Why Those Who Unsubscribe Still Matter: How to Improve Your Process

Subscribing to a website has been a great way to earn loyal followers for years, so the idea of unsubscribing isn’t new. Every company knows that there needs to be a process in place for those who no longer want to receive the company messages, so in the majority of cases companies are prepared. However, what many companies do not realize is that there is opportunity for growth through your unsubscribe process. In other words, companies need to be taking advantage, and the usual little button on the bottom of each message that says “unsubscribe” is really not the most affective.

By Amanda DiSilvestro

Subscribing to a website has been a great way to earn loyal followers for years, so the idea of unsubscribing isn’t new. Every company knows that there needs to be a process in place for those who no longer want to receive the company messages, so in the majority of cases companies are prepared. However, what many companies do not realize is that there is opportunity for growth through your unsubscribe process. In other words, companies need to be taking advantage, and the usual little button on the bottom of each message that says “unsubscribe” is really not the most affective.


Features of a Flawless Unsubscribe Process


The most important thing to remember is that those who are unsubscribing from your website do matter. They are not all leaving because they don’t like your content. They could be leaving because they don’t have time to read all of your messages or because they already got the information they needed from your company. In any case, just be glad that they are unsubscribing and did not continually mark your messages as spam.


Below are a few different things you should do when it comes to creating an unsubscribe process:


• Do not hide your unsubscribe button. Make it easy to unsubscribe by putting a clear
“unsubscribe now” button on all of your email messages. It doesn’t have to be large or take over the page, but make sure that it’s in the same place each time.


Why It Matters: This will frustrate people and cause your company to look bad in the eyes of those unsubscribing. There is always the chance that this person was going to recommend your company to someone who would benefit more from the content you were providing, so you don’t want to annoy them.


• Give alternative options. If you have email marketing campaigns that cover a different topic, let your readers know during their unsubscribe process. If there is any way for you to offer different content that comes at a lower cost (if your subscriptions cost money), it’s a great idea to give your readers this option so that they make a switch as opposed to unsubscribing altogether.


Why It Matters: Giving readers these options will help you make sure that your readers were fully informed of what you can offer before they leave. There is a good chance you’re losing readers because they think it costs too much or the content is no longer relevant, so be sure you give them an option that might work better.


• Make sure he/she stops receiving emails immediately. When someone unsubscribes, make sure that your system is set up to stop sending him/her emails immediately.


Why It Matters: Some companies give those who have unsubscribed a certain number of days to change his/her mind. The truth is, people who take the trouble to unsubscribe are not going to take that week and decide they like the content you had that week and then go undo the unsubscribe. In other words, getting messages after they have made their decision will just annoy and confuse them.


• Create a survey. After someone hits the unsubscribe button and you offer him/her different options, ask them to answer two or three questions (even if they are multiple choice). Ask the person why he/she left.
 

Why It Matters: Knowing why people are leaving will help you improve your messages for the future. If you’re noticing that the trend of people leaving has to do with the frequency of your messages, send a few less. If people are leaving because they don’t like the content, analyze what you can do to help. 
Do you have a solid unsubscribe process? Have you noticed the unsubscribe process to be just as important as the subscription process for your company? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.