How One List Made Me Reconsider Unsubscribing

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So I’ve had a crazy week with two computers going AWOL on me and as you can imagine the email piled up.  Then found my IP got blacklisted.  Not fun.  I’m finally taking the jump I should have 6 months ago to feed all my mail into a help desk.  But as I prep I’m unsubbing from dozens of lists and will reconnect in other ways (RSS readers, etc).

I’ve noticed the unsubscribe processes vary a lot from list to list.  Some were seriously annoying like the one that had me click a link, verify on a web page I wanted to unsub, then wait for another confirm email, click a link in that email, and then they sent me another email to confirm that I had confirmed that I did indeed want to unsub.  Wow.  I guess they wanted me to be really sure!  But instead of finding this reassuring that they were listening to my needs it was more like jumping through hoops.

Another I clicked then got a page asking me what email address to unsub.  Yeah… don’t you already have that info if you emailed me and I clicked the link in my email…?

But one had a very cool example of great marketing, listening to what subscribers might want, and delivering!

I’m subscribed to Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty email list and although I’m interested in the content, I was getting too many emails for everything else I’m juggling (and to be honest I already catch most of it through news sites I read regularly).  So I thought I’d unsub.  Clicked the link and got a simple unsub page – with THREE options:

  • I want to stay on the list (accidentally clicked the link)
  • I want to stay connected but with LESS EMAIL please
  • I want to unsubscribe

(These aren’t word for word, I clicked off the page too quick to catch it, but it’s the basic meaning of the options–they had better wording on their versions.)

Well cool!  I choose door #2 and stayed subscribed with the very clear understanding I’ll get only the most important 3-4 alerts a month from them.  How nice is that?

Naturally I had to look into how to implement this option myself and found that Aweber makes it easy to do something similar and re-engage subscribers before they opt-out:

It’s not exactly the same, but close enough that I think I’ll likely set it up and give my subscribers more options.

See what options you can offer on that unsubscribe page and make it easy for the subscriber instead of annoying them when they’re on the fence and you might still be able to keep them around.

If you’ve got a list, it’s something to think about!

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  1. That is a cool option! I notice also that when you unsub, it shows you every list you’re on. When we give our lists cryptic names, people will look at it and say “What the heck is 1X3wy” So go for real names (that’s just me adding my 2 cents here)
    Nancy Marmolejo recently posted… The Gratitude Project- What Are You Grateful ForMy Profile

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Terri Zwierzynski and Michelle Shaeffer. Michelle Shaeffer said: Blog: How One List Made Me Reconsider Unsubscribing #blogboost […]

  3. Ya gotta love that Nancy! She just laid a golden nugget on us. And she’s right. Some list names look like a mish-mash of gobblygook to me. :)

    I really appreciate having choices in life. And I probably would have selected door #2, as well. Let’s hope more people offer this type of option. I’ll admit I’ve unsubscribed from a boatload of lists, not because I didn’t like the content — but because of TOO MANY EMAILS.

    One marketer, in particular, was sending out a minimum of 3 to 4 emails a week. I tolerated that ridiculousness for about a month and then it was adios, amigo!
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… How To Reach Desperate BuyersMy Profile

    1. It’d have to be EXCELLENT content for me to choose 4-5 emails a week from a list. I am subscribed to some blogs via email that post daily, and a few are worth it. But if it’s all promo and “buy this from me!” and “buy this from my friend!” type email, no thanks.

  4. A timely piece of information for me, and so glad to see the comments are just as valuable. Now, to learn more about the help desk.

    1. Thanks, Janet. Yes, loving the discussion in the comments here!

  5. This is a great post. Didn’t know I could do this with aweber. Now on my list of to do’s,

    1. Glad it was helpful, Eleanor. The Aweber blog has a lot of cool tips and tricks like this one.

  6. I’ve had a similar experience–when given an option to receive fewer messages, I stayed on the list. The simpler the better! Thanks for the tip about Awebar.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Judy Stone-Goldman recently posted… Winter Solstice- Lunar Eclipse- and Other Reasons to Love DecemberMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I was happy to see that option and it’s on my list to get implemented. I agree, sometimes fewer is better. Although there are also lists where I’d choose more emails from the sender, given the option! lol

  7. Hi Michelle,
    Great point about options…I have noticed many major retailers going to the format of being able to choose less emails…

    1. It’s definitely growing. Probably 6 months ago I went on an unsubscribe spree and I didn’t see it as an option anywhere that I remember. In the last week I’ve seen it probably a half dozen times (and I’ve unsubbed from 50 or more lists).

  8. I definitely like those options. I’m actually on Ron Paul’s list too.

    The unsubscribe options I don’t enjoy are the one’s that make you uncheck a box and then “update subscription”. There is no unsubscribe language anywhere on the page.

    Nancy – Great point!

    1. Yeah, some of them have had me so confused! The procedures vary a lot and worse than that it’s easy to tell some of them really don’t want to make it easy. Sort of counter-productive to try to keep people on our lists who don’t want to stick around…

      Ron Paul’s got great ideas. I look forward to seeing them spread.

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