Lately, email is stigmatized as too ‘loud’ and one-sided – therefore not suitable anymore for the interactivity of the modern web. New means of mass communication – such as social media and community platforms – have been overshadowing email. Yet, they have never quite disappeared and we shouldn’t expect them to any time soon. Email might be ‘old-school’, but it remains a trusted and reliable communication channel – for both sender and receiver.
Email continues to be a valuable and flexible communication medium for most industries. There are all different kind of emails, such as customer support, newsletters, order confirmation emails, and many more. But let’s not forget: While all of these emails have a different purpose and a unique value, they also have one thing in common: Some people do not want them.
For those people it is important to offer a quick and simple way to opt-out. Now, don’t think that the user experience of your brand stops the moment they decide they no longer want to receive your emails. The customer journey will continue and your company or brand will still play an important role in their journey.
Here are some tips for optimizing the user experience of your email unsubscribe page:
1. Show your personality
Wix keep their unsubscribe page very clean, yet personal. With a charismatic image, they show that they find it sad that you are leaving, but they understand.
While people might no longer want to receive your emails, it doesn’t mean they turn their back on you or your brand. People might have signed up for your email updates by accident, or they just want to bring down the volume of their inboxes due to a lack of time. People can visit your site or use your product on a regular basis and still not be interested in your emails. See it as a personal preference.
Now when people do decide to distance themselves from your emails, don’t take offense. Instead, keep up your personableness and wave them goodbye with a friendly face.
2. Keep to the point
IFTTT offers their ex-readers a straightforward unsubscribe page. They keep it simple and to the point.
When people decide to opt-out of your emails, you can assume they have a reason for taking this action. If they find your emails useful – or even if your emails don’t bother them – they wouldn’t end up on your unsubscribe page in the first place.
Your readers no longer want to receive your updates, promotional content, instructions, or whatever it is you are sending them. Respect their decision and make the process as painless for them as possible. Clear feedback and a straightforward confirmation message will be appreciated.
3. Show that you care
iDoneThis makes use of SurveyMonkey, asking their readers to quickly explain their reason for unsubscribing.
Once people no longer want to receive your emails, there is little you can do about changing their minds – at least at this point. What you can do is understand their decision – and learn from it to lower the number of future unsubscriptions.
Again, people might be unsubscribing for a variety of reasons. The fact that they are leaving your contact list doesn’t mean they don’t care, or that they are not willing to help you improve. Why not ask them for their reasons. This way you (1) better understand why people opt-out and (2) show that you care.
4. Offer a re-subscribe option
KISSmetrics offers not only a very clear message saying “You have successfully unsubscribed”, but they also offer a call-to-action for those who want to re-subscribe.
Sometimes, people end up on your unsubscribe page without the intention to unsubscribe. They might have hit the unsubscribe link by accident, or they might have changed their minds on the way to that page. In any case, allow them to recover their mistake right away.
People often don’t remember how they ended up on a mailing list in the first place. An immediate option to re-subscribe can avoid a lot of frustration. Make sure you keep all possible scenarios in mind when designing your unsubscribe page.
5. Offer alternatives
Monetate offers a clear explanation of what their emails are for and the kind of emails they send. They invite you to select only certain areas of interest – and / or follow them on social media.
As previously mentioned, people unsubscribe from emails for all different kind of reasons. The percentage of people who leave do so because they have a developed a strong aversion towards your company or brand is most likely very small. The rest of the people might only want to unsubscribe from some emails, but not others. It’s also possible that they don’t like emails, but still want to be kept up to date about your company. In that case, why not offer them alternative information channels, such as social media.
6. Keep it simple, but relevant
This unsubscribe page is very minimalistic. However, it is also lacking any information about the mailing list one just unsubscribed from.
While simplicity is key – especially in modern-day web design – keeping it simple doesn’t always guarantee the best user experience. A clear statement that someone succeeded in unsubscribing from a mailing list is important.
At the same time, it can be very valuable to also offer some information about the mailing list they unsubscribed from. Even a mobile screen with limited real estate can accommodate some contextual information. So don’t take simplicity too far, but provide your customers with the information they need.
In a nutshell
Email continues to be a valuable and flexible communication medium for most industries. Yet, sometimes, people decide they no longer want to receive your emails. They might just want to bring down the volume of their inbox, they might prefer a different channel, such as social media, or they might not be happy with the content of your emails.
In any case, their customer journey often doesn’t stop the moment they unsubscribe from your emails. Make sure you offer them a continuous user experience by:
- Showing your personality
- Keeping to the point
- Showing that you care
- Offering a re-subscribe option
- Offering alternatives
- Keeping it simple, but relevant