Performance Marketing Blog

Expert ideas, unfiltered opinions & best practices in digital marketing

Why Opt-outs are Good for Your Email Campaign

In the email marketing ecosystem, opt-outs play a critical role in helping you manage your email reputation. Apart from opt-out links being a CAN-SPAM requirement, giving users an option to opt-out of your communication is simply good business practice.

Consider the alternative. If a disinterested user isn’t offered a clear opt-out mechanism within the email, they have 2 choices:

Choice #1: Users will continue to delete your emails from their Inbox.

Choice #2: Some will express their frustration by complaining to their ISP, using a simple option on their toolbar. Here’s what that option looks like in Gmail and Yahoo:

mark-as-spam-gmail   mark-as-spam-yahoo


Although Choice #1 is not ideal, it is a more desirable option compared to Choice #2. When a user deletes your email they are not affecting your Sender Score, which is one of the most important metrics driving email reputation and influencing future delivery. In fact, according to Return Path, a global leader in email intelligence, 83% of the time your email (server) reputation determines whether your email lands in the Inbox or the Spam folder.

However, each time a user chooses Option #2 and marks your email as spam, your email reputation takes a hit. Your Sender Score worsens as more users opt for this choice. So, it’s better to have a user opt-out than to have them mark your email as spam. When they do opt-out, consider gathering information on the reason for the opt-out.

Learn more about the email marketing ecosystem and how you can create an awesome email marketing program with Nirmal’s presentation “Creating Email Awesomeness from Design to Delivery” that he delivered at NEDMA’s Annual Conference in May 2014:

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