Why Don’t People Just Unsubscribe?
By Justin Premick January 30, 2007
It’s easy to forget, working strictly with opt-in email publishers, that there are a lot of people out there who don’t abide by the same standards and ethics that we do here at AWeber. I recently came across an article in the New York Times that discussed ways to “take control” of the flow of marketing materials coming to you in different forms. What struck me was their advice regarding email.
It’s easy to forget, working strictly with publishers who operate opt-in email marketing campaigns, that there are a lot of people out there who don’t abide by the same standards and ethics that we do here at AWeber.
I recently came across an article in the New York Times that discussed ways to “take control” of the flow of marketing materials coming to you in different forms.
What struck me was their advice regarding email:
I hadn’t seen that advice given in a while.
And why would I have? Our unsubscribe links do exactly as they purport to do: they remove the email address in question from receiving more messages. Period. We already know the address is valid because the subscriber has explicitly confirmed that s/he wants to receive information at it.
But of course, not every email newsletter or marketing message is sent via AWeber. And spam does exist.
Two Effects of This Fear of Links
Like just about anything that spammers cause, the belief that unsubscribe links “validate” their email address can affect your own legitimate, opt-in email campaigns in two ways:
- Spam Complaints. If someone doesn’t remember opting-in to receive your messages, then they can’t/won’t distinguish between your messages and any spam in their inbox. And since they refuse to click the unsubscribe link for fear of getting more email, they become trained to use the “Spam” button.Solution: Don’t let them forget about you. Mail them regularly and provide valuable content. And use Confirmed Opt-In to protect yourself from complaints.
- Confirmations. When you send a confirmation message to subscribers to ensure that they want to receive your messages, if the text of that message doesn’t clearly outline what the confirmation is all about, some people may be less likely to confirm for fear of “getting more email” (not distinguishing between what they requested and what they did not)Solution: Clearly explain on your Thank-You page what happens next, what the subscriber should expect, and what s/he needs to do to complete the signup process. And customize your confirmation message’s subject and body, so that they reinforce what you say on your Thank-You page.
As long as unsolicited email exists, legitimate opt-in publishers will have to expend energy to distinguish ourselves from that element of the Internet. It’s good to have a reminder of that every once in a while.