Broken UnsubSo here we are, the week after thanksgiving, and specifically one week post “Black Friday”. I don’t know about you, but I \”really\” enjoyed fighting the crowds so I could get the best deals. At one particular store, after I made my purchase, I was invited to sign up for that retailer’s newsletter. I happily signed up and eventually received their first newsletter.

I did not get a confirmation email.

Being in the email industry, I have subscribed to a lot of newsletters, and email-based communications. While I enjoy receiving these, I will eventually get to the point where I don’t want them anymore, and will unsubscribe myself from the mailing list. 95% of the time, this is quick and painless. However, the other 5% of the time, I struggle with a number of different scenarios:

    · The unsubscribe link doesn’t work, due to various reasons (i.e. bad code/script, missing page, etc.)
    · I am required to log into an account (of which I have long since forgotten the login credentials) to change my email preferences
    · Even though I am clicking the link, (and being unsubscribed) I’m not getting any indication that the process was completed

There is nothing that bothers me more than to continually receive email communications that I have previously unsubscribed from (or at least attempted to unsubscribe). As email marketers, you not only need to provide an easy way for them to sign up for these communications, but also a simple opt-out process. I suggest the following recommendations when providing unsubscribe options:

1. Make sure the unsubscribe method is clearly visible and easy to understand.

2. Provide a one-click unsubscribe option, or if there are multiple subscriptions per user, create a landing page where the user can:

    · view what emails they are subscribed to
    · choose which ones they want to receive and which ones they want to be removed from

3. Ensure the unsubscribe link actually works. Send yourself a test message; click the unsubscribe link; confirm that you were actually removed from the list.

4. After the user clicks the unsubscribe link, direct them to a confirmation page indicating they were removed.

When communicating with your customers, the last thing you want to do is tick them off because they can’t remove themselves from your emails. By providing a clear and easy way to unsubscribe, you will gain their confidence and trust, and may in the long run give you more business.

Until next time,

Drink Responsibly, Drive Responsibly, Email Responsibly


Jaren Angerbauer
Director of Deliverability