An established relationship or line of communication with your customer is of course not something that you want to lose. However, at some point, your customer may decide they no longer wish to continue receiving your email communications. Your ability or lack thereof, to facilitate this critical step could make a significant impact on your deliverability.
There are two actions that someone can take to stop receiving email – they can unsubscribe or they can let the ISPs deal with it by reporting your message as Spam and sending it to the junk folder. Marking a message as Spam will accomplish exactly what the recipient wants – they will no longer receive your email to their inbox, but this also damages your IP reputation and future deliverability to that ISP.
So what is a simple course of action you can take as a sender to avoid the press of that Spam button?
Have your unsubscribe link placed somewhere that recipients can easily locate and utilize it for its intended purpose.
If you look at the majority of marketing or promotional emails, the unsubscribe link is usually located at the bottom of the message, in a light font color and/or smaller font size. It is usually buried in with all of the other information found in the footer area of the message and very hard to find.
You really do not want to force your user to have to search for the unsubscribe link – why would they search for it when there is a big, shiny, in-your-face Spam button they can use instead?
The better option is to also have an unsubscribe link in the pre-header area – this can then be seen by the user in the same message real estate as where they might see the Spam button.
If your recipient chooses to leave, they are going to leave – so let them leave cleanly and without causing damage to your IP reputation. And there’s an unexpected bonus from this tactic since the user opened and clicked in your message by choosing to unsubscribe. All the ISP sees is the open/click action, so the action of unsubscribing might actually help your IP’s engagement numbers. As we know, engagement is playing a bigger role with more ISPs today in determining deliverability and sender reputation, but that’s a topic for another day.