Unsubscribes are a complicated subject. On the one hand, you want your constituents to be able to receive messages from your organization without worrying that they’ll opt out and miss important information. On the other hand, you’ll run a greater risk of getting labeled as a spammer and run afoul of the law if you don’t have that unsubscribe link available on any marketing communications.
With Messages, you have the ability to send “Operational” emails that do omit the unsubscribe link and let you contact your constituents whether or not they have unsubscribed. Learn more about this type of email in Operational vs. Marketing messages. It’s important to deploy these messages with great care, however, because not including an unsubscribe link in a message is a classic sign of a spammer.
Spam filters and sender reputation monitoring services look for an unsubscribe link as an indicator of legitimacy. Emails that don't have an unsubscribe link are very likely to be filtered as spam and never delivered to the intended recipients. And if it makes it to the inbox, research shows that emails that do not feature an unsubscribe link have a much greater probability of being reported as spam to an ISP/ESP. If someone doesn't want an email, you are far better off if they unsubscribe rather than reporting your email as spam. In the US and around the world, sending spam is against the law.
Unless an email is designated as Operational, it must have an unsubscribe link before it is sent. Messages will add a generic one for you, or you can add one yourself and customize it. You can find the Unsubscribe Link under “Special links” in the message and template editor content block.
It’s also possible to customize the page where users land if they do decide to click the unsubscribe link. You must include our standard Unsubscribe Form element, but you can put it on a page with other elements. Set your unsubscribe landing page just as you would a portal landing page.
Another important factor in managing unsubscribes from your messages is how you use your mailing lists. When a constituent clicks the unsubscribe link and visits the unsubscribe page, they are given the choice to unsubscribe from all mailings, or just to unsubscribe from the particular mailing list that sent them that message. If you’ve organized your mailing lists by type, such as “Weekly Newsletter,” that subscriber can opt out of the one newsletter instead of every communication sent to an “All Parents” list. Organize lists thoughtfully to help your users understand how you’re going to communicate with them and receive the messages they want.