To Unsubscribe or Not Unsubscribe?

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by roundabout, May 2, 2012.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    I'd be curious if anybody has a solution for this or an idea that could work...

    To Unsubscribe or Not Unsubscribe? That Is The Question

    There was a story in the news recently about whether it’s a good idea to click the unsubscribe link in any unwanted commercial email or newsletters. While at first glance it may make perfect sense to do so, the story offered up the case of Steve Filipiak which gets you to think twice.

    Filipiak got so sick of being spammed that he started clicking the unsubscribe links in every junk message he got. The result? More spam than ever. Spammers rarely honor those links. Instead, they’re there to let spammers know if they’ve got a live one or not. When they get an unsubscribe request, it tells them that address is active and that the person who owns it reads spam. To spammers and phishers, that’s gold.

    But wait! According to CAN-SPAM regulations, all commercial emailers are required to include unsubscribe links or instructions in every message and honor all unsubscribe requests, right? Right, and legit companies do remove people who request it. The problem is spammers have taken that requirement and exploited it for their own gain. CAN-SPAM is meaningless to most hardcore spammers, especially those who don’t operate within the U.S. This could cause problems for legit companies if users start to believe that ALL unsubscribe links are bad. These problems could range from having your company website or Facebook page frequently pounded with “remove me!” demands, or complaints filed against you with your ISP or webhost.

    The unsubscribe requirement of CAN-SPAM has been broken by spammers and a new solution is needed. Do you think the unsubscription requirement can be met in a way spammers can’t exploit it? If so, how? Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

    Source:
    http://www.allspammedup.com/2012/05/to-unsubscribe-or-not-unsubscribe-that-is-the-question/
     
  2. mx10

    mx10 VIP

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    i investigated this and the steve filipiak guy did his "unsubscribe test" back in 2002 or 2003, not even remotely relevant to today.

    the FTC did a study on this and found over 90% of unsubscribe links worked, I find claims like this to be dubious or outright fabricated by crusaders, because we all know if you dont unsubscribe people you can't stay in business for 3 days.
     
  3. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    I dont think the criminal/hardcore spammers are worried about that. Or even the case of Company A taking all of their optouts from the week and passing them along to Company B, which they also own... fooling the unsubscriber into thinking it's "new" spam, etc. I would guess this is what's going on today...
     
  4. mx10

    mx10 VIP

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    yeah but it's almost always obvious what the criminal spam is, it just looks like shit and has broken english and makes implausible claims like a hot girl you don't remember talking to 3 months ago is emailing you cuz she wants to marry you but needs $500 first.

    if someone moved unsubscribes between companies like that, they would be dumb.

    i dont doubt it happens, but it's a tiny minority.

    everyone wants unsubs, spam button clickers, complainers, non-openers, etc off of their lists.
     
  5. jellyfish

    jellyfish VIP

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    What criminal organization bothers putting opt out links?

    The sad thing is that clicking the opt out link is "dangerous" in most consumers minds.
     
  6. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    clicking an unsub link just made you a "clicker" and in most cases I see MORE mail come in when I do take the time to unsub. Shit - just to see the unsub link makes you an opener...so you're fucked either way.
     
  7. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    if there were a graphic seal, next to an optout link, and some company was created to guarantee "Your optout is SAFE" and the optout redirected through that company first, so it could be monitored, then back to the client.

    Of course this presents all sorts of problems including what if this company is down, then the mailer is screwed, etc...
     
  8. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    I think the real problem isn't what these rogue mailers are doing (though it is a problem), but for us it is the public's perception about using the unsub link. They feel safer opening the email and (if the mood hits them) forwarding it to their ISP - or worse to the provider or an aniti-spamgroup. What we need to figure out is how to make them comfortable to use OUR unsub links.

    Has anyone done testing with the placement of the unsub link at the top of the message? or verbage to suggest that the unsub link is safe? Definitely gonna be consequences to doing it, but are they compensated for by less complaints?
     
  9. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    hah, you addressed the question before I could post it. Must be some kind of admin esp :proud:
     
  10. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    This is actually required for some domains and is considered a 'best practice' in most circles. The downside (if you can call it that) is the potential for a spike in your unsubs however that can be looked at as a good thing seeing as you'd want to clear them out as opposed to getting SC reports or other complaints.
     
  11. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    Which domains?
     
  12. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    gmail for one...
     
  13. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    I did not know that. Thanks!
     
  14. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    I seem to recall reading that gmail needs it at the top as part of their email guidelines, but I have not done it myself, someone else can confirm or dispute this fact I'm sure.

    In addition, I believe Hotmail as well prefers it at the top.

    I like a lot of the things I see at the top of emails I get such as 'like' buttons, 'tweet this offer' and +1 kinda stuff and as I put text at the top of my mail I don't see a HUGE negative in adding your unsub to the top but I haven't gotten around to testing this to any extent.
     
  15. afc_pmc

    afc_pmc New Member

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    I put a small strip image at the top that says "remove me from this mailing list" and then the full unsub image at the bottom of the email with company info, address, etc for can spam. The image at the top gets around 75% of my unsubs (last time I tracked top and bottom separately), also the list-unsubscribe header works as a fbl for gmail, has to work as a 1 click unsub for it to work though. I see hotmail now also adds a link in their messages that say something like unsubscribe to this mailing list when that header is present, and its hotmail's link not ours so my guess is the user trusts it more.
     

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