The top 5 best practices for email unsubscribe

When it comes to email marketing, building a strong recipient list is key – but so is letting recipients go when they no longer wish to receive your communication. Enabling your customers to opt out of your communication is mandatory by law. Further, although email marketing is highly effective, making it easy for customers to unsubscribe can benefit your company.

How can it be strategic for your business to make it easy and pleasant for customers to unsubscribe from your emails? Well, the better the experience you provide customers, the more likely they are to remain loyal – even if they don’t want your emails. Conversely, if you make it really difficult for recipients to unsubscribe, they will associate your brand with the frustration of having yet another unwanted message cluttering their inbox. You only want to send emails to people who want to receive them; this will give you higher deliverability and make sure your messages don’t end up marked as spam.

Having customers unsubscribe is a normal part of email marketing. A healthy unsubscribe rate for an average email hovers around 2%, although this number may be higher for newer email lists. That said, there are several best practices for unsubscribe options – ways to retain the most recipients possible with communication that actually adds value, while keeping a good relationship with those who do opt out.

Here are the top 5 best practices for email unsubscribe:

1. Make it easy

Place your unsubscribe link where it is visible and logical – either at the top or bottom of your email. If users have to search for it, they may choose instead to mark your email as spam, resulting with more deliverability issues in the future

Enable single-click unsubscribe, so that it is quick and easy for customers to opt-out of your messages – at least, as easy as it is for them to mark your content as spam

Include a confirmation page so unsubscribers can reconsider, but do not send them a confirmation email, which will only irritate them further

2. Alternative unsubscribe options

Give users the option to change the email address on which they receive your communications

Provide customers the choice to remain subscribed but change the frequency and content of their communications. You have a better chance of keeping them if your communications are more relevant and they have more control over the messages they receive

Give users the chance to pause communications for a while – say, a month – as maybe your messages will be more relevant down the line

If customers do ultimately unsubscribe, provide them with your social media platforms, so they can stay in touch with your brand

3. Ask them why

The more information you have about what subscribers don’t like about your messaging, the better you can send communication they do like. Make the questionnaire as easy as possible – preferably one multiple choice question, with a comment option in case they want to provide more information

4. Take the pulse of existing recipients

If you have recipients who have not engaged with your content in a while, re-activate them with a re-engagement email. Making it personalised and including a discount will encourage customers to return to your brand

If this does not work, send an automatic unsubscribe email, giving recipients the choice to click to stay subscribed. Users who still don’t engage will be removed, boosting your click and engagement rate and cleaning up your recipient list.

5. Play nice and be funny

Leave unsubscribers with a positive goodbye message. Remember, if you offer great customer service, they’ll be more likely to come back for more. Bonus points if you’re funny, because your message will be likely to stick in their brain – maybe they’ll even want to subscribe again!

Now that you know all about unsubscribe, read our Knowledge Base article about how to enable these best practices on the Agillic platform.

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