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Learn how to say goodbye to your subscribers

learn to fire your subscribers

Unsubscribing from a newsletter should not feel like navigating through a labyrinth. While most businesses invest a considerable amount of time and effort into making the subscription process smooth and inviting, the other end of the spectrum—the unsubscription process—is often overlooked. Not only is a complicated unsubscription process annoying to the user, but it could also hurt your brand’s reputation and even be non-compliant with regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act or GDPR.

Here are some best practices for improving the unsubscribing process for your newsletter:

1. Make the Unsubscribe Link Easy to Find

The unsubscribe link in your newsletters should be prominently displayed. Don’t hide it in a clutter of other links, or make the text so small that it’s difficult to find. A user should be able to locate it within seconds of deciding to unsubscribe.

2. One-Click Unsubscribe

It’s user-friendly and respectful to offer a one-click unsubscribe feature. A single click should either completely remove the subscriber from your mailing list or lead them to a confirmation page that requires just one more action.

3. No Login Required

Asking users to login to an account they likely have forgotten about adds unnecessary friction to the process. Your users should not have to remember their username and password to stop receiving emails from you.

4. Immediate Removal

Once a user chooses to unsubscribe, remove them from your mailing list immediately or as quickly as possible. Making them wait or sending them additional emails in the meantime can come off as disrespectful.

5. Offer Alternatives, but Don’t Make It Compulsory

Some users may still be interested in your brand but may find your email frequency overwhelming. Offering alternative ways to stay connected—like following you on social media or receiving fewer emails—can be useful. However, these should be options, not additional steps that complicate the unsubscription process.

6. Ask for Feedback, but Keep it Optional

While it's helpful to know why someone is unsubscribing, this should be an optional step. Users should be able to skip this if they’re not interested in providing feedback.

7. Clear Confirmation Message

Once the unsubscription process is complete, provide a clear message stating that the user has been successfully removed from the mailing list. This gives them peace of mind that they won't be receiving any more emails.

8. Test Regularly

Just like how you would A/B test your subscription process, regularly test your unsubscription process to make sure it’s as easy as possible. Ensure all links work and that the steps are intuitive.

9. Stay Compliant

Last but not least, make sure your unsubscription process complies with laws and regulations. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and reputational damage.

Final Thoughts

Although you may be reluctant to facilitate unsubscriptions, making the process straightforward is a mark of a respectful and trustworthy brand. Remember, if someone wants to unsubscribe, it’s better to part on good terms than to leave them with a negative experience. A well-designed unsubscription process is not just good UX—it’s also good business practice.

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