Why It is OK to Unsubscribe


Having moved the Silicon Valley Code Camp mailing list to a professional emailing service this year (SendGrid) I have learned quite a bit about mailing.  For the first 7 years, I did all my own SMTP mailing. That is, when I would send an email, I would go directly through my own SMTP mail server.  This meant I had to deal with lots of issues including things like both Google and Yahoo throttling my email.  By that I mean that when I would send too many emails (like more than 100 I think) to the Gmail or Yahoo domains, both sites would start bouncing saying I was sending to many.  My solution was to throttle those myself so that when I would send an email, I’d trickle out emails to duplicate domains.  SendGrid, among other things, takes care of that by retrying all bounced email for reasons like throttling tens of times until it finally gets through.  Basically, I did not have to change anything on my side besides the smtp port of my send to smtp.sendgrid.com.

The Unsubscribe is OK reason

So, on to the reason for this post.

I’ve learned that if I send people junk mail when they’ve asked to unsubscribe that those people report me and I’m guessing that many servers will then block my other email.  In other words, as a sender, it is in my best interest to honor unsubscribes, otherwise the hurt will be worse than the gain.  Below is what I see when I go to my sendgrid control panel and ask for how many people have reported me as spam.  Luckily, it’s only 52 and considering my list is 13,000+, I think this is probably OK.


About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP since 2007. In addition, he’s a multi-course video author at Pluralsight. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

Follow me:


  1. But I think the position of unsubscirbe link plays a important role in any email. Many recipients click the “report spam” button as an alternative to using the unsubscribe link in your email. Some recipients find it difficult to locate the unsubscribe link. Others might want to avoid having to scroll down to the bottom of an email – especially if it is a daily deals or fashion newsletter with many offers. So, in order to reduce the risk of complaints, the unsubscribe option should be as easy to find as the “Mark this as spam” button.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: