The Death of the Unsubscribe Link

By | April 21, 2017

I’ve been getting alot of email lately from SDRs using tools like Salesloft, Tout and Outreach. I have noticed a couple of important trend occuring.

  1. There is no unsubscribe link
  2. There is no content, just a request for a meeting/conversation
  3. They are not personalized or interesting to me the recipient

It is hard not to think of these emails as spam. I assume the reply rate is dismal. Most importantly, I feel like all of the content marketing techniques learned over the past 10 years have been tossed out the window. I have questions:

  • Who is writing these emails?
  • How do I unsubscribe?
  • Are we witnessing the death of the unsubscribe link?
  • Is marketing and SDRs emailing the same people at the same time?
  • Are SDRs the new marketing department?

Think about that last one for a minute. If you, the marketer, sit idly by while your SDRs send your targets unsolicited emails, they are hurting your ability to engage and nurture those people. Just because technology lets you send emails to lots of people, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I actually heard of a company whose corporate IP was blacklisted for this kind of email.

When I reply to these SDRs (which I often do), I give them a haiku.

Not personalized
Do not see unsubscribe link
Please leave me alone

You can google me and find a dozen things that will get my attention. You can read my blog or twitter or watch past speeches I have given. Any kind of personalization will get my attention. I still might not be the right persona for your company or care at all about your service, but at least I will treat you as a human being.

The unsubscribe link exists for a reason. It is when you send bulk mail with no personalization. There are laws that try and protect the rights of recipients from getting spam. These tools are blatently side-stepping these rules.

The point here is about choosing a side. Either send a truly customized email or include the unsubscribe link. What side are you on? Do you even know what your SDR team is doing?

I think I am going to start a kickstarter project called “Save the Unsubscribe Link”. The way it would work is when an email is uncustomized with no unsubscribe link, it will send 10 messages in reply every hour for 72 hours. The content will be the above Haiku. Anyone want to be the first to fund the project?

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