Jun 14, 2005

Opt-out Links in Your Header?

Tops_thumbA recent Web Trends email campaign I received put opt-out instructions at the top of their email newsletter, instead of burying it in the footer, like most people do. It’s a nice decoy to keep your lazier recipients from clicking their "this is spam" buttons instead of properly opting out.

I looked through a bunch of my opt-in subscriptions, and found lots of examples of marketers placing these "functional" type links in their headers.

Examples after the link…

More and more marketers are placing their "opt-out," "white-list-me," and "trouble-viewing?" links in the headers of their email newsletters, instead of their footers.

It’s a really nice idea, because it keeps some people from clicking their "this is spam" button because they’re too suspicious—or lazy—to scroll down to your footer and click "unsubscribe" (this actually happens about 13% of the time, according to Jupiter). 

We recently took this approach ourselves, when we helped a client send their campaign to a list of opt-in recipients that they only market to once a year (for a big annual event). Since their campaigns are so infrequent, we knew there’d be some forgetful recipients that would think the email was spam (even though they opted-in). At the top of the email, we advised the client to place opt-out instructions, plus "you’re getting this because…" copy in order to avoid getting lots of spam reports. The result? Lots of recipients unsubscribed, but they didn’t get one single spam complaint. Not bad, for a list of 10,000 that they only contact once a year.

Wondering how much of a trend this is, I sifted through my own inbox for some good examples…