From time to time, you may check your reports following an email send and notice a large number of unsubscribes, opens, or link clicks (often all from the same domain). You will generally also notice that all of the opens, unsubscribes or link clicks occurred at the exact same time (or close to it).
Why Does This Occur?
This is usually caused when recipient email servers open and then scan the message to check it for validity and to ensure it doesn't contain phishing links, viruses, etc. In doing so, the server may also click on & check the unsubscribe link. If you have one-click unsubscribe enabled, this will also unsubscribe those contacts - without the recipient even realising this has occurred.
Again - as this is automated (a piece of computer software on the recipients end is doing it), and generally all unsubscribes will occur within seconds of one another - a tell-tale sign that a machine is doing it, not a human.
How Can I Avoid This?
Unfortunately you can't avoid it completely, as it's generally standard practice for larger companies and government entities to use email scanning technology on their email servers. However, there are a few things you might be able to check or adjust;
- Ensure your domain is configured in our platform. Sending from an unconfigured (unauthenticated) domain will generally cause recipient email servers to treat your message with caution & suspicion - which involves more scanning / scrutiny on their end.
- Disable one-click unsubscribe on your list(s). This feature allows a contact to unsubscribe merely by visiting the unsubscribe link - there is no follow-up prompt to ensure they actually want to unsubscribe. If an email server is visiting this link in order to scan it, it will unsubscribe the contact. Thus, disabling one-click unsubscribe can often reduce unwanted / false unsubscribes.
If you have checked / adjusted these options and you're still noticing high (presumed false) unsubscribes, then as the issue is occurring on your recipients end, there's nothing we can change on our side.
However, you can contact the recipient(s) in question and ask them to get their IT team to whitelist your domain and allow your emails through. Here is a sample email that you may wish to send to your affected recipient(s):
We recently sent you an email, but your email server automatically unsubscribed you from the mailing list before you even got to see the message. This is because your email server has an automated unsubscribe process enabled.
If you did not want to unsubscribe from our emails, you will need to ask your IT team / email provider to whitelist our domain, so that our important messages can make their way to you. The domain we use for sending emails is [insert your domain here].
Also, if it helps, the IP address ranges used by our email marketing system are as follows:
[refer to our System IP Address article]
Please ask your IT team to whitelist us, so our emails can make their way through to you. Thank you.
After the domain in question has been whitelisted by your recipients IT team / email provider, you will need to manually re-subscribe those that were automatically unsubscribed.