Publishing a quality email newsletter regularly is a lot of work, and ideally we would love for each person who opts-in to stay forever and open all of our emails, but that is simply not reality. It is inevitable that at some point a subscriber is going to want to leave your list and unsubscribe. At this point the question becomes, “How will you handle it?”
Will you make it easy for email subscribers who no longer want to receive your emails to opt-out or unsubscribe? Or will you make it difficult and uncomfortable, forcing them to hunt and work to remove their name from your email marketing list — while they get frustrated and irritated, and more likely to just hit delete or mark it as spam? (Please don’t choose the latter!)
Providing an easy, clear unsubscribe option and a commitment to permission will help build trust with your subscribers. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of articles online about growing your email list and building your database. But only a few actually address WANTING people to unsubscribe.
You must make it clear that you respect your email marketing leads’ inboxes by providing a easy opt-out or unsubscribe link in every email campaign or newsletter you send, and you will actually retain more subscribers for longer periods of time. I know it sounds weird. But trust me it’s true because they feel more comfortable.
At some point your subscribers WILL want to unsubscribe and leave your list and that’s okay! In fact, it’s what you want.
You Want People To Unsubscribe
- You want subscribers to opt-out when your services, products, or programs no longer serve them or fit their business.
- You want people to unsubscribe from your email list when they stop paying attention and stop opening your emails
- You want subscribers to unsubscribe when they just hit delete upon opening your email because they are too busy to read it.
If people don’t care about what you are sending, and they aren’t even looking at or reading your emails — yet they stay on your list — it causes a phenomenon called list bloat. List bloat occurs when you have a large pumped-up list, with very low open rates and conversion rates.
List bloat misleads business owners into a false sense of security and unrealistic email performance expectations. Then it results in frustration and confusion — i.e. “I thought this would be more successful. I have such a big list.”
The Importance Of The Unsubscribe Link
By showing subscribers they can leave your list at any time, and that is just as easy, if not easier than signing up for your list, you help alleviate some of the potential fear of being spammed and bypass the anger than comes along with receiving unwanted email. Remember, successful email marketing is based on permission and trust. You must guarantee that you will never violate that trust by sharing, renting, selling, or trading their email address and personal information. And you must always give them an option to stop receiving email from you.
All reputable email marketing service providers require you to include an opt-out or unsubscribe link in your emails — and the awesome thing is that they automatically remove those who click the links from your list for you. This way you don’t spam people and make them resent ever subscribing in the first place.
If your email marketing provider doesn’t handle opt-outs automatically, I highly recommend you switch providers. If you’re not using a professional email marketing company to send your email newsletter and email marketing blasts, signing up with one should be the first action you take after reading this post.
What about you?
Have you ever thought about wanting people to leave you list, or encouraging them to do so? Do you make it easy for people to opt-out? Have you ever received email from someone that didn’t have an opt-out link, or made your email them to ask to be removed (ICK!)?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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