It isn't enough to include unsubscribe instructions in the message body copy. Marketers must make the unsubscribe process as trustworthy as possible so subscribers will feel they can use it with confidence and not have to resort to the "spam" button in desperation.
In this article, Stefan Pollard explains how to create a trust-inducing unsubscribe process through these five simple steps:
- Use an unsubscribe procedure that takes as few steps as possible. Ideal is a one-click instant removal or a click that leads to a prepopulated form without requiring a password or log-in. More than that, and it looks like you're doing everything possible to prevent unsubscribing.
- Tell users exactly where you got their names. If there's more than one source (Web site, referrals or forwards to a friend, points of sale, trade shows, downloads), include the source in database files so you can merge the correct information. If not, maintain a separate list for each source, and use Web links or e-mail addresses unique to each source.
- Place the statement where readers can easily see it. If you don't want to use valuable real estate at the message's top, place it in your e-mail admin center, which should appear in the same place in every message.
- Test your unsubscribe procedure regularly, either by clicking the links or sending test e-mail. Patrol all e-mail inboxes associated with your program to capture any misdirected unsubscribe requests.
- Provide alternate methods for removal, such as a telephone number or dedicated postal address subscribers can use if they can't or choose not to use the online version.