My Silly Mistake With Email Marketing – Hiding The Unsubscribe Link

I have seen the raw power of email marketing. I won’t lie.

But it has a subtle way of working. It is like magic.But you need to understand its protocol.

When you send out the first email, you may not get any response. It is not time to get discouraged. Send the second one as a follow up to the first one. You may still not get much response by the time you fire the third message out and pop out the fourth one, there will be a shift.

But if you take it to the 5th and finally to the 7th follow up levels, then, you will start singing, “Count your blessings, name them one by one”.

Your bank account would have swollen up with naira or dollar, depending on your preferential currency. The big break of email marketing often starts from the 5th follow up. But, you must never give up until the 7th attempt.

You know what? I discovered the “email follow up” secret early. Based on this, I don’t like to see people unsubscribing from my list. I have understood the power of follow up. So. I want my list subscribers to keep seeing my email and after a while, I believe they will respond and probably buy something or pay for one of my services.

It is common for me to hear statements like, “Gbeminiyi, I have been receiving email from you for the past two years but I am just buying your product today. This product resonates with me and I can’t just ignore your email about it.”

With this type of statement, I concluded it is better not to allow people to get out of my email list easily. Though, I know that there is a law called CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) where you are required as an email marketer to create an unsubscribe link for people to opt out of your mailing list.

If this link is not seen in your email, email service providers like gmail and yahoo will send your message to the spam folder. To avoid that happening, I will include the unsubscribe link at the button of the message but then, I will try and make it difficult for my reader to see it.

Do you know what I used to do?

I will push the link down with the enter button so that if you want to unsubscribe from the list, you will have to scroll and scroll far down to the bottom of the email to see the unsubscribe link. The link is supposed to be immediately after the signature, that is, immediately at the end of my email, but you won’t see it immediately. You will have to “work” to get it.

With this, many are forced to remain in my email list. I thought it was a smart idea. But I now know it is wrong.

Of course, many may not bother scrolling down. But some may be genuinely tired of getting messages from you. They may have new interests and if they don’t know how to get out from your mailing list, they may just click the SPAM button within their email accounts to indicate that your message is spam.

You know what that does to your email campaign reputation? It destroys it. If we have several people hitting the spam button or reporting your message as spam, before you know it, your message will start finding itself in the spam folders of your recipients rather than their inboxes.

Some may not even bother to read your message again and they can mark it as read. All these activities by your email campaign recipients are being noticed and that can begin to affect the integrity of your email marketing.

In fact, part of the CAN-SPAM law is that the unsubscribe message should be at the header of your email. This can be added with a programming script or an email administrator can help you with that.

I noticed that my recent email messages were ending up in the spam folder of gmail and the ones going to yahoo email were totally rejected. What I later found out as the reason was because my email lacks the unsubscribe list header which is often called list-unsubscribe that is added to the header of every email that is being sent out by email marketers or anyone running bulk email services for promotion.

Previously, I thought I was smart by hiding the links. But later, I learn it was a silly idea not to add the link. The negative effect outweigh the positive effect of hiding it.

In fact, why should anyone hide the unsubscribe link from someone that is not interested in your message?

If you look at it very well, you pay per email address on your list. For example if you pay $20 to be able to send email to 1000 contacts per month, that is about $0.02 (around 11.60 naira at rate of 580/$). Though the amount looks so small, imagine that you need to send a message to one of the contacts for 365 days and the person ignores your message throughout without opening it.

Let do a little calculation of what you can be losing. The loss for 365 day will be you have lost  $7.30, that is about N4,234.00 for a year. The money still looks small.

But imagine that about 400 recipients are no longer interested in your messages, then the loss is now about $2,920.00 which is about N1,693,600.00. I want to believe a loss of over N1.6 million naira in a year is no longer a joke.

Don’t forget, the damage that it is doing to your campaign is not only in terms of money, it might affect others from receiving your messages. When the bounce rate of your email delivery increases, it makes email marketing ineffective and useless.

My candid advice is that you should provide the header list-unsubscribe and unsubscribe link at the end of your email so that it becomes easy for those that are no longer interested in your message to opt out.

It is better to have a small effective email list than a large but cold list that keeps wasting your precious time and money.

Gbeminiyi Oluwabusola
For: MeritChoice Limited

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