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BizReport : Email Marketing : January 10, 2013

Are one-click unsubscribe links in email hurting your marketing?

Email testing and tracking company Litmus have come up with a neat solution to an email problem many marketers don't even know they have - the 'silent unsubscribe'.

by Helen Leggatt

litmus-logo.pngIt wasn't until a fan of the Litmus newsletter unsubscribed that the team at the email testing and tracking company thought something was awry.

You see, not only was this person a long-time subscriber, but he had just shared an email newsletter with 85 of his co-workers. That didn't strike them as being the behavior of someone who would then go on to unsubscribe, and it left them scratching their heads.

After some investigation, the team at Litmus discovered what had gone wrong. One of the 85 recipients of the forwarded email newsletter had mistaken it for spam and clicked the unsubscribe list.

Trouble is, the unsubscribe link was linked to the original recipient - their die-hard fan. The one-click unsubscribe process meant that no confirmation of the unsubscribe was presented to the original recipient who forwarded the email.

Using a technique that changes the content of a forwarded email, Litmus have come up with a solution to the problem of 'silent unsubscribes', the full details of which can be found on their blog.

"This technique should be standard practice for every email marketer," writes Litmus guest blogger Jonathan Kim. "It decreases the silent unsubscribe rate, has decent client support and degrades gracefully for clients like Gmail."

Tags: consumer communications, email marketing, email service provider, email testing, email unsubscribe, list management, spam

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