Emails are a fantastic way to stay in touch with past, present and prospective customers to keep your brand top of mind. And while nobody likes to lose their hard-earned email subscribers, it will inevitably happen.
Regardless of the many reasons your subscribers may choose to opt out, there is a right way and many wrong ways to handle it. The risk of dealing with unsubscribes the wrong way can be big. It can damage your reputation if subscribers take their complaint to review sites or social media. Additionally, it can have a huge financial impact with penalties of up to $10,000,000 in some countries if your emails are reported as spam and you’re not in compliance with anti-spam laws. So to avoid these situations, here are some tips on how to handle email unsubscribes and make the process as positive as it can be.
When people want to unsubscribe, people expect the process to be easy and they want it to happen fast. While you may have several days to meet an opt-out request, it should happen quickly, if not instantly. If they unsubscribed on Monday, they don’t want to get your email blast on Thursday. Likewise, you should make the unsubscribe process one step and as straightforward as possible.
If your business offers a variety of emails, provide the option to customize an email subscription instead of outright cancelling. They may not be interested in your weekly how-to tutorials, for example, but they would still like to hear from you when you’re running a contest or promotion. Although it’s great to provide these options to a subscriber to encourage them to stay subscribed in some way, it’s still very important that you offer them the option to quickly and easily unsubscribe from all emails. Not only is it good practise, it’s the law! Most countries have laws that demand every commercial email must include an unsubscribe mechanism.
It’s important that people are left with as positive an impression as possible when someone unsubscribes. Whether or not you choose to send a final email confirmation when someone unsubscribes is up to you. Some people may find it irritating. On the other hand, it may be your last chance to directly communicate with the subscriber.
If you decide to send a confirmation email, make sure to keep it professional. Use the opportunity to provide alternative ways of keeping in touch – like following you on social media, for example. It’s also okay to ask them why they’ve chosen to unsubscribe, but make sure it happens after they have unsubscribed. They could offer up some valuable insights you can use to help improve your email strategy.
Nobody wants to lose email subscribers. You’ve worked hard for them! With that being said, if it’s going to happen, you might as well make the most of it. Understand that just because someone unsubscribes from your emails, it doesn't necessarily mean they're unhappy customers. Make the unsubscribe process as quick and easy as possible and, should you decide to send a final email confirmation, don't be afraid to insert some originality into it and ask for customer feedback so you can grow your strategy! Be creative and make the most from an otherwise unfavourable situation.