When sending an email broadcast, we all dread those unfortunate unsubscribes. However, they are a necessary evil as every email marketing message you send must contain an option to unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Can you do anything to prevent users from unsubscribing without being pushy? We’ll go through a few techniques you can use to improve your user experience and possibly help you reduce the number of unsubscribes.

Shall we start? ↪️

What Is Unsubscribe Text?

Unsubscribe text is a short message at the bottom of your email message that allows the recipient to remove himself or herself from the mailing list (the list of email addresses that have accepted to receive messages from you).

According to CAN-SPAM act (the US law that regulates email communication, especially email marketing), it is mandatory to include unsubscribe text in every marketing email you send to your audience. If users don’t want to hear from you anymore, you have to give them that option.

There are quite a few ways to do this. We recommend using a direct  link to unsubscribe rather than requiring the  recipient to login, which usually hinders the purpose of an unsubscribe message.

At the same time, you should look at unsubscribe requests in a positive way: they allow you to keep an engaged audience that is truly interested in what you have to offer. You should only have recipients in your list that have confirmed they want to read your content. ✅


Why Should You Focus On Unsubscribe Text?

Did you know your unsubscribe text could be landing your messages in spam?

When sending a broadcast, remember that the typical unsubscribe text can signal to email providers that you are sending spam or that they should place your message in the Promotions tab.

The Promotions tab is not the end of the world, but you should aim for the Inbox. SaaS like GlockApps suggests you to change text like “Unsubscribe from this mailing list” into a plain “Unsubscribe” link. This will improve your deliverability as it sets you apart from unconfirmed or cold email lists. Usually, email providers like Gmail use this data to decide where your email is going to land. 📨

This is another reason why it matters how you set up your unsubscribe text. You want to give users an easy way out, and at the same time you want your message to avoid being marked as spam or landing on Promotions.

Words & Expressions To Avoid

There are a few expressions that you shouldn’t include in your unsubscribe message. When sending an email, edit the standard unsubscribe text to avoid:

  • “mailing list”
  • “list”
  • “click”
  • “click here”
  • “get”

These are a few examples of words and expressions you should keep out of your unsubscribe text. The same goes for typical “spam words”, i.e. words that usually trigger the spam filter of the receiving email platform. Examples are “free”, “get”, “100% proven”, and other similar claims.

Recommended Terms For Your Unsubscribe Text

We recommend using a single “Unsubscribe” rather than a longer sentence, which will usually contain one of some spam words. Also, you should remove the “view in browser” button as it usually indicates the prevalence of HTML rather than simple text. This can also land you in the Promotions tab or worse, in Spam.

Ideally, you should rephrase the unsubscribe message. Here are some alternatives:

  • “Unsubscribe”
  • “Opt out”
  • “Edit your preferences”
  • “Email preferences”
  • …and so on

Are all unsubscribes a negative thing? Our recommendation is to consider them as part of healthy mailing list cleaning. In the next section, we’ll show you how.


Advantages Of Unsubscribes

1. You Keep Your Sender Reputation

As negative as unsubscribes seem to be, they are not as bad as the dreaded alternative: being marked as spam.

An unsubscribe is just a polite way of leaving. If the user marked your emails as spam, it would damage your sender reputation, and therefore, your deliverability.

Unsubscribes are not damaging, and, as we mentioned before, they can actually improve your audience by making sure they are all interested in your content and engaged. 💁

2. You Can Find Out Why They Unsubscribed

We always recommend having a very short form when your users unsubscribe. This form must only have a single question: “Why are you unsubscribing?”.

It is recommended that you offer some options, such as “I am no longer interested” or “There are too many emails”.

This information allows you to tailor your messages to the feedback you’re receiving from past subscribers. They are the only ones who can let you know why they are unsubscribing, so you should listen to your audience. Sometimes, the content is great, but you’re targeting the wrong people. Or vice versa. There are many things that can increase or decrease your unsubscribe rate.

3. Find Qualified Leads

If the users that are not interested in your product are leaving, it makes sense to think that the users that stay want to actually hear about you and your products and services. To find qualified leads, you need to filter out people who don’t match your use cases. Unsubscribing does this for you.

The remaining users are interested and want to know more about  what you are offering. This selection of leads is what matters for your business. Having a large mailing list is not important – having an engaged and active audience is important. 🗣️

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4. Discover Flaws In Your Content

The readers’ feedback is essential for someone working on email marketing. As you push content out, there will be  flaws in your content and the best way to find these flaws is to ask your recipients.

If you are getting a lot of unsubscribes, there’s something wrong with your message. On another note, if you have a high CTR but a low conversion rate, your landing page could be the issue.

To test your content, try A/B testing with a group of your recipients.

Unsubscribes can tell you a lot about your audience and what resonates with them.

Okay, so how can you make sure your unsubscribe process offers a good experience? After all, you don’t want to burn bridges as they might want to come back. This is how you can make sure both of you part on good terms.

Apple mail

How To Create Effective Unsubscribe Text & Landing Pages

1. Remind Them Of The Good Old Days

When your recipient first subscribed to your emails, something about you pushed them to do it. Could have been a special offer, interest in your product and brand…

By wanting to unsubscribe, something has changed.

Your unsubscribe landing page should have them thinking about what they have profited from being on your mailing list. Remind readers of the advantages of receiving your emails.

2. Tug at the heartstrings

If there is an emotional aspect you can add to your landing page, go for it. Something like: “we’re going to miss you” or “what about the good times we had together”… You get the point.

However, keep it short and sweet. A simple question and two buttons should suffice: an unsubscribe button and a “take me back” one. 🤚

Don’t be pushy. Otherwise, you’ll only enhance the reasons why the reader decided to unsubscribe.

3. Be Personal

Another way to tug at the heartstrings is to make your unsubscribe form personal. Don’t write it just like every other unsubscribe form.

If your brand has a voice, as in the way you communicate with customers, your unsubscribe form and landing page should reflect your branding. Find your voice and use it to engage with your readers.

4. Offer Alternatives

People like choices, so offering different options is always a good idea. Maybe this person that unsubscribed wouldn’t do it if you offered them a chance to select the kind of emails they want to receive (news, coupon codes, new products available…): they could reconsider.

Also, in your landing page, show them they can also follow you in social media, which is less intrusive than email. 📧

5. Keep It Simple

If you’re an advertiser, it’s highly likely that you heard this saying before. Keeping it simple is essential when communicating with your customers or clients.

When it comes to unsubscribing, this piece of advice also applies. If the reader wants to leave, let them leave.

This does not only apply to the text content, but also to design, colours, and, generally, all your marketing materials.

Also, the reason why your reader is leaving might have to do with your messages being “too much”. That’s something you should analyse, and maybe even ask your unsubscribers to find out their real opinion.

Wrapping Up

Having readers unsubscribe from your mailing list is normal. As mentioned before, it’s a lot better to get an unsubscribe than to be marked as spam. Unsubscribes do not damage your reputation or deliverability.

Therefore, you should see them as a necessary evil. They are part of every email campaign. It’s the way you deal with them that is going to make a difference in your user experience.

Accept that some people are going to leave, and that’s okay. At the same time, make sure that they might have reasons to come back or not to leave at all.

Are you missing something? What would you like to add? Let us know in the comment box, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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About Author

Deeply passionate about writing, copy, and social media. Digital Marketing Assistant at Platformly.


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