Unsub Links @ the Top - Argument For

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by roundabout, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout VIP

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    Theres been an ongoing debate very polarizing here.. whether or not you should place unsub links at the top of your email, so it's the first thing a user should see, to minimize complaints. I've always advocated this for TLD, here's a good article taking a similar stance:
    ...
    Reduce spam reports of your email marketing

    What’s the worst button in the world, the one button as an email marketer you don’t ever want your customers to be pressing
    ?

    [​IMG]

    The moment any customer, any subscriber presses this button, it automatically begins to drastically affect your ability to deliver communications to all of your customers. Subscribers who press this button endanger your entire email marketing list. So how do you prevent this behavior? Make unsubscribing easy and obvious.

    This is deeply counterintuitive to many marketers. It’s even offensive to some; having worked hard to build up their lists, they’ll ask why they should make it easy for people to diminish the results of their efforts.

    Here’s the bottom line: someone who doesn’t want to receive email from you for any reason will take the easiest way out of getting email from you. If your unsubscribe option isn’t obvious, they’ll flag you as spam and put your entire list in jeopardy. Make it easy and obvious to opt-out, and people will press the “report spam” button less frequently.

    Here’s an example from a mailing we did to a list of webinar registrants. At the very top of the mailing, we provided a very obvious, very explicit opt-out notice:

    [​IMG]

    There was absolutely no question where the unsubscribe link was. What were the results? (this is the part that shocks the doubting marketers)

    * Sent: 1,657
    * Opened: 21.8% (355)
    * Clicked: 7.8% (127)
    * Opted-out: 0.5% – EIGHT PEOPLE
    * Complaint/Flagged as Spam: ZERO

    Fewer than 1% opted out of the email. No one reported it as spam.

    Offering a way to unsubscribe from a list is the law. Making it easy means that while you will lose a little bit of your list, you are guaranteed to retain the people who want to receive email from you and preserve the quality of your reputation. If you continue to provide value in your email communications, you’ll be able to make unsubscribing easy without significantly reducing the size of your list, and you’ll keep your subscribers away from touching the worst button in the world.

    Christopher S. Penn
    Director of Strategy, WhatCounts

    Source:
    http://www.whatcounts.com/blog/
     
  2. gspot

    gspot VIP

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    I agree this is THE BEST way to gain positive rep when dealing with a branded mailer i.e groupon..etc its also a great way to build a solid branded rep as a 3rd party mailer. However, if you chose to go this route, you need to be aware that your unsubs will sky rocket at first until you establish a positive brand and you will loose quite a bit of data. Yes, this is a great way to get rid of possible screamers and complainers (fbl) just be ready to loose some data. :girl:
     
  3. chappy72

    chappy72 VIP

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    so then every single unsub is a complaint?
     
  4. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    I don't entirely buy into this approach nor do is shrug it off as total hokum, but I think there's probably a blend of techniques that could benefit mailers here. I certainly don't buy into SG's idea, I'd rather have a clear cut way for recipients to opt out that to deal with the results of not having a link. And I'm not really going down the "branded" road either. While we've all read articles and whatnot about how recipients use and think of the spam button, I'm just not sure catering to these idiots by making the first CTA they see an unsub. I've seen mail come in like this, I've seen it with "like' buttons and all kinds of crazy shit at the top. But what it'll boil down to is the mood of the recipient when they get that mail. And that can't ever be predicted. Personally, if I'm in a good mood I might just delete. If I'm pissed...or generally cranky I might go all the way to SpamCop with it regardless of how convenient the mailer makes it for me to unsub.

    I'll just get back on the ol' split test wagon with this one and say try it to see. I'm not going to blast out several MM just to watch my unsubs go through the roof, but it'd be a good idea to see if there are real definitive results to the placement of the unsub. Even verbiage should be considered when doing this too. Not just a "spam" button inserted with your unsub link behind it, but combine it with text so you could try improving your creative at the same time. And by this I mean trying to appeal to the recipient, something like "if you feel this message is unsolicited, please click here and you will no longer receive messages from this advertiser, if it is just an offer you have no interest in, please just delete it" followed by your link or an image for "spam" that's an unsub. I know that's a stretch, but who knows, it might work.
     
  5. Mike91TT

    Mike91TT VIP

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    If one were to consider doing this, I would think for your quality data (clickers) this would be a bad idea. However when you are hitting millions of records for your big drops or whatever you want to call it, it may be a good idea to have this opt-out link up top as these are likely the complainers. Just a thought.
     
  6. ThisGuyOverHere

    ThisGuyOverHere VIP

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    I've tested this extensively over the last couple of years.

    1. We've seen a %18.59 decrease in FBL activity using this method.

    2. No negligible decrease in CTR.

    3. We've also tested this using an image (ie: toolbar) on top in order to encourage opt-out instead of FBL.
     
  7. chappy72

    chappy72 VIP

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    nice stats...thanks.
     
  8. PepeLePew

    PepeLePew VIP

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    I would love to see more stats on this.

    With GI, our opt-out is at the bottom and with TLDs at the top. Would not think to put it anywhere else for TLD as the "Report Spam" button is easier to click at the top than scrolling to the bottom of the email to unsubscribe. Considering the large amount of SPAM most people get, no one wants to get anybody in trouble and I believe they will unsub from your link rather than Report Spam given a choice at the top. What you put in your optout header will determine the mood they are in. So, write something nice to show them you don't mean any harm and watch your "Report Spam" numbers diminish drastically.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. gspot

    gspot VIP

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    Very Nice, I've seen similar results in the past. However, do you find it's domain dependant?
     
  10. chappy72

    chappy72 VIP

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    can someone design a pop up that comes up directly on top of the spam button in Y or HM and the all spam reports go to my page?
     
  11. ThisGuyOverHere

    ThisGuyOverHere VIP

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    BTW I felt I should clarify that this number is a median from the stats I had available. There were definately campaigns where it was not as effective as well as different testing variables directly impacted the effectiveness. Wasn't just "add it to the top" and bam almost %19 decrease.

    LOL anybody can get %19 if it's 20 emails :) we've split tested it in a variety of versions to similiar group sets usually over 150k per send to get a feel. I'm sure if you combine them all over the last couple years we've tested a few million at least.

    Of course what it looks like and how you do it for the perception of the recipient determines the total effectiveness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

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