One-Stop Blocking

Ultra-convenience is coming to all email recipients—sooner than you think, according to John Murphy, president of Reachmail. And that will mean huge headaches for marketers.

Spurred by the growth of spam, “one-click unsubscribe” is on the near horizon, Murphy says. “While better than current systems for unsubscribing, one-click unsubscribe will cause marketers immense frustration."

One-click unsubscribe will allow recipients to opt out of a list without visiting a landing page where they confirm that, indeed, they want to unsubscribe.

Why is one-click unsubscribe a headache for marketers?

The answer: antispam servers. These servers scan incoming emails for malware, hijacked links, and other hacker techniques by automatically clicking every image and link in the message before releasing it to the recipient. If an antispam server clicks a one-click unsubscribe link, it’s bye-bye prospect (or customer). And she never even knows she’s been unsubscribed!

As every marketer knows, you don’t have to be a spammer to get reported for spamming. It’s only a matter of time before a recipient or two—often by accident—triggers an abuse report. The reports typically result from an inexperienced user clicking “report as spam,” when she merely wants to opt out of an email she considers “junk.”

But, mistaken or not, a mere handful of complaints can result in your blacklisting. While professional email sending firms—by monitoring abuse reports, redistributing email delivery across different servers and IP addresses in real time, and automatically making your emails CANSPAM-compliant—keep honest marketers out of trouble, they cannot, thanks to spammers, halt the IT industry’s steady march toward one-click unsubscribe.