How to Better Manage Email Unsubscribes

It’s so hard to say good bye. To your email subscribers. But sometimes, you can’t avoid losing a few. And it only takes a few unwanted emails or a clunky unsubscribe process to hurt your reputation. But there are a few easy steps you can take to stay out of the doghouse with the recently unsubscribed.

Make unsubscribing quick and painless 

When someone decides to unsubscribe from your list, make it as easy as possible for them to do so—ideally in one or two clicks. All your emails should contain an unsubscribe link within the email to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM law.

Avoid making your subscribers re-enter their email address, password, or username. What is OK? You can include a survey on your unsubscribe page so they can tell you why they’re leaving. This can be an opportunity for you to gather data about your audience and which aspects of your marketing aren’t working.  Just be sure to include the survey as an option after the unsubscribe process is complete. As a rule of thumb, it should never take more than three steps to unsubscribe from your list.

Provide alternative options

You don’t need to lose a subscriber completely. Give them the option to follow you on various social media sites on their way out. Or, if you have different levels of communications, your unsubscribe link can take them to preference page where they can redefine their communication preferences.

Follow through immediately

The CAN-SPAM law gives you ten days to process the request for removal, but if you wait the full ten days, and they continue to get emails, you’re likely to leave the consumer with a bad impression. Remove them from your list as quickly as possible. Remember, they may still be a customer, and you want to create the best user experience possible.

Check in with subscribers

To keep your email list clean, send confirmation messages to current subscribers who haven’t opened any of your emails in six months or more. Their unopened rate could be because the messaging is no longer relevant to them, or because the email address is no longer in use. Either way, it’s a good idea to clean up your list by sending an offer to remove them. It also helps to remind them you’re there to provide valuable information and support.