dont unsubscribe just yet As a Marketer, I’m happy to see the “Social is taking over email” articles and blogs go away in place of more reasonable views that they can work together without one necessarily excluding the other. For me, the next step is to join forces with the two channels.

One way: When people unsubscribe, give them an option to fan you or follow you instead. Does that sound counter intuitive? After all, they are basically saying “I don’t want email from you,” so why would they still want to follow you?

I got to thinking about that this morning after I unsubscribed from a company’s email, then read in another email the suggestion above (about offering a social media option at unsubscribe). Think about the psychology of it…

I unsubscribed from a winery’s emails because I don’t have time to keep up with them right now and my inbox is too cluttered. That doesn’t mean I’m no longer interested in the wine or the winery. It means I’m “cleaning house,” if you will, and decided that those emails I could do without.

I don’t think of them as spam, and their emails are always relevant to my interest in wine, especially their wine. But I want fewer emails showing up in my inbox, and theirs didn’t make the cut.

As I scrolled to the bottom of the email to find the unsubscribe link, I scrolled right past the “Fan us on Facebook” link. At the time, as I sought the unsubscribe, I thought “Hmmm, I wonder what their Facebook page is like.” But I didn’t click because I was on another mission: scrolling to the end of the email so I could opt out.

I did, confirmed my unsubscribe, and was done.

It wasn’t until later in the say when I saw the suggestion about offering a link to Facebook or Twitter at the unsubscribe that I rethought what had happened in my head and how I might have reacted differently. And I do think if the Facebook option had been offered on the unsubscribe page, I very well might have clicked on it and fanned this winery…even though I was opting out of their emails.

If you think about it, this isn’t strange at all. It represents a shift in thinking, a shift in how we want to get communicated with. My inbox is full to overflowing. I want to streamline it. Hence, I say “no more” to the winery. But I wouldn’t mind getting those same updates via Facebook on my newsfeed page! Different context, different expectations.

People will unsubscribe because your emails are irrelevant or too frequent, or for other valid reasons. But don’t assume that means they don’t like you! Just assume they don’t want to hear from you via email (and take a look at your program to make sure you’re adhering to email marketing best practices to decrease those opting out in the first place).

So try to go social with those unsubscribes. You might lose a subscriber and gain a fan!

Published On: April 16th, 2010Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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