightly so) and possibly report your emails as spam. This damages your sender reputation and even compromises deliverability across your entire list.

click to unsubscribeI have worked with many clients on their unsubscribe procedures and the primary goal is to make the unsubscribe link easy to find and easy to use. Testing the unsubscribe link on new email templates and before sending will also help ensure compliance and possibly lower spam complaints. If someone wants to be removed from your list, let them do it easily.

Here are some ways “not” to insert the unsubscribe link:

-Placing the unsubscribe link in an image

-Inserting the unsubscribe link in white text on white background to completely hide the text

-Inserting the unsubscribe link in extremely small font that it is not visible

-Inserting the unsubscribe link in very “faint” font to make it difficult to view

The unsubscribe page does not necessarily mean goodbye. Rather, it is an opportunity to offer additional methods for the subscriber to stay engaged with your brand, either through a preferences center with different subscription options, or by pointing to your presence on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Preference centers will help by allowing subscribers to choose frequency and types of emails they want to receive. An unsubscribe survey may also be beneficial to your brand so you can get feedback regarding your email marketing program.​ Look at unsubscribes as an opportunity and you’ll see the power it offers marketers.

Author: Chris Arrendale,CIPM, CIPP/US, CIPP/IT @arrendale is a Chief Deliverability and Privacy Strategist, ANNUITAS

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