Recently I started to receive emails from someone called Christopher S. Penn.  He sends me emails about all sorts of things. To be honest, I can’t even remember if I have accidentally subscribed to his emails. 

I was about to unsubscribe until I saw this.  A big fat GIF unsubscribe link right in the middle of his email. It is so big that you can’t ignore it before scrolling through. 

Then I decided to keep receiving his emails. 

This is literally the best unsubscribe link ever! Why? It indicates a total transparency. It’s like, hey, I may have spammed you but I wanted to make sure you know how to unsubscribe if you are offended. This also indicates confidence in the content provided. It means, hey, I’m confident that I’m providing useful content. 

In email marketing practice, most traditional marketers like to hide the unsubscribe link to the very bottom at the email footer, usually with tiny tiny fonts that human eyes can barely see.  If not required by email spam laws, they may have wished they don’t have to put the link on the emails at all. 

While making the link hard to find is seemingly a common practice, some organizations go really far on this. I have experienced  a few organizations that have pretty annoying practice on email unsubscription. 

  • A local piano seller.  I subscribed to their email list and then after a while I decided to unsubscribe. I pressed the unsubscribe button and unsubscribed myself. However, I kept receiving emails. Apparently, the unsubscription link does nothing in realty. 
  • A job listing website.  I created an account with this website about 15 years ago.  Since then, I started to receive job notifications a couple of times a week. I have tried to unsubscribe myself. Everytime I clicked the link, it asked me to log in my account to change my email preferences. Since I can’t remember my password, I had to give up. Till today, I’m still receiving emails from them. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Unsubscribe links are required by law. You need to have one.
  • Make sure the links are easy to find. 
  • Make sure they are actually working. 

Most importantly, take every chance to differentiate yourself from the crowd in your email marketing. You can be differentiated even from an unsubscribe link. Happy emailing!