The Case for Embracing Email Unsubscribes

Updated: December 19, 2010

Here are our top five reasons to love email unsubscribes:

  1. It's automatic spring cleaning for better email marketing data and better customer relationship management. The more people take action on their disinterest by unsubscribing the more valuable your email list becomes. You get to communicate in a closer way with those who care to hear from you. When analyzing the demographics of your customer list, each piece of information becomes more relevant because the information is not diluted by the "unfriends."
  2. It's a great feedback mechanism. If we notice higher than regular opt-outs on our latest email and check the history to find that 50% of them used to read the email regularly and this time they opted out it's a red flag. We might want to look into what in this email turned them off. On the other hand if the campaign had a regular opt-out rate it's not worth a sweat.
  3. It helps get your emails delivered by lowering the risk of your IP address getting blacklists. If customers can't opt out they will click spam. In fact most people click delete or spam before using the opt-out option. So why give them extra incentive to do so? And if they do click spam, the email may find its way to the abuse desk of an anti-spam organization and before you know it your email server's IP address gets blacklisted and a large percentage of your emails won't get delivered at all.
  4. It reduces email marketing costs. Let's say you have 1,000 recipients and it costs $0.10 per email sent ($100 per campaign). If 10 customers respond to your email and buy $10 worth of product you spent $100 and you made $100 at $0 profit. Now let's say that you scrub your email list by encouraging unsubscribes from those who don't care to hear form you, and email 800 people who are truly interested in hearing from you. Those 10 people will still respond but now you only spent $80 for the campaign and made $100. Score, that unsubscribe move made you a profit!
  5. It looks good to have a clear, uncomplicated, good-will, email unsubscribe process.

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