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Written by:

Amanda DiSilvestro

Apr 16, 2012

Why Your Unsubscribe Process Is as Important as Earning Subscribers


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It is no secret that earning a subscriber is exciting. Subscribers are often some of the most loyal customers to a company because they receive content right in their inboxes, making it easier to read and harder to ignore. An email message every day or ever week helps to increase visibility and get your brand recognized. Many companies allow for readers to subscribe to a blog, a special promotional newsletter, or other email marketing campaigns full of videos and advice. In the majority of cases, these subscribers will remain on your list for a long time to come provided you offer valuable content.

Unfortunately, not all subscribers will want to keep receiving emails. Whether it be because they do not have enough time to read your emails, they are becoming bombarded with many important work-related emails, or your content is not of value to them any longer, un-subscribers are inevitable. For this reason, it is extremely important that your company has an unsubscribe system in place.

Why a Well Thought-Out Unsubscribe Process Is Important

Many companies neglect their unsubscribe process because it doesn’t seem like it matters. To most, someone who no longer wants to receive emails is not interested in what the company has to offer. If this is the case, that customer will likely never convert. Companies therefore spend more time worrying about those who have subscribed as opposed to those they will probably never hear from again. On that same token, making it more difficult to unsubscribe seems like it gives the company a second chance. It seems, from experience, that this is a very common mentality.

However, ignoring the unsubscribe process or making it difficult actually causes companies to miss out on some great lead generation opportunities. An un-subscription is the perfect time to win back potential customers and/or learn about how your company can improve in the future. Making the process easy and efficient will also help ensure that your company is “leaving” on good terms. Just because someone unsubscribes from your messages does not mean that they will not refer your company to others—you don’t want to make them mad just before they leave.

Tips and Tricks to Getting the Most from Your Unsubscribe Process

  • Convenience – You want to make sure your unsubscribe link is easy for readers to find. It certainly doesn’t need to be overly obvious, but it should at least be in small letters at the bottom of your messages. This will ensure that if someone had a positive view of your company that view will remain.

  • Offer Options – You want to make sure you give the person leaving options. Have options such as changing the frequency of posts, different newsletters for different topics, or a less expensive option if available. If someone sees that you offer alternatives, he/she might be willing to simply make a switch as opposed to leave altogether.

  • Immediate Results When someone unsubscribes to your campaign you want to have that go into effect immediately. Receiving messages after you have unsubscribed is just as annoying as not being able to find the unsubscribe button.

  • Lean Why – It is always a good idea to do a background check and really understand why someone is leaving. Too many companies just push aside someone who has left and do not take advantage of the fact that this person could be a huge asset to the company. Ask these people to take a poll and answer a few questions. Make the questions quick and easy (filling in bubbles always works well) and leave a space for comments.

  • Test-Run – Give your unsubscribe process a test-run. See if it is smooth and leaves you with a good taste in your mouth. You may want to ask a family member or friend to give it a try because he/she will be completely new to the whole process.

Ultimately, you do not want someone to mark your messages as spam. This will be filed as a complaint on your company and could get your campaign into a lot of trouble. If someone wants to unsubscribe but can’t figure it out, you’re bound to wind up in that “mark as spam” routine.

Have you put thought into your unsubscribe process? Do you think it has made a difference?

Photo Credit: blog.solidcactus.com

Topics: Email Marketing

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