If you’ve been online for even a short length of time, you’ll know that when you fill out your details for a newsletter, blog or competition, you are opening your inbox to email promotions. Sometimes you’re genuinely interested and sometimes, you just want that free ebook. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you stop wanting to receive those emails so you unsubscribe. To the owner of an email marketing list, unsubscribes happen. It’s part of the natural churn and you need to get over it. This post will take you through what your unsubscribe process should look like and the consequences of a tricky unsubscribe process. Firstly, you must have an unsubscribe link if you are sending emails to people. The opt-out option is just as important as the opt-in process and without it, you will quickly find yourself on the wrong side of SPAM laws. The danger of having a cumbersome unsubscribe process is that you can turn a disinterested customer into a really aggravated customer. An increasing number of companies make you:
- Email a specific address (that was different to the sender) with the word REMOVE
- Confirm your email address on a webpage. WHY? They emailed you!
- Deselect email preferences on a separate webpage.
I once unsubscribed from a very well-known sales software company and I had to go through FIVE steps. I was furious by the time I actually unsubscribed. The harder you make it to leave your email marketing list, the angrier you make your soon-to-be-ex-subscriber. They will leave you with a growing sense of resentment at the time you just made them waste. If you’re lucky, they won’t tell everyone they know. Just. Let. Them. Go.
So what should your email unsubscribe process look like?
Make your unsubscribe links easy to find.
Most email marketing tools will put your unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email. Just make sure it’s there, that it’s not buried in a 200 word blurb or in a font colour that makes it hard to spot.
Make your unsubscribe process easy.
Like, one-click easy. Click to unsubscribe and you’re unsubscribed.
Don’t ask for the email address to be confirmed.
You already know it. The fewer redundant hoops you make people jump through, the better.
Action unsubscribe requests immediately.
Not in 5 or 10 working days. Now. This should happen automatically but a lot of companies still say it will take them 10 working days. If the unsubscribe is automatically and instantly actioned, you can say that!
Ask them why they are going.
This is an extra step but if you make it a short list of clickable options, it’s an easy one. It’s useful to learn why people are leaving and see if you need to change your email marketing as a result.
Say goodbye (nicely).
Thank them and tell them you’re sorry to see them go. It might sound cheesy but it’s a little courtesy that will go a long way. If you’re nice about it, maybe they’ll come back!