You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing Unsubscribes?

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing Unsubscribes?

Anthony asks, “Why do you make it so easy to unsubscribe? Almost blatantly daring the recipient to do so.”

We want people to unsubscribe if they don’t want to be on our lists any more. Why? It comes down to deliverability – the algorithms which put our emails in the inbox or in the spam bucket – we want as few bad subscribers as possible. One of the key drivers of that algorithm? Whether someone marks us as spam or not. We need that to happen as little as possible – so make the unsubscribe obvious.

You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing Unsubscribes?

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode Anthony asks, Why do you make it so easy to unsubscribe to your email marketing newsletter almost blatantly daring the recipient to do so.

So this is a good question.

If you haven’t seen the unsubscribe button in my newsletter, it looks like this.

It is a it is blatantly obvious.

And the reason for it has to do with deliverability rates.

So in email marketing, your list size is important.

But so is the percentage of people who open click and do stuff with your newsletter, the more people who don’t do anything with the newsletter, don’t open it, move it straight to the trash.

Worst case scenario, flick it and click mark as spam, the worse your deliverability gets.

And like all algorithms, the deliverability rate changes based on people’s behavior.

So if you think about the analogy of the Facebook newsfeed right if people don’t engage with your posts, you start showing up less and less and less.

The same is true on a more primitive scale with email marketing, the less people do things like open your email, the more algorithms like you know, g males.

Priority Inbox, for example, will prioritize your newsletter.

So, it may go to a separate tab in Gmail, for example, it may go to not showing up all that often it may go straight to spam in the worst case scenario.

And so, we want to encourage people to be engaged.

well as with any rate, you have a numerator and denominator, right the number opens versus the number of sentence.

If you encourage people to unsubscribe, you are effectively reducing the denominator, right your if the if 10 People if you have a list of 110 people, right? And you have 10 opens, that’s that’s one out of 11 people opening, get 10 of those people to unsubscribe.

And now it’s one out of 10.

Right? Your numbers have gone up from point nine, two, to 109 2.1.

And so, if we get rid of Deadwood on our lists, people who don’t open people who don’t click people who don’t do anything, we improve our performance with those algorithms.

So it’s, it’s in our interest as marketers to have as engaged a list as possible.

So that means a couple things.

One, having an obvious unsubscribe, right, the more obvious we can make it the more painful the better and to getting rid of Deadwood on lists.

If someone has an open an email from you in six months, or a year ever, like over nothing.

It’s probably time for them to go, it’s time for that list to get pruned back, because it’s just hurting your performance, it just hurting your ability to show up and in eligos.

Certainly, a key thing, if you’re not already doing it is using verification services.

I use one called million verifier that I dumped my entire list to, and it validates which email addresses are working in which ones are broken.

That’s super important.

Because, again, if you’re sending email to bad addresses, you’re going to get penalized pretty heavily in those algorithms.

So make your unsubscribe really obvious to get rid of people who don’t want to be there to get rid of people who don’t want to be engaged with you.

Having inactive subscribers on your email list is the equivalent of having bought followers a lot of ways from a from an algorithm perspective.

So we don’t want to do that.

We want to get rid of them and make it obvious.

One of the worst things that can happen to your email list is somebody clicking that market spam button.

You do not want that to happen.

Because that is a major reputation thing with these algorithms.

Why would somebody hit mark as spam was built right into the interface super easy and like a Gmail.

And if your unsubscribe link is to pick this two point font buried at the bottom, light gray on a white background, which a lot of marketers do, then guess what they’re going to be a little are going to take the least amount of work that they need to do and click mark as spam instead.

Right You do not want that.

You want people to find the unsubscribe link easily and hit that because you would rather lose that subscriber than have that subscriber report us spam because it’s just it’s a terrible, terrible reputation being in those algorithms not use personally.

Your email sending reputation the lower your reputation goes again.

the less likely it is E shopping algorithms.

And finally, in terms of the easily unsubscribe button.

One of the other things has happened with things like GDPR and ccpa is that you have to prove a lot as the marketer that you’ve obtained consent and all this stuff.

But having such an obvious unsubscribe button means that if you ever do have to go to court to defend your marketing practices, and it comes up, can you tell us how easy is it for somebody to unsubscribe from your services? It’s here’s a, a giant page wide unsubscribe button with animation and clear text alternatives for the for accessibility.

No, court no judge, no lawyer is going to look at and go well, it’s not really obvious is it? Right, when it’s so obvious it’s it’s hilarious.

It makes a claim against you seem pretty silly.

I’ve had people email me and say, I can find me on subscribe button like I’m pretty sure this is just a template email because if you can’t find the unsubscribe button, you probably need to see a doctor, I see an eye doctor or see some kind of doctor because it’s it’s really, really obvious.

So those would be the reasons why it’s at least in my newsletters, the blatant the unsubscribe ones are so blatant because I want people to know what they’re getting into and how easy it is to get out so that I can improve my reputation in all these algorithms, and provide additional liability protection, good question.

Really good question.

If you have follow up questions, please leave them in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter.

I’ll talk to you soon.

Take care

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This