Why You Should ‘Thank’ Your Unsubscribers

The negative impact of a spam complaint is a million times worse than when someone on your list unsubscribes. It is definitely sad to have someone unsubscribe especially when you’ve worked so hard for your connections and your leads. But, there are major reasons why you should thank the marketing gods that they unsubscribed instead of deciding to mark your communication as spam.

GlockApps says it perfectly: “No one is safe from spam complaints. Complaints can happen even to good marketers who are sending to permission-based email lists.”

Here’s the quick WHY:

1) Spam complaints directly impact your email deliverability and your reputation online.

“An email that receives an excessive number of complaints, could result in your next email being blocked by ISPs (internet service providers like: AOL, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Comcast, and so on) so that even people who do want to hear from you may not.” Source

“ISP customers are commonly your email recipients. It’s the job of the ISP to protect their customers receiving unwanted or unsolicited emails.” Source

2) There is no harm done (other than a possible knock to one’s ego for the loss of contact) to your email or domain reputation when someone opts out of receiving your emails with an unsubscribe.

How SPAM Complaints Work and Hurt

There are a few reasons why readers may click the spam button in their inbox. Sometimes they haven’t heard from you in a while or don’t remember signing up or giving consent to be on your list. Or maybe they no longer want to receive emails from you and they couldn’t find an unsubscribe link.

Side Note about ESPs: An Email Service Provider (ESP) in basic terms is a company like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, ConstantContact, that provides you email marketing/bulk email services. In detail, ESP is a service provided by a company which hosts email marketing/bulk email services on their services which are dedicated and specifically optimized for such activities. Source

When an email is marked as spam by its reader, the major ESPs are notified using feedback loops which gives them information about the sender of the email. Spam complaints will drive future emails to the reader’s spam folder and, depending on how many spam complaints your emails are getting, you could find your email address on an internet service provider ISP blacklist. And, no one wants that! There are some nuances to blacklists, but that’s for another time.

So, unsubscribers can really be thanked (figuratively) for taking the proper course of action that removes them from receiving future emails instead of going the spam complaint route.

How To Keep Your Marketing Emails Out of Spam
(as much as possible)

If you’re sending emails using ActiveCampaign (our system), MailChimp, ConstantContact, and so on, these tips will help reduce the likelihood of your emails ending up in Junk or Spam folders. Spam filters review a long list of parameters when considering the “spamminess” of an email. Each factor contributes to the overall spam score which helps determine if that message will end up in an inbox or go right to junk. These are 3 (of many) important ways you can reduce the perceived “spamminess” of your emails:

1. Make unsubscribing super easy. It’s far better to have hurt feelings than to battle spam complaints and declined deliverability rates. Consider including your unsubscribe link at the top of your emails. Making it easy for your contacts to unsubscribe is better for you and lowers your chances of harmful spam complaints.

2. Take out inactive contacts. If you’re sending emails to lots of inactive contacts that aren’t opening your emails, ISPs can consider your messages “unwanted” and they can end up in a spam folder instead. Find ways to continue to add new contacts to your list and to remove inactive contacts so that you’re keeping your list more current.

3. Set clear expectations. When contacts opt-in to receive messages from you or when you speak with new contacts and ask to add them to your email blast list, make sure they know what to expect so they aren’t surprised. If they aren’t expecting what you’re sending, the chances of them unsubscribing or making a spam complaint are much higher.