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How Unsubscribe Requests Can Affect Customer Experience

“What can I do to reduce unsubscribes?”

It’s a tough subject for many marketers. Email remains one of the best ways to communicate with consumers directly, but the effectiveness of the channel is contingent upon maintaining deliverability health to ensure messages get to the inbox. A critical component of this is letting customers opt-out on their own terms—as quickly and easily as possible.

Many senders depend on the size of their list to drive everything from internal budgeting conversations to department revenues—but the reputation damage inflicted by improperly permissioned contacts far outweighs the benefits of inflated subscriber numbers.

Direct Reflection of a Brand

Keep in mind that a customer’s experience with email communication is a direct reflection of that brand. When a customer submits an unsubscribe request, it’s just that – a definitive request to no longer receive communications from that brand. It is not an opportunity to up-sell or re-engage.

Marketers must respect and honor these opt out requests and remove them from communications moving forward. If this is not followed negative engagement and spam complaints will increase, and soon mail intended for a senders’ best subscribers will be impacted – going to spam, or being blocked out right.

And yet we still hear the question, is it ever appropriate to ask a consumer to confirm their request to unsubscribe? What about implementing messaging along the lines of:

We hate to see you go!”


 “Are you SURE you want to leave? Great offers are coming your way!”

The Long and Short of It

The long and short answer to this strategy is the same: NO. This is not appropriate and will cause more harm than good. Sending this type of messaging after receiving an unsubscribe request is not only damaging to your brand, it is likely a violation of CAN-SPAM as well.

While a confirm opt in is designed to protect sender reputation by ensuring the engagement and interest of a subscriber, a confirm opt out will do the opposite: alienate customers with additional messaging, driving up negative performance metrics in the form of spam complaints.

In short, it is in a sender’s best interest to make the opt out process as painless as possible. But don’t take my word for it. The industry itself is working towards better solutions for their users with the recent iOS10 release adding to the ranks of Gmail and other providers that support list-unsubscribe for senders – another best practice recommendation of our team.

In a world where “spam” is in the eye of the email-holder, easy opt outs are the best way to support a positive customer experience and protect a brand’s image.

The CX is Broken

Much of the customer experience is broken because the marketing experience is broken. But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.

Download Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Gnanasekar Ravichandiran Wednesday, March 8, 2017
    Sending too many emails in short span of time also makes customer unsubscribe from brand's communication. Sending communications at right time only help in reducing unsubscribe count!
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