5 Tips to Improve Your Unsubscribe Process

Email marketing is one of the most effective form of online marketing. As per The Radicati Group research, “Business email will account for over 132 billion emails sent and received per day by the end of 2017.”The thing which make it so valuable and effective is that its permission based marketing. The people on your email list that is your recipients have given you the authority to send them messages. But, that does never mean that they want to receive mails from your side till eternity, as the preference of people keep on changing. Which make it essential that every email sent from your side gives recipients an option to remove themselves from your list and it should be as easy as it’s subscribing in your list.

Here are some good practices which every email marketer should follow to make unsubscribing an effortless task for the subscribers.  


1. Keep Unsubscribe Link at the Top of Your Email

No email marketer wants people to see unsubscribe link as soon as they open the email. But, still keeping it at the top is a good idea so that subscribers don’t have to search for it when they plan to remove themselves from your list. Here is an example from J.Crew.com, rather than burying it’s unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email it has kept it at the top of the email. This is a good way to stop recipients from clicking on the spam button. 



2. Make it Easy to Leave Your Email List

Make unsubscribing as easy as possible, ideally it should be a one click process. The easier it is to remove from your list, lesser the chances of the subscribers using the spam button.

When a recipient click on your unsubscribe link take them directly to the unsubscribe page where they are removed from your mailing list. Don’t ask them to login to the account or any other details, just give them an option to manage preferences. Here is an example from Piperlime.com, as soon as you click on their unsubscribe link they take you to this unsubscribe page where they have pre-filled your email address to save your time. Also, they gave you an option to set your email preferences on the same page as well as social alternatives to encourage you to stay connected with their brand via social channels. 



3. Ask Reason

Normally opt-outs occur when recipients are no longer interested in your email content or they feel that you sent email too frequently. Asking questions will clarify what percentage of unsubscribes were due to content or frequency, or is there any other reason.

As per Experian “2013 Email Market Study”, “Sixty percent of marketers do not give customers the option to select the types of emails they want to receive, and only 30 percent of marketers let their customers decide how often they want to be emailed.”

Asking questions is a good way to understand your user base. Aggregating these consumer insights will help you in improving future messages and can be used to reduce your future unsubscribe rates.


4. Show a Confirmation Message or Clearly Mention the Processing Time

When a recipient click on your unsubscribe link they expect you to act immediately. Fulfill their expectations by honoring their request instantly and display your friendly side by showing them a confirmation message that they have been removed from the list. But, if you require sometime for processing the request clearly mention it on the unsubscribe page. This way you can set their expectation and reduces the chance of being reported as spam.

According to CAN-SPAM Act marketers have only 10 days to remove an opt-out from their list, keep this in mind to avoid any complaints. Given below is an example of Dorothy Perkins which shows this message on it’s unsubscribe page to set clear expectations.


5. Keep Away From Follow Up Emails

When someone unsubscribe from your email list they have clarified it that they are not interested in receiving any email from your side and they expect that you’ll remove them from your list without annoying them. Sending them a mail again to confirm, shows that you have no respect for them and you don’t want to honor their expectations. This will encourage them to mark your message as spam and will increase the chances that they’ll never subscribe for your list again.

Losing a subscriber is far better than damaging your reputation. Whenever a subscriber wants to leave your email list consider it as a favor and leave them smiling. 


By giving subscribers a hassle free unsubscribe experience, marketers are doing a favor to themselves. Especially with Google’s recent announcement, which says it will soon add a prominent “unsubscribe” button to promotional emails in Gmail. So how hard marketers may try, the subscribers can easily remove themselves from brands’ mailing lists whenever they feel like.