In the email marketing world, the unsubscribe process gets the short end of the attention stick.
Compared with the lavish greeting of an onboarding program (or at least a welcome message), many marketers give their "unsubscribers" a virtual bum's rush out the door with a one-click, no-questions-asked unsubscribe.
Naturally, you don't want to put hurdles in front of subscribers who genuinely want to leave your email program. That violates the spirit as well as the letter of email laws such as CAN-SPAM (United States) and CASL (Canada). It's also the quickest route we know to generate enough spam complaints to affect your deliverability.
However, many customers who are looking for the exit marked "Unsubscribe" aren't actually looking to cut off all communications.
A well-designed unsubscribe process can let out the subscribers who truly want to get off an email list and, at the same time, offer alternatives that maintain the customer/subscriber relationship.
It can also help you retain more of the money you spent up front to acquire those subscribers and reduce the number of new subscribers you need to keep your database growing.
This blog post kicks off a new series aimed at helping you understand the motivations, processes and economics of unsubscribing. You'll also learn why an investment at the end of the subscription journey can actually strengthen your entire digital marketing program.
The series will cover topics such as the following:
- Why readers unsubscribe and how it affects your database
- How to reduce the factors that lead people to unsubscribe
- How unsubscribes affect list churn
- Laws and regulations that affect unsubscribing
- The relationship between the unsubscribe experience and branding, reputation and consumer trust
- Recommended tactics, including language, positioning, appearance, etc.
- Alternatives to unsubscribing and how they can help you retain more customers in your database
- Using a preference center to manage the unsubscribe process, with examples
Got questions, concerns or comments about unsubscribing or topics you would like to see covered as part of this series? Let me know @LorenMcDonald.
1) Video: “Do You Have an Email Unsubscribe Problem?”
2) Blog: “5 Approaches to Minimizing Unsubscribes”
3) Ebook: “31 Tactics for Building Your Database”