An interesting subject came up this afternoon in my office regarding unsubscribe links. What started out as running a new format for our opt-out footers by a coworker turned in to a 15 minute debate about the size of the opt-out link. My colleague felt it was a bit too prominent, being two full points above the surrounding text. I disagreed. Here’s why.
As a marketer, talking about unsubscribing can be a touchy subject. No one wants to lose recipients. It might be your initial thought to make your subscribers look for any link to unsubscribe to your email publications, in hopes that they will just stay on your list and keep seeing your message. I certainly felt this way in the early stages of my email marketing career. While you don’t want to encourage recipients to unsubscribe, it’s important to remember this: once a recipient becomes disenchanted by your message, it’s unrealistic to expect them to scan your email figure out where the link is remove themselves from your mailing list. At that point, they’re more likely to just click the SPAM button, which as anyone knows, is going to hurt your deliverability more than anything.
Of course, the re:member group strives to avoid unsubscribes and SPAM clicks by building compelling, relevant messages that interest subscribers, along with great subject lines and great looking HTML design. However, the reality is that a certain percentage of your subscribers just won’t be interested in your message. While the percentage of unsubcribes for emails the re:member group sends is less than 1%, a mailing list of 100,000 recipients gives you hundreds (at least) who are likely to be disinterested in your message. You can imagine the impact on your deliverability when those hundreds of people click the “SPAM” button, –dropping your sender score and landing your message in SPAM folders (or worse yet, the dreaded junk folder). Let me put it this way: a list of 80,000 with a high sender reputation and good deliverability is worth a lot more to your marketing efforts than a list of 100,000 with deliverability problems loaded with recipients who are frustrated by continually receiving your message.
Don’t advertise your unsubscribe links, but make it as easy (or easier) to find as the SPAM button. Here’s another idea: along with a link in the footer, include a small link at the top of the message, as a service to your members. But don’t stop there. Next to the unsubscribe button, include a “Contact Customer Service” link, to give your customers an opportunity to contact you to resolve an issue, instead of just saying goodbye. It might look something like this:
Unsubscribe here • Contact Customer Service
The bottom line here is to give customers what they want. Provide relevant content and good products – and when they’re not interested, give them an easy out. It’s good practice, and even more importantly, good customer service.