Unsubscribe Me!

How Easily Do You Let Customers Go, and How Well Do You Entice Them to Come Back?

April 2, 2015

Suffering from email overload? Start using those unsubscribe links on most email communications. But you will find that it is easier to get off some companies’ lists than others. Read the results of a recent email purge I went through to see all the different ways you go through to get off their radar and what works best for companies. And learn some good tips from some firms that gather valuable information even as they are losing you are a potential customer.


Bombarded with unwanted emails, customers are always trying to unsubscribe from the lists where their names have somehow ended up. And sometimes customers actually asked to be on those lists, but they don’t want that information anymore (job situations change, kids grow up, they move out of the area, etc.).

Unsubscribe Me!I recently went through an unsubscribing purge to simplify my life. And there were a lot of different unsubscribing processes I went through. Although few were downright bad, some were easier or more pleasant than others.

Think about how hard it is for your customers to unsubscribe, what options you give them for remaining in touch with you, what information you can gather about why they are leaving, and how to avoid having them annoyed at your brand in case what you offer is appropriate for them in the future.


Spam or Otherwise

We all get too much email. Some of it is valuable and wanted. Some is outright spam and somehow made it past your spam filter. Most falls in between ranging from information I thought I wanted but don’t have time for to offers I receive because I have frequented the site before for a one-time browse or purchase.

In any case, you don’t want it to clutter up your inbox anymore. The solution—Unsubscribe.

Past Offenses in “Un-unsubscribing”

About a year ago, I started receiving almost daily emails to my business account from Outsell Inc. This is a site focused on research “in media, information, and technology.” The emails offer links to some rather interesting information, but it isn’t in my sweet spot, and I simply didn’t have time to read it. (Nor did I remember ever asking for it!) So I tried to unsubscribe. But I was stymied when I clicked the unsubscribe link and was taken to a page that required me to sign into my account in order to stop receiving the emails. Since I had never created an account, I didn’t know how to access my information. I could have sent a request for sign-in information and then proceeded, but it was too much bother. So I just kept deleting the emails as they arrived.

Similarly, shortly before my move to the suburbs last fall, I had tried out a laundry and dry cleaning pick-up and delivery service called My Laundry Basket, recently renamed HappyNest. I liked the service very much (love it’s motto: “Do life, not laundry”), but I no longer live anywhere in their service area, nor do I need the service anymore since I now have a very large washer and dryer in my new house. But, just like with Outsell, when I tried to unsubscribe, I was asked to log in. Too much trouble! So I kept deleting the emails.

Problems Unsubscribing Fixed!

A few weeks ago, bombarded by new spam-like offers, I went through a purge session to unsubscribe from all unwanted emails. And I thought, “this will make a great article—I’ll talk about the problems I’ve had with Outsell and HappyNest and go from there. But I was delighted to discover that both of those sites have remedied the situation since I first tried to get off their lists, and they now offer easy unsubscribe methods that don’t require logging in! Good for them!

But, in my purge, I did experience a variety of responses to my unsubscribe requests. I’ve documented my experiences here (not all of them, since there were at least 100 unsubscribe actions), along with what was good and not so good about the effort it took. I’m presenting the experiences (with illustrations) from horrible to great... (more)


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