A recent MediaPost article explores the notion of placing unsubscribe links at the top, rather than or in addition to the bottom of email marketing messages, in order to mitigate spam complaints.
My take: Placing an unsubscribe link at the top of an email marketing message in order to reduce a high level of spam complaints is like trying to put a band-aid over a gunshot wound. There are much deeper issues that need to be addressed, and placement of the unsub link in your email template is probably very low on that list.
If you’re a good email marketer, your recipient anticipates and wants to read your email, view your content and learn more about you. Be confident in what you’re sending or think twice before clicking send at all. Because putting an unsub at the top of your messages is like an infomercial spokesman starting her pitch with “Before I begin, I’d like to warn you that you’re probably not going like the product I’m about to show you and might want to change the channel.”
At the end of the day, the goal is for your recipients to neither report spam nor unsubscribe; both are failures. Regardless of which they’re clicking, your recipients don’t want to hear from you anymore. They’re breaking off contact; your relationship is over, and it’s all your fault.
Focus squarely on delivering value to your subscribers and do whatever it takes to keep them happily on your list. In the end not only will you see fewer spam complaints and unsubscribes, but also increased response from happy, active customers.
– Jordan Cohen, Goodmail Systems