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How to Improve the Unsubscribe Process

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In the world of email marketing, a word you would prefer to never hear is "unsubscribe". But it is part of the game.

People are going to leave you for whatever reason and you have to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. You may think that by making it hard for someone to opt out of your email, you are being tricky, but it is actually a very bad idea. Those who get frustrated could possibly elevate the situation by telling friends or even report you as a spammer.

Luckily for most, just by using an email service provider, you are safe because they have to be CAN-SPAM compliant by including an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email that is sent out.

But that does not mean there are not ways to speed up the process and leave people content with their decision. Here are a few ways to improve the entire unsubscribe process that makes it easy on everyone involved.

Click and Done

When your soon-to-be ex-subscriber clicks on the link in your email to unsubscribe make sure that a new window or tab opens. Don't make an already awkward process even wonkier by eliminating the website that they are on with yours.

Further, when this new window opens, have their contact information, including name and email address, already "filled in." List the emails that they're subscribed to with the options of unsubscribing totally, changing the frequency of emails and an option for them to not unsubscribe.

Provide a simple "Update Account" button that solidifies their choices.

Make Reasons Optional

Though it is valuable information to you, asking why they are unsubscribing or changing their account is a giant pain. So, to make the process easier on everyone, offer an option to provide the reason why they are leaving after they've submitted their resignation.

Don't overwhelm your former email subscriber with a litany of options as to why they no longer want to hear from you. Instead, keep your list to 5 reasons, including "Too many emails," "Emailed too often" and "Emails no longer relevant."

Also, this is a great place to include a text box for additional feedback.

Offer a Timeline

After the unsubscribe is processed provide a timeline. This is especially important if your unsubscribe process isn't instantaneous. If it takes a couple of days to process, tell them that, but do go a step further.

"A couple of days" is meaningless, but "3-4 business days" is tangible.

The Cold, Hard Truth

Even the greatest email newsletters created by the greatest email marketers on the planet have people unsubscribe. It is just how it works. It can be as simple as the person is reducing the amount of email they get, to the newsletter is just not what it used to be. Regardless of the why, your unsubscribe process has to be air tight. By using the above mentioned tips, it will go far in keeping readers happy when they are unsubscribing. Remember, a positive experience may lead to them coming back one day (or even changing their mind). A painful experience will have them never looking back and certainly not speaking highly of you.

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