Q&A: Which is better – unsubscribe link or opt-out option

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The world of outbound sales might seem confusing. To make your adventure with outreach email campaigns easier, we’ll be answering some questions you might have lost some sleep over. This week, we will tackle the infamous opt-out option dilemma is it better to provide an unsubscribe link or casually write “let me know if you don’t want to receive any more emails”?


Let’s address the elephant in the room right at the beginning – you don’t want to get marked as SPAM. When it comes to anti-SPAM laws, some of the more restrictive countries demand a clearly stated opt-out option. In this case, it’s safe to go with an unsubscribe button so as not to attract any unwanted attention. If you go for a short text like “If you don’t want to hear from me, just let me know”, you need to be extra careful with the content of your emails. Remember that you’re not writing a newsletter, so be as casual as possible (depending on prospect’s industry, of course). In this case, the personalization of the email is the key. Bear in mind that a successful outbound campaign is conversational, not salesy.

Don’t fall into SPAM

Nowadays, we are bombarded with a huge number of emails. Most people don’t even skim through the messages they get. (You’re one of them, aren’t you?) However, some like to keep their inboxes well organized. It might be the case that not providing your message with a simple opt-out option will result in reporting your message as SPAM. According to the MarketingSherpa research, around 20% of customers report SPAM presumably for not having a clearly stated unsubscribe option. People look for simple solutions to their problems and the Report SPAM button is really easy in use. One thing’s for sure, having a clearly stated, not intrusive unsubscribe option will decrease the chance of being marked as SPAM.

reporting spam in Gmail

On the other hand, enriching your message by a direct unsubscribe link will decrease your reply rate. The prospects, who would have responded negatively, will not provide you with an answer. In other words, you might notice a lower number of negative responses, to which you don’t have to respond. Should the decrease in the reply rate be worrying? Absolutely not. What you should care about is the conversion rate, the ability to turn leads into customers.

You could also use another solution. Instead of putting a simple unsubscribe link, write a sentence along the lines of “If you don’t want to hear from me, click here, I bet it will be a pity”. Putting the unsubscribe button in the middle of the sentence is fair – you’ve included the opt-out option. But at the same time, it’s a bit hidden and may actually give the prospect some second thoughts about unsubscribing.

opt-out option

See what works

Remember that outbound is the art of trying different things out. If you’re still not sure which option is better, it’s pretty straightforward to A/B test both of these solutions. Growbots lets you do the A/B tests easily, by sending two versions of the message. You can include a simple unsubscribe button in one of them, while putting a casual phrase “if you don’t wish to receive any more e-mails from me, just let me know” in the other. Comparing the results of these two campaigns will give you a general idea of which solution works best. 
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no prior experience & time required

Find your winning outbound formula with Concierge

no prior experience & time required

Find your winning outbound formula with Concierge

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