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Email Marketing: Are You Giving Those Who Unsubscribe the Cold Shoulder?

by Chad White | shared from Email Marketing Rules |

Is your unsubscribe process in line with your brand? What message does your unsubscribe page and opt-out confirmation page send to your customers?

Too often those who opt out are met with a process that seems uncaring and messaging that conveys indifference and disinterest that sometimes borders on quiet hostility.

For instance, Verizon Wireless’s opt-out confirmation page is cold and clinical. No “thanks for being a subscriber.” No “sorry to see you go.” No indication that they want to interact or do business with them in the future.

What’s also missing is their usual navigation bar and footer links. There’s just a logo and a brief confirmation message. They don’t try to engage outgoing subscribers with any links at all. It’s a dead end. Landing pages like this suffer from what I call “back alley syndrome,” since it’s like being thrown out the back door of a store into the alley.

Uncommon Goods and Dell’s opt-out confirmation pages suffer similar messaging and design flaws.

In today’s complex, multichannel world, just because an email subscriber opts out, doesn’t mean that their relationship with your brand is over. They may find that other marketing channels are better for them, or may intend to sign up for email again in the future, or now use a different email account for promo emails, or—any number of other reasons that are difficult or impossible to know or control.

Hopefully you’re able to offer topic preference and opt-down options on your unsubscribe page or in your preference center as a way of being responsive to subscriber needs and reducing opt-outs. Fab.com and Jetsetter’s preference centers are great examples of presenting these options.

But when those tactics fail, remember to be gracious on your opt-out confirmation page. Thank them for being a subscriber and say that you hope they’ll re-subscribe in the future. Manners cost you next to nothing and could significantly impact how subscribers perceive your brand.

Also be sure to bring a cross-channel vision to your email opt-out confirmation page by giving folks the option to opt-over to another channel—whether it’s following your brand on Twitter, downloading your mobile app, subscribing to SMS alerts, or signing up to receive for your catalog. Increasing your audience in one or more of your other channels can help compensate for the loss of an email subscriber.

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