The news last week that Yesmail was fined a little over $50,000 for violating the CAN-SPAM opt-out provision reminded us that all too often, it’s too hard to unsubscribe from promotional email programs. Certainly the letter of the law is important, but it’s the spirit of making your unsubscribe process easy to find and follow that protects your brand, improves customer satisfaction and reduces ISP complaints which can lead to low deliverability.
When is the last time you actually tested your unsubscribe process? I heard from three clients this week some variation of, “I think Steve in IT checks that…” Like all programming code, unsubscribe processes can break, and apparently the FTC really is watching. But it’s a best practice for another reason too: your customers will measure your brand integrity in part by how easy you make it to stop email that is no longer wanted.
Unsubscribe is not the enemy. In fact, subscribers who bother to unsubscribe are doing you a favor – letting you know that they prefer something different, have a life or career change which affects their interest level or just switched to a new email account. Annoy customers who want to do the right thing by you and you’ll drive them into the arms of the “this is spam” button – which can quickly destroy your sender reputation and depress inbox deliverability.
We sign up and unsubscribe from a lot of email programs here at Return Path, and unfortunately, we find that many marketers haven’t been checking, or just plain don’t care how hard it is to get off their marketing files. Consider these hurdles and opportunities as your check your program and improve where necessary.