3 Tips for Managing Email Unsubscribes

While every customer is important to your email marketing program, the time will come when some subscribers will want to leave. Losing a potential customer may not be ideal, but effective management of the unsubscribe process can help turn a negative situation into a slightly-less-negative one.

Following are three tips for managing unsubscribes:

1. Make it simple to unsubscribe
Marketers are required to include a functioning unsubscribe link in all emails. Some marketers will do the bare minimum and simply place the link in the footer, often buried in other copy. What these marketers don’t realize is that hiding the unsubscribe link won’t deter subscribers from leaving; instead it will push them to complain. An unsubscribe may terminate your ability to communicate with one specific customer, but a complaint will have repercussions on your ability to reach all your customers.

To avoid incurring complaints, make your unsubscribe links clearly legible and easy to find—or better yet, go beyond best practices and implement link-unsubscriber. Link-unsubscriber is an unsubscribe option in header of all your emails, providing an additional, easy to find unsubscribe option.

Another option is to provide a MAILTO address that the subscriber can reply to, asking to be removed from your mailing list. The caveat to this is you have to have someone to manage it and respect the desire of the user.

2. Offer alternatives to unsubscribing altogether
There are many reasons that can lead a subscriber to opt-out. Some might no longer be interested in your program, but others may be willing to stay under different circumstances.

In addition to a simple unsubscribe option, offer alternatives through a preference center. These might include various frequencies, and choices of relevant topics. By offering alternatives you can potentially prevent subscribers from leaving, and additionally gain valuable insight into your subscribers’ preferences that will help you deliver more relevant content in the future.

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3. Ask for feedback
If your preference center is unsuccessful in keeping subscribers engaged, you still have one last opportunity to gain some benefit from an unsubscribe: ask for feedback. By asking your subscribers the reason for opting out, you’ll gain valuable insight into why you’re losing subscribers, which can be extremely valuable to improving your program and minimizing future unsubscribes.

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