The Ideal Unsubscribe Process

The Ideal Unsubscribe Process

by Jamie Czajkowski, March 23, 2017

If your subscribers want to unsubscribe from your e-marketing efforts, what is the best process?

From a user’s perspective, there is only one way to unsubscribe– include an unsubscribe link in an obvious place [email footer], click the button, and go to a confirmation page that informs them that they will no longer receive emails.

That’s it. “One-Click Unsubscribe”.

At the most, include an optional single question–beneath the removal statement–asking why they chose to unsubscribe (the emails were too frequent, the information did not relate to me, I don’t remember signing up, or other – with a field for them to enter information). Any further steps and you risk irritating your market or worse, SPAM reports.

Habits that should be avoided in the unsubscribe process:

  1. Informing them they will be removed in 3-5 days. This is unnecessary, email lists are updated in real time. Despite this message continued emails–after an unsubscribe request–result in the subscriber reporting emails as SPAM.
  2. Log in to unsubscribe/alter your subscription preferences. These are additional and unnecessary steps. In most cases, people will not remember their credentials and then face a new task in discovering their username and password in order to unsubscribe. More than likely they’re going to give up on finding their credentials and mark the next email as SPAM.
  3. Listing out which subscriptions they’re subscribed to.  In most cases, they don’t want to receive emails any more. And if they think they’ve unsubscribed, and you’re really only unsubscribing them from 1 of 15 different lists you’ve created and included them on, they’re not going to be happy and–once again–will report it as SPAM.
  4. Are you sure you want to Unsubscribe? – This may be the only one on the list that is acceptable, you never know, someone may click on unsubscribe unintentionally.  A solution could be informing them they have unsubscribed with the one-click method, but include an “undo” button if it was done by mistake.

The best way to avoid unsubscribing users is not to make the process difficult and provide infrequent, relevant, and fresh content. And always make sure your emails are in compliance with federal CAN-SPAM laws.