Microsoft has recently made a small adjustment to its Windows Live Hotmail unsubscribe function that should mean good things for marketers.
Microsoft last August answered e-mail marketers’ calls to include an unsubscribe button in its interface so consumers will be less likely to mistakenly report permission-based commercial e-mail as spam.
The unsubscribe link appears in place of the report-and-delete button on some e-mails in Windows Live Hotmail, the free e-mail service replacing classic Hotmail.
To get the unsubscribe button to appear, the marketer must add a piece of code to the headers of outbound e-mail. Instructions on how to do this can be found at www.list-unsubscribe.com. The sender must also be on the receiver’s safe list, or Sender Score Certified by deliverability firm Return Path.
In the latest version of it free e-mail account service, a consumer who hits the unsubscribe button is taken to a Web page created by the marketer where they can indicate specifically what they want to opt out of.
Previously, a Hotmail user hitting the unsubscribe button would trigger an opt-out e-mail to the marketer who would then have no choice but to suppress the user’s address from all mailings even though the subscriber may have been opting out of only one particular newsletter or e-mail list.
With the new design, a marketer can set up a Web page that allows subscribers to manage their preferences, and, say, lower the frequency of mailings or opt of the one program from which they no longer want to hear without being lost to the marketer altogether.