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Unsubscribe hassle: prevent it, or get burned

Every person using email (which is about half of the global population) has come across it. An obnoxious unsubscribe hassle. Either a quirky login is required, the unsubscribe page or form is not working, you get multiple unsubscribe options (while you subscribed for only one thing): the list is large and cumbersome.

Remember, when people want to unsubscribe, make it as simple and painless as possible: not an unsubscribe hassle. It’s not a bad thing to try to win them back (sort of), with examples of opt-down (less frequent newsletters) or selecting another channel. In case of the last option, have people connect on Twitter, Facebook or subscribe to an RSS feed.

After all, the people themselves are in control of their inbox. If you feel like you are not, take back that control and be sure you’re able to handle the daily email load.

Back to the unsubscribe. What inspired this post was a post on Reddit, with the animation posted below (click to view the animation in a new window):

Unsubscribe hassle: prevent it, or get burned

Nobody, except maybe for spammers, should be put through such an unsubscribe process. Why hurt your own business and your subscribers by making it awful? It might be one of the last contact moments for a while between a person and your company – why on earth should it be a bad one? How does that help when they talk about your company or products later on to someone else? Imagine them relating to the last experience they had with your company. It might seem to be like such a little thing: unsubscribing from a newsletter. But if it becomes an unsubscribe hassle, it will backfire.

But for them, it could be the definite ending to a relationship with your company, and not a nice one. That’s not helping your word-of-mouth marketing at all, is it?

If you currently have a complicated unsubscribe process, or it is downright impossible to unsubscribe without jumping through several hoops, rethink and reorganize. Just because someone says bye for now, doesn’t mean they won’t come back. Or even better, come back while bringing others. All experiences with your company should be great and lasting, even when it comes to the unsubscribe. Bonus tip: ask people why they are unsubscribing, it could help you (a lot!) in your email marketing endeavours.

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