Not Evangelism

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Say goodbye with a smile, not a sulk: designing your unsubscribe process

When users unsubscribe, it doesn't matter how you treat them, right?  After all, they're leaving you, so you no longer need to worry about giving them great experience.

Well, no.

Unsubscribing is a touchpoint with your users

The last point of contact with your users is still a point of contact, another opportunity to ensure that they think of you fondly. Having them unsubscribe should be as easy as having them subscribe.

Just because a user is leaving your email newsletter, it doesn't signal the end of their contact with you.  It must be easy to unsubscribe, easy to the point of being forgettable, to reduce the negative experience (and, hopefully, to increase the likelihood of repeat custom).

Your job is to make the unsubscribe process as easy as possible. Make it as easy as subscribing, easier even.

Unsubscribing the right way

One click and you're gone

Unsubscribing should happen in one click, if possible - and it is usually possible, dependent on the platform you're using (and if not, perhaps you're using the wrong platform).  There's plenty of examples out there.

But don't claim you're something you're not. If you advertise "Click here to unsubscribe", you better mean it, and not "Click here to log in and change your communications preferences".
Don't expect users to log in
Nor remember their username and password.  They'll just get disgruntled and start blocking your emails; which could result in fees for bounces.
Use the right language
Give appropriate feedback, and don't leave the users in doubt about what they've just done.  If they've unsubscribed, tell them so; don't say "You request to unsubscribe has been received" - does that mean it needs to be approved?  Are they going to get another email from you?

I'm confused! Have I unsubscribed, or just requested to be unsubscribed?

When I unsubscribe, I want confirmation that it has happened, not a message telling me that my request has been submitted.  Trust me, when I clicked that link, it was not a request.

Make yours a happy farewell

Trust in your users.  Don't make it hard to unsubscribe.  If they like you, but they're just a bit overloaded with your newsletters, chances are they'll come back.  And if they don't like you, you really don't want to be in the position of sending them messages they don't want every week, month, whenever; that will only breed resentment. And they'll share that resentment with others.

Unsubscribing could be another positive marketing opportunity for your business. Don't miss the chance.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post...I unsubscribed from a well known photo book/mug/printing co. the other day & the response was basically...We can't believe you don't want to hear about our great offers, you fool, but bye then!