Recently, there have been a few interesting developments and trends that have emerged in the email deliverability world regarding opt-in and opt-out processes. Here three related deliverability nuggets marketers should keep in mind:
1) Move away from a single-click opt-out.
Due to some recent changes in email security, you should consider moving away from using a single-click unsubscribe link in your messages. Instead, we suggest using a two-click opt-out for a couple of reasons.
First, many email security devices are going through each message and clicking on every link to see if they send the recipient to a Web page filled with bad viruses. This is done in an effort to prevent corporate networks from being infected, since spam emails often include links that lead to websites infected with malware.
You may have noticed the impact of these email security devices when looking at your metrics. Did you ever discover a single recipient that clicked on all eight links within the same second? At some point, that message hit an email security appliance or program, and all links were clicked.
If you’re using a single-click opt-out, it’s likely that system unsubscribed that recipient. And if you send more than one message to that domain, it’s possible that all recipients to that domain were unsubscribed.
The second reason to move away from a single-click unsubscribe is that taking the recipient to a preference center allows the recipient to better manage your email. Within the opt-out preference center, you can include options ranging from reducing email frequency or changing channel preferences to “snoozing” from your communications or unsubscribing altogether. Include a “What was I thinking?” button to allow customers back into your system.
Another reason for moving away from a single-click opt-out is the fact that the two-click opt-out allows for tracking, which can help you be a better sender based on recipient comments and actions.
2) Use double opt-in if you send frequently to mail.ru addresses.
If you find you’re sending a good volume of messages to mail.ru (a leading Internet company in the Russian-speaking market) your mailings will do much better if you implement a double opt-in process. True, you’ll do better at almost every ISP if you require new subscribers to confirm opt-in, but this is especially the case with mail.ru. Like the other ISPs, mail.ru is focused on making sure you’re sending to recipients that truly want your email. The double opt-in is the best way to show “want.”
If you’re a client of Silverpop and send a lot of email to mail.ru, please create a support case as we may be able to provide additional insights into how your email is performing at mail.ru.
3) Update your sign-up page with text that conveys, “You can unsubscribe at any time.”
The sign-up page is a good place to introduce your brand, set expectations for email volume and frequency, and establish the “give and take” in the email relationship the customer is entering. I recommend adding a phrase to the sign-up page that says something like, “You may opt out at any time by clicking on the Unsubscribe link at the top or bottom of every email.”
That sentence accomplishes several things at once. First, it covers you in regards to the German Telemedia Act, which is important since you may not know if a yahoo.com address resides in Fargo or Frankfurt. Secondly, it reminds prospective subscribers that they are free to leave whenever they want. In other words, you’re not going to smother them — you’re not that kind of a company. It may sound like a small detail, but if it stops one person from clicking the “abuse” button, it was worth the effort.
1) White Paper: “Gmail Tabs: Impact on Email Marketing and Strategies to Respond”
2) Blog: “How Do Spam Traps Work? Tips for Avoiding Your Worst Marketing Nightmare”
3) Blog: “What Factors Can Impact Email Message Delivery Times?”