Just as auditing your subscription process is very important for complying with the CAN-SPAM act, auditing your unsubscribe process is also important. Amazingly, some companies have been operating without any working unsubscribe process whatsoever. Of course, the CAN-SPAM act mandates a working unsubscribe in every email, but this is something that every responsible email marketer should have been doing all along anyway.
The action to take here is to physically test your unsubscribe process with your own email address. It’s amazing how many times companies think they have a working unsubscribe link, but then ultimately find out that the link isn’t working properly at all. A non-working unsubscribe link will certainly land you in hot water with both your email subscribers and possibly the FTC.
The second action of this step is to make sure that your email unsubscribe handling technology updates your source database in a timely manner, so you’re not accidentally emailing that person a second or third time after they’ve asked to be unsubscribed from your list. This sounds simple, but again, it’s stunning how many companies fail to update their databases in a timely manner following unsubscribe requests.
This is especially difficult if you’re using an email service to conduct your email marketing campaigns, since email services require that unsubscribe requests be sent back to you in a batch, and then consolidated with your source database. An easier approach is to use email marketing software like Campaign Enterprise that automates this entire process for you: it places the link in your outbound emails, it hosts the unsubscribe confirmation page, and it writes the unsubscribe requests back to your source database in real-time, so that your data always reflects the wishes of your subscribers.
No matter what approach you use, make sure your unsubscribe process is working properly right now, and is updating your database in a timely manner.
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