Real Magnet

Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe!

The unsubscribe link is a crucial tool in the email marketer’s toolbox.  Email marketers already know that an unsubscribe link is a legal requirement, 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? The key to all of this is “visible” and “working” part. Let me explain.

I have worked with many clients on their unsubscribe procedures ranging from “I didn’t know I had to insert an unsubscribe link” to “I heard 5 unsubscribe links in my email was the best”.  The goal is to make the unsubscribe link easy to find and easy to use.  Having the unsubscribe link at the top and bottom of the email is a best practice that some brands have found success in.  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

Subscribers who find it difficult to get off your list get annoyed. If they can’t find an easy way out, it’s not uncommon for them to start reporting your messages as SPAM. This damages your sender reputation, making it harder to reach other people at the same company, and even compromises deliverability across your entire list. Strongarming subscribers to stay on the list just isn’t worth that risk.

The unsubscribe page doesn’t 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.  An unsubscribe survey may also be beneficial to your brand so you can get feedback regarding your email marketing program.

Until next time, stay relevant, stay engaged, and get delivered!

Chris Arrendale is Sr. Director, ISP Relations and Deliverability for Real Magnet.