ISPs determine inbox placement based on the reputation of the sender. Reputation can depend on a variety of factors, such as complaint rates (spam button), unknown user rates and spam trap hits.
Your opt-out process could be affecting your reputation. This might sound counter-intuitive, but ease of opt-out can be critical in protecting your email reputation. It is important that the opt-out process is made as easy and transparent as possible.
Customers receive a growing number of emails that they’ve subscribed to but are no longer particularly interested in. While email clients are working to filter these, there is the very real danger that consumers can simply hit the spam button to permanently remove them. Given that spam reports are fundamental to your reputation with ISPs as a trusted email provider, this can have disastrous consequences on the deliverability of all future campaigns.
Email marketers need to make it easier for customers to manage their subscriptions, even if this means that they ultimately decide to unsubscribe. Ensure that every email is clear about where subscribers have to click to opt-out. If the process isn’t instantaneous, manage expectations and let them know that they may receive some additional emails over a specified and short period of time.
To lessen the risk of complete disengagement, marketers can offer customers the opportunity to “opt-down” rather than opt-out by allowing customers to quickly and easily:
- Reduce the frequency of emails,
- Opt-out of some communications but also opt-in to new ones, or
- Further refine preferences so they get what they want.
In either scenario, you can use the process to gain more valuable data from customers, asking them to share their reasons for leaving and provide suggestions on how to improve your email communications. In making opt-out and opt-down more customer-centric, you can protect your reputation both with ISPs and with customers.
For more information on protecting your email reputation and improving deliverability, download Experian Marketing Service’s white paper, Three pillars of successful email deliverability: Ensuring safe arrival and optimum placement in the inbox
Learn more about the author, Spencer Kollas