email marketing best practices saying goodbye doesn't have to be so hard

When Goodbyes Are Hard…Fix Your Unsubscribe Process!

We all hate to say goodbye. It’s hard!

And as email marketers, we particularly hate to say goodbye to a subscriber. We’ve worked hard to slowly grow that in-house email list! Everyone who opts out is, well, like a little defeat, working against all of our efforts to make that number go up, not down.

But that doesn’t mean we make it hard for them to say goodbye.

Yet we do. Ask yourself, how long does it take to sign up for your email newsletter or other emails? Probably the time it takes to type an email address, right? A few seconds?

Now ask yourself, how long does it take to unsubscribe from your company’s emails? I hope the answer is a few seconds. I hope your adherence to email marketing best practices means an unsubscribe is literally just a click away.

If so, good job! It shouldn’t take any longer to unsubscribe than it should to subscribe. That’s email best practices that lead to goodwill.

If not, rethink the process. After all, they’re already opting out of your emails so they’re not exactly your biggest fan at the moment. Why piss them off by making the unsubscribe into a chore? Instead, making opting out as easy as opting in, and you might just leave them with some warm and fuzzy feelings for your brand.

However, there’s another side to this: Other email best practices suggest learning from their leaving. Ask them why they are leaving, and give them options for sticking around if you can. For example, if they’re leaving because you email too frequently, give them a less frequent option. When you learn why some people unsubscribe, you can use that information to improve your email marketing program so others don’t follow suit.

It’s a matter of weighing your needs against theirs and doing your best to keep everyone happy.

What we’re warning against here is the extreme. I get a monthly email from an organization with information no longer relevant to my work. But I can’t unsubscribe because when I tried to do so, it required a username and password. I don’t remember signing up for these emails in the first place and I definitely don’t remember creating a username and password to do so!

That’s a goodbye that’s so hard, it’s impossible.

Not an email marketing best practice.

Published On: February 19th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: LaRock

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