Email Bots Versus Email Marketing – the Danger of One-Click Unsubscribe


One-click unsubscribe links could be destroying your email list.

One-click unsubscribe refers to the link in an email which allows the subscriber to opt-out by simply clicking on the link.  

After clicking the link, they’ll be directed to a landing page which tells them that they’re now unsubscribed. That’s it. They don’t have to do anything else to confirm that they want to unsubscribe.

On the surface, this might sound like a pretty good thing. It’s easy for the user, and it’s quick. However, if a business has bots in place, a one-click unsubscribe can be harmful to your email marketing.

What are email bots?

Many large organisations will use email security servers – or “bots”.  

For every email that a company receives, the bots will carry out a link test. They will click on the links in an email to verify that they are safe for a human to click on.

Email bots help to prevent phishing scams and email spoofing. By scanning emails for malware, hijacked links, and other unsavoury hacking techniques, it helps to keep users safe. That’s a good thing.

However, to scan for those hacks, email bots automatically click on every link in an email before it gets to the human recipient. This means that, if you have a one-click unsubscribe link, then the email bots will automatically unsubscribe your subscribers.

The NHS is now using email bots

If you’re currently sending emails to NHS data, you may have seen a rise in your unsubscribe rate, and email bots could be the reason why. The NHS has been making changes to the security of their emails – both inbound and outbound.

They now use email bots to check the links in the emails that they receive, so this could have unsubscribed the recipient before their email has even been delivered. Click here to read more.

Email bots are the formidable arch enemies of your email campaigns, but they’re put in place to protect corporate inboxes, so they’re not going anywhere.

What you can do to stop email bots from unsubscribing

If you’re thinking about removing the unsubscribe links from your emails, then think again. To ensure your company is GDPR compliant, you must include an unsubscribe link in all of your email campaigns.

So, what can you do? The best practice is to direct your unsubscribe link to a landing page where they confirm that they do want to unsubscribe. This will mean that email bots can no longer unsubscribe your subscribers.

Any emails which are sent through the Wired Plus platform will now have a double opt-out process for unsubscribes. Get in touch with us if you want to know more.

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