How a Great Unsubscribe Page Can Save Your Email Marketing

by David Vogel on April 25, 2013

I’ve recently been on a crusade to clean up my email inbox by unsubscribing to any non-essential subscriptions. Whitepapers? Gone. Product newsletters? Sayonara. Webinar invites? In the words of Sweet Brown: “Ain’t no body got time for that.”

While this aggressive email spring cleaning has been somewhat cathartic, it’s also given me a chance to see the best, and worst, of email unsubscribe landing pages. Let’s start with the bad, and then look at an example of the complete opposite….

The Willingly Ignorant:
These mass emailers track your address and interactions with their email very well, until you click the unsubscribe link. Then, they magically forget it and make you re-enter it on the unsubscribe page. This gets exponentially more frustrating when multiple email addresses are pointed at your inbox, and you don’t know which one the subscription is tied to. The bottom line: I know you know my address; just honor my request.

The Intentionally Difficult:
Once again, you know my email address, or you should. Don’t make me login, check a slew of boxes, or answer a question to change my email settings. Enough already.

The Non-Compliant:
I know from experience that managing an email list can be hard. Sometimes, companies are using archaic technologies that don’t automatically bounce your list and scrub any unsubscribes. I’ll give you a couple weeks to get it right, but after that I’ll lump you in with the next dastardly group…

The Downright Evil.
Then, there are those senders who use your unsubscribe attempt as an alert that they’ve “got a live one on the hook.” Not only do they not remove you from their list, but they resell your address to hundreds of other operations as seedy or clueless as their own.

For mass emailers, the techniques above not only create intensely-negative brand impressions, they waste your marketing budget and hurt your email deliverability.

You see, when I find unsubscribing hard or impossible, I choose the easy route and flag your email as spam. So not only will you pay to send email that never sees the light of my inbox, if enough recipients like me flag your emails, your IP can get blacklisted, preventing you from reaching anyone.

And Now for Something Completely Better

Hubspot Unsubscribe Landing PageIn my crusade, I did find many emailers who made unsubscribing simple and painless. I thank you, and salute your wisdom. However, only one made me change my mind: HubSpot.

While I generally love HubSpot’s content, and that they practice inbound marketing as thoroughly as they preach it to others, I had decided to decrease their presence in my personal inbox. However, there unsubscribe landing page was so unexpected and delightful, I’m giving them a second chance.

There’s so much right about their unsubscribe page:

  • Immediate acknowledgement of my unsubscribe request
  • A perfect video (a must watch)
  • Alternate ways to subscribe to their feed

What I love most is that HubSpot put this level of detail and work into a page that most sites and emailers treat as a lost cause. By catching my attention and making me laugh, HubSpot made reconsider, and turned an unsubscribe into an engaged advocate.

When you’re done watching that video, take a few minutes to reconsider your email unsubscribe system and landing page. I know I am.

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