Recently, Hotmail has been steadily releasing additional features for their e-mail users. These features offer users more flexibility in how they manage their Hotmail inbox. Of all of these features, e-mail marketers are paying the most attention to a new “one click unsubscribe” feature, designed to help users end subscriptions in a hassle-free way. Microsoft hopes this will help keep legitimate companies from being unjustly spam-listed.
This new feature has effectively divided the e-mail marketing community. While it, in theory, should keep companies off spam lists, many marketers are worried about a potential drop in exposure as consumers are enabled to tune out with extreme ease. However, used effectively, there are many reasons that the new unsubscribe feature could be beneficial to e-mail marketing campaigns.
One-Click Unsubscribe Decreases Unjust Spam-Listings
Let’s start with the obvious: If you make it as easy for users to unsubscribe to your newsletter as it is to mark your newsletter as spam, they are far more likely to unsubscribe if they do not wish to receive further mail from you. According to MarketingSherpa, 47% of e-mail users use the “spam” or “junk” button as an unsubscribe button. That is, 47% of e-mail users do not use the spam filter for its intended purpose: To catch unethical e-mail practices and punish those who employ them. Instead, it is seen as an easy way to stop unwanted mail—even if they had asked for it in the first place. By making it that easy to unsubscribe, a lot of these false positives should go away.
One-Click Unsubscribe is Customizable
Hotmail’s one-click unsubscribe works by reading a header link from your e-mail. That is, it uses something which you as an e-mail marketer can control. As such, there are things you can do to keep consumers from unsubscribing on a whim. Your header link, for example, might lead them to a preferences page, where they can opt to receive fewer e-mails from your company instead of none at all. Even a simple “are you sure?” page before offering the unsubscribe button could help keep yourself in the consumer’s inbox.
Faster E-Mail Attrition Helps Marketers, Too
A customer flagging your content as spam is always a bad thing. However, not having accurate data can kill any marketing campaign in a much subtler way. By offering users a way to quickly unsubscribe, you get more accurate statistics. Though most people talk about false positives in terms of the spam filter, there is actually another false positive problem—that of the user who does not read your e-mails, but does not take the effort to unsubscribe. By having an easier unsubscribe method for these users, the result should be a much more accurate picture of the success of your campaign.
These are just three ways in which the one-click unsubscribe button in Hotmail can help e-mail marketing. By providing more accurate retention data and reducing the number of false spam flags, marketers will have a clearer path to the inbox as well as a clearer picture of who they are reaching and who they are not.