We know that you never want users to unsubscribe from a mailing list you’ve worked so hard to build up, but sometimes, it’s best to just let them go. Even so, it’s important that they unsubscribe in the right way; mishandling the unsubscribe process can seriously harm your email marketing.

Follow these tips to keep in line with GDPR regulations and keep unsubscribes to a minimum.

Unsubscribing best practice

Make it easy for users to unsubscribe

You should already be including an unsubscribe option in your emails, as not only is it best practice, you are also required to show this by law. Make sure that you don’t hide your unsubscribe button and that it’s clear and easy to find. Whilst the unsubscribe link is usually found at the bottom of your email in the footer, you can experiment and try putting the link at the top of the email. A clearly placed unsubscribe link will reduce the risk of being marked as spam!

Whilst you might have used a double opt-in strategy for subscribing new users to your list, use a single opt-out strategy for those unsubscribing, don’t respond by sending them another message asking them to confirm. Include a confirmation page when they have unsubscribed and no more.

Create an email preference page

Some customers may not want to opt-out but wish to receive fewer emails, or only want emails on certain topics. Give your users other options to consider when they are unsubscribing and give them the chance to update their email preferences, via the use of an email preference page. They can then decide if they wish to receive certain emails, less emails or just opt-out altogether. You must include an option to unsubscribe to all your emails.

Find out why they’ve opted out

This is an opportunity to find out why users are wishing to unsubscribe. When the user receives a confirmation of unsubscribing, you could include a simple multiple-choice question of why they have opted out. Make this optional and don’t provide too many options which could overwhelm the user. Any data or feedback that you gather from this question can then help you improve your email marketing efforts going forward.

Send a re-engagement campaign

If you have a bunch of subscribers who are inactive – but are yet to unsubscribe – then these can harm your email deliverability and push your emails towards the spam folder. You can improve these by running a re-engagement campaign to these users, encouraging them to either update their email preferences and re-engage or unsubscribe. Offering an incentive, such as an offer, can help entice inactive subscribers back into the fold. If you still have any inactive subscribers after this campaign, then you can clean up your list and remove them – or you can unsubscribe them regardless of a re-engagement campaign.

You don’t need to be afraid of unsubscribes! In fact, users unsubscribing can improve your email marketing performance. By following these best practice tips, you can help keep your emails away from the spam folder and maintain your company’s reputation online.

We’re experts when it comes to all things email marketing and love helping our clients develop strategies that work. If you’d like to speak to us about creating strategic and impressive email automations, get in touch today.