Here’s some good news: Unsubscribes aren’t bad news!
Sure, it’s hard to say goodbyes.
After all, you’ve worked really hard to build an email list and gotten users to sign up.
But that doesn’t mean that unsubscribes are the end of the world. Unless an unsubscribe button is all you’ve for the customer.
That’s just reinforcing the customer’s decision to leave and not putting in enough effort to try and change their minds.
Don’t burn your bridges so fast! There’s a better option out there.
Enter: an unsubscribe page—the dark horse of email marketing.
Design and use your unsubscribe page right and you can create a good experience for the customer (and even get them back).
Unsubscribe pages are overlooked tools that can make customers reconsider their decision and boost your conversion rates.
In this post, you will learn:
- The 5 top reasons why your customers are unsubscribing
- The important elements of a high-converting unsubscribe page
- 10 examples of unsubscribe pages that help reel customers back in
5 big reasons why customers hit “Unsubscribe”
There are plenty of reasons driving the customer’s decision to unsubscribe. Marketing Sherpa’s study reveals that.
Here are the most important ones you should focus on:
1) Too many damn emails
It’s a fact that subscribers are constantly bombarded with emails. That’s why around 73% of subscribers use the unsubscribe link to stop the inflow of unwanted emails.
How to fix:
- Regulate your email frequency
- Offer flexible opt-in options so subscribers can choose what kind of emails they want to receive
2) What do these emails have to do with me?
74% of subscribers don’t like receiving irrelevant emails.
Your goal should be to send the right email to the right customer on the right channel at the right time. Unless the emails are well-timed, personalized, and offer value—depending on which stage of the journey they are in—your customers are going to head over to the unsubscribe button. For example: sending apparel recommendations for women to a male customer or sending product launch videos to a customer who has already seen them and decided to buy.
How to fix:
- Send personalized emails by factoring in demographics, behavior, and purchase history.
- Leverage email segmentation to divide your audience and send each of those groups specifically targeted emails.
3) Oh no, is it a scam?
SpamLaws states that around 85% of all emails are spam—it’s a genuine worry for most customers. There’s a risk of falling prey to offers that won’t add up or information that’s essentially a hoax.
There are a number of factors that can potentially add up to make an email seem like it’s spam. Fake subject lines, too many exclamation marks, and salesy CTAs all lead to a spammy feeling that leads users to unsubscribe.
Similarly, your backend technicalities may also result in spamming. This is something that your server or the HTML tools you use can cause.
Another reason is when the users were auto-subscribed while making a purchase or downloading something and they forgot how they had subscribed.
In these cases, the users will instantly unsubscribe and also feel angry towards the company sending these emails leading to loss of future business opportunities.
How to fix:
- Don’t use spammy and salesy buzzwords such as cheap, congratulations, gimmick cash, guarantee, won, rich, offer, and outstanding
- Use a double opt-in process to improve the quality of your subscribers
4) The content and design is just boring
Your customers are already receiving a lot of emails. On top of that, if the design is bland and the content is uninspiring, its fate is almost sealed.
There are so many ways to make an email irresistible for the customers: being interesting, informative, funny, sarcastic, helpful, or offering value. Boring is the last thing your email needs to be.
Rethink the reason you’re sending an email. If it’s just to get your customer to shop with you, it’s not good enough. You’re thinking plain business. Once you start thinking in terms of customers’ needs, then you’ll be able to find out what value your product offers to the customer. Once your customer is interested in your email, they’re going to come back for more.
How to fix:
- Don’t compromise on quality. Make the content short and easily skimmable. Don’t go overboard with the design.
- Stick to an email marketing calendar and include a wide variety of original content. Use traditional and non-traditional holidays to send interesting email content.
Check out how M22 used the Polar Vortex event to craft an interesting email for their customers.
5) I just hate promotional emails
Sounds a bit harsh, let’s look at a scenario.
Some customers engage with a brand to explore and to purchase at their own pace, and nothing more. So just because they’ve signed up for your email doesn’t mean they’re ready for purchase. What this often leads customers to do is subscribe to complete a short-term action and not because they really wanted to subscribe. Such customers won’t hesitate later to click on the unsubscribe link.
And then, there are those potential customers, around whom brands need to be really clever and trustworthy. One wrong move and they will unsubscribe! The point is, in a world where most of us are inundated with choice, anything that is remotely irrelevant and annoying for the customer, can backfire for an eCommerce business.
How to fix:
- Offer email preference options so that subscribers can choose when, how, and what to receive.
- Use email analytics to track user behavior and avoid sending promotional emails to the segment that hadn’t interacted positively with these emails.
3 understated elements that make a compelling unsubscribe page
In the most successful unsubscribe pages that we have reviewed, we’ve found 3 consistent elements that keep things not just interesting but authentic.
1) Strikes a chord to negotiate
The best unsubscribe pages convey that the business cares enough to negotiate. They communicate that it is clearly NOT “all or nothing”.
The copy on these pages actually goes one step beyond and starts a conversation, asks a question, or seeks permission. Would the reader be okay with reading fewer emails from your business per month? Would they want you to focus on contacting them only when there are relevant offers or deals coming up?
Unsubscribe pages that establish they are not just all about driving business often inspire customers to think differently.
2) Shows courtesy and understanding
While it’s an uphill task to know what each potential or existing customer is thinking while heading to the unsubscribe page, it’s easier to show that you care.
Most successful unsubscribe pages, even if they’re from businesses doing a terrific job, don’t sound cocky.
Instead, they ask if you’d want something different or list a few questions you could potentially answer to help them understand your standpoint. A courteous tone on unsubscribe pages is proof that the business doesn’t just care for sales, but for building a strong relationship with customers.
3) Communicates more humanely
Most unsubscribe pages that work well typically aim their communication directly at visitors and customers. The copy doesn’t sound like a business but more like a friend. Words that read like they are for thinking and feeling customers stand a greater chance of being followed than words that don’t.
Here are a few ways in which you can enhance your email communication by adding a human touch:
- Give thanks: A simple “thanks” can go a long way to show your customer base that you aren’t taking them for granted.
- Ask for opinions or feedback: In your eyes, you might be creating world-class content, but if your audience does not agree, you’ll have to take a second look. Questions like “Are you looking for a change?” or “Could you tell us how we’re doing?” and then following them up with a simple, easy-to-fill feedback form is ideal. This will convey to serious customers that they matter to you.
- Make the CTA crisp and clear: While engaging with brands, users generally expect to be guided to something personalized and relevant. It’s no different when they try to engage with email re-subscriptions. If you want them to stay back, you’ve to clarify why and what they’ll get in return. So copy that reads like “Grab this one-time opportunity” or “Avail an exclusive offer that you deserve” brings them back with just an extra dash of drama.
10 unsubscribe page examples that get customers to re-subscribe
Here are 10 unsubscribe pages that caught our attention for their flavor, attitude, authenticity, and ability to reel back customers.
- Proactive by offering multiple other resources you can subscribe to. This helps build a long-term relationship and saves the brand from losing the customer
- Relevant copy that includes lots of dog lingo. It helps connect with the target audience right away and creates immediate brand recall.
- Creative by adding a picture of the dog with a thought bubble. A smart way to keep their customers entertained.
- Witty and humorous copy that’s very on-brand. They keep it subtle with “We can take a hint”. Their unsubscribe options also sound very relevant. The CTA is catchy and quirky.
- Targets customer emotions with their copy. Both the unsubscribe options describe a feeling, which is an excellent way to move customers. Most people don’t want negative feelings. Hence there’s a high chance that customers will veer towards a positive feeling. Shows a good understanding of shopper psychology.
- Friendly in the way they still keep communication channels open by sharing their social media handles.
3. J. Crew
- Corrective action is the flavor the copy contains right from the start. The sense is that the brand is keen on taking the responsibility of having disappointed the customer. Courageous without getting too showy.
- Choice-giving in a matter-of-fact way, the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of it covered simultaneously so that it’s all up-front for the customer who has landed up on this page.
- Emotional tonality stands out as one of the highlights of this page, especially where it matters. They say “we hate goodbyes”, which is essentially a universal truth, making it even more poignant for the customer to pause and think.
- A bold approach without sounding like they know it all. The page displays the brand colors and motifs.
- A clever arrangement of information with the copy easily becoming a part of the design language. This ensures “let’s open doors” is read more readily than “do you really want to unsubscribe”.
5. Top Shop
- Straight and transparent always works. Without beating around the bush, they give the customer a both-ways scenario and lets them make the decision.
- Personalized and customizable options to continue the engagement. By offering the choice to select the specific subscriptions the customer would prefer, they aim at long-term customer retention.
- Appeals to customer’s emotions with the lines “Is it really over”?
- Upfront honesty makes the words easy on the eye and the mind. The brand is clear that they’re calling a spade a spade. But what other brands can learn from this is the way to do it across age brackets.
- Simple yet easy use of humor ensures customers don’t feel heavy about unsubscribing or re-subscribing. The point is that the brand doesn’t make anyone feel bad. On the contrary, it shows a funny video of its CEO under the attack of water balloons. A subtle way of saying: we’re a cool bunch doing some serious work!
7. Free People
- Free, unconditional choice seems like a distinct feature here, where the brand offers the chance to stay opted in or to opt-out. A significantly smart move because this kind of allowance often makes customers feel they are acknowledged and cared for. Also, something that is totally in line with brand values (their name, free people, is a hint in itself!)
- Fact and emotion come together beautifully in as simple a sentence as “we haven’t seen you for in a while!” It is wonderful how the brand is able to say so much in so little.
- A remarkable simplicity elevates how this brand looks and feels. The unsubscribe page carries those elements to the T, subtly reminding customers what they will miss if they are to leave for good.
- (Moose)Jaw-dropping humor in fine print will have users strive harder to read. And when they do, they are greeted with something as cheeky as “33% customers that opt out of Moosejaw emails have recurring possum nightmares. Just saying.” Humor that’s so memorable, many might just decide to stay back.
- A focus on what’ll stop is something the content does really well, especially right before the submit/cancel buttons. A reminder works well for the average customer who might already be too inundated by everyday emails.
- A clever layering of information that quickly changes how a customer perceives this page – “oh yeah, just another unsubscribe page!” to “wait, what?”. The surprise element is strong and can be rewarding for someone all ready to leave.
- A play on human emotion is something the page achieves through the “Punish Derrick” video. It plays to show the man actually go through a hard time. What this does is, creates a level of satisfaction in the customer. Derrick essentially represents the brand in some form and through this short but humorous gimmick, Groupon almost says “There you go! You punished us. Do you still want to leave?”
10. Le Creuset
- The use of proactive language makes this page a delight. It’s clear that the brand cares enough for the customer, which means the latter does not have to wait to get bored or pissed off.
- The love for detail as a brand ethic shows in the way this page seeks information. Apart from signaling “what” and “how often”, it shows it cares enough about other details such as color and existing cookware.
- The efficient journey between signup and subscribe/unsubscribe is also something that stands out. The very first sentence in the copy seems to call out, “with us, you won’t have to wait to get the content you want!”
Why get an unsubscribe page if you already don’t have one
As trivial as an unsubscribe page may sound compared to, let’s say, a landing page or a product page, it’s something that has various repercussions.
Here are a few reasons it’s best you get that unsubscribe page designed and written:
On the downside
- You could end up with a heavy fine
Certain regulatory bodies and laws make it imperative that you give customers the choice to stay connected to you. Be it through General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the CanSPAM Act, or Australian spam laws, related fines can be a heavy flow. Take the example of the telecom company Wind, which received a fine of ∈16.7 million for spamming Italians with their ads – without consent. The receivers then could not find a way to unsubscribe, which then led to the fine.
- You could receive a lashing on social media
In the active digital setting of today, every consumer is aware enough to exercise their voice. So, if customers get the whiff that your brand is somehow forcing them to stay connected with your content, they could react adversely. One common and very harmful way many do this is to take to social media. Especially for smaller brands, active reputation management is essential because as we all know, building a reputation that’s lost once, can be uphill.
On the upside
- You could engage them for a little longer
As you may have already found out in the examples above, an unsubscribe page helps customer perception. The fact that they have a choice can make them stay and connect for just a little longer.
- You could assess the rate of engagement in real-time
With an unsubscribe page, especially a well-crafted one, it becomes a little easier to track audience engagement. With relevant data and information fields, you can actually inspire customers to give you a real picture. This can enable you to create more enriching marketing efforts in the future.
Before we say goodbye…
We have to say that every page on your eCommerce website or associated with your brand has the potential to retain customers.
An unsubscribe page can help you ensure that you transform this real estate to draw more conversions. The best way to know which elements to add or subtract from your unsubscribe page is through A/B testing.
This way, you know what’s more important for the customer. You may also be able to change their mind about unsubscribing and get them onboard. It’s sure to reflect on your conversion rates.