Opt-Out Email Marketing is Dead

The days of the “email blast”, when potential customers were subscribed to a mailing list, then sent marketing copy until they un-subscribed, is dead.

Modern spam filters use methods such as machine learning and behavioural analytics to keep unwanted and unsolicited advertisements away from recipient inboxes. Meaning that the negative reactions of some users to a message, will cause every similar message to be sent to the spam folder for every recipient. Permanently.

Bulk opt-out marketing emails, no matter how “technically” well sent, or regardless of their legality, are not going to make it passed modern filters and into inboxes.

These days, anybody who continues these practices and then wonders why they have zero inbox placement with most providers really should pick up a copy of Who Moved My Cheese, it’s an excellent introduction to embracing change.

However, some opt-out marketeers genuinely don’t believe they need to change their methods at all. Following is a composite of the reasons we’ve heard from such organisations over the last year, along with the boilerplate responses we’ve actually used, and some we wish we could have.

 

“But it’s legal / I’m doing B2B marketing / I have an un-subscribe link in every message”

Yes, technically most bulk email legislation allows for some form of opt-out marketing in a B2B context. However, if the recipients don’t want or expect that message then the spam filters will know that and your email won’t be delivered to inboxes.

 

“We need it for lead generation and it’s just like cold calling”

Cold calling is like cold emailing. When done properly it works well and doesn’t typically have any problems getting into the inbox. Opt-out bulk emailing is the equivalent of using robocalling for lead generation. Again, if the recipients don’t want or expect that message then the spam filters will know that and your email won’t be delivered to the inbox.

 

“We used opt-out email marketing before and never had problems”

Times change. Read this book.

 

“We’re a start-up”

Ok. Your opt-out marketing email still won’t get delivered to inboxes.

 

“We can’t afford to be compliant / change what’s not working / market a different way”

Ok. Your opt-out marketing email still won’t get delivered to inboxes.

 

“But, company X uses opt-out marketing successfully”

For a very small number of companies, opt-out email marketing is still successful. Those companies have very vertical offerings, a deep understanding of their product-market fit, use extremely high quality lists and practice exemplary list hygiene. They’re outliers. Your product or service is not comparable and definitely unsuitable for promoting via opt-out marketing. Trust us.

 

If you would like help with email deliverability or with replacing your opt-out email marketing programme with something that gets inbox placement, please get in touch, we can help you.