Megan from MailerLite

Megan9 min readTips & ResourcesJune 25, 2019

It’s not too late! How to build highly effective unsubscribe pages

It’s not too late! How to build highly effective unsubscribe pages

A newsletter subscriber hits your unsubscribe link. Oh no! You’ve lost them forever. Not so fast, missy! Your unsubscribe page has the power to make subscribers think twice about breaking up with you.

Our guess is that you’re not using your unsubscribe page to its full potential, if at all! As the black sheep of email marketing, unsubscribe pages are often overlooked. However, if you use them correctly they can be highly effective and save relationships.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use unsubscribe pages in 5 ways that go beyond just confirming the email subscription exit. Plus, we share our best practices to avoid and manage your unsubscribes!


The primary purpose of unsubscribe pages is to confirm that someone will no longer receive any emails. If you are only using it for this purpose, you are missing out on a lot.

An effective unsubscribe page can also offer insights, make people change their mind or take the relationship to another level (ehm, channel). 

These 5 examples show you how unsubscribe pages can go beyond a break-up confirmation.

Email preferences: Tell me what ya want, what ya really, really want

Not everyone who clicks the unsubscribe link wants to cut all ties completely. Some just want you to bug them a little less, merely update their email address or unsubscribe from certain content topics that no longer interest them.

“If you really bug me then I'll say goodbye”

Spice Girls

Give readers the chance to change their email preferences on the unsubscribe page, in addition to the option to sign out completely. This is how Topshop and Le Creuset do this:

Topshop unsubscribe page example
Le Creuset usubscribe page example

Questions: Are you like, sure, sure?

You know when you’re in a market haggling, walk away and the salesman comes running after you with a final offer? Your unsubscribe page is the virtual 'you' running after your subscriber to make a final offer.

“Oh, baby, give me one more chance”

Jackson 5

Give the reader a final, too-good-to-refuse offer to stay in touch with you. Or write down a reason that makes them think twice about their decision.

The people over at Chubbies Shorts do this brilliantly. They have all the essentials for a great unsubscribe page: A personal, casual message, a fun fact that makes the reader go “should I really unsubscribe?” and a call to action to follow them on social media.

Chubbies unsubscribe page example

Feedback: Where did we go wrong?

It wasn't me! Or was it? Asking for feedback post-break-up can be confrontational, but it’ll make you a better partner for the next one that comes along!  

“It wasn’t me!”

Shaggy

Use the unsubscribe page to ask for feedback. Keep it simple and provide a couple of predefined reasons with checkboxes, plus the possibility to give an open answer. Make these questions optional, not required.

Haute mail unsubscribe page example

Personal: A proper goodbye!

You’ve spent all this time sending emails, so why not make it a proper goodbye if you and your pen pal decide to part ways? Make your unsubscribe page feel personal so it comes across less automated as if they were “just another number on the email list.”

“I respect that and right before I turn to leave she said: You don't know what you mean to me”

Nelly

Add a personal note, make a joke, insert a picture — whatever fits your brand best. BarkBox does a great job at talking to subscribers in a personal, fun way that fits the brand.

Bark & Co unsubscribe page example

Beyond email: Why don’t we take this elsewhere?

Just because your subscribers don’t want to receive your emails, doesn’t mean they never want to hear from you again. Maybe email isn’t the right channel for them, but they’d love to keep in touch via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. Motivate the reader to add you on your socials and continue building your relationship from there.

“My Snapchat poppin' girl yo Snapchat poppin'?”

Rapsody

Refinery29 created a beautiful unsubscribe page that contains everything we talked about thus far. You can update your email preferences, unsubscribe completely or decide to follow the brand on social media instead.

Refinery29 unsubscribe page example

Though we are all for making your unsubscribe page a nice place to land on, in an ideal world your newsletter subscribers don’t even get there in the first place. Here are some best practices to avoid and manage unsubscribes.

Avoid unsubscribers by sending valuable emails

It seems like a no-brainer, but are all your emails really valuable for the reader? Google any email unsubscribe study and you’ll find that the number 1 reason people unsubscribe is “Too many emails.” Be picky with your email content and skip a newsletter if you’ve got nothing valuable to share. This way, readers will keep their interest and stay away from the no-go zone.

Insert satisfaction survey smileys

A quick way to see whether people like your email content is by inserting a satisfaction survey into your newsletter. In most emails, you’ll see a range of 2-5 smiley faces that readers can click to express their satisfaction. Survey implementation is easy and the results are super useful! You can spot trends and see what email content is beloved (or not) among your readers.

Always add an unsubscribe link

“If I leave out the unsubscribe link, they can’t leave me!” See now that’s something R. Kelly would do, and we don’t allow that in 2019 anymore. Be a decent human and add an unsubscribe link in every single email so people can leave if they've had enough. Why would you engage with people that don’t want to hear from you? This will hurt your wallet and your email stats, risking the chance of being marked as spam and ending up on a black list.

Allow readers to unsubscribe with only one click

In the EU, readers need to be able to unsubscribe with one click (called single opt-out), in the US, Canada, Asia and Eastern Europe you can ask subscribers to confirm before they make it final (double opt-out). We’re in favor of making it as easy as possible for the reader to unsubscribe, but sometimes readers accidentally hit the unsubscribe button. So if you’re audience is outside the EU, the decision is up to you! Just remember, whatever you do, don’t make subscribers have to login to unsubscribe.

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Unsubscribe pages are more than just a confirmation landing page. Craft a personal message, ask for feedback, give your best effort to change the subscriber’s mind and if all else fails, convince them to stay in touch via social media.

Sure, unsubscribes are shit, but let people leave when they want to. Add an unsubscribe link in every email and avoid readers clicking on this link by sending relevant email content. Spot disengagement by using email surveys to stay on track with how satisfied your email list subscribers are. This way, you can act before it’s too late. Good luck!

P.S. Using MailerLite? Watch this tutorial video or visit our help page to see in detail how you can create your own custom unsubscribe page with our software. Here are some examples of unsubscribe pages created with MailerLite.

1. USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Browning cleverly uses the unsubscribe page to motivate readers to keep in touch with her via social media.

Kelsey unsubscribe page example

2. We like how WordPress support and maintenance service Geek in your pocket added a personal background and gives readers the option to choose from which email lists they'd like to unsubscribe.

Geek in your pocket unsubscribe page example

3. Interior design business coach Alycia Wicker got us laughing with her witty unsubscribe page text. It's always a good idea to add some humor to your marketing copy!

Alycia Wicker unsubscribe page example

4. Just Property makes the unsubscribe form part of the background, making the entire page look professional and in line with their brand identity.

Just Property unsubscribe page example

What does your unsubscribe page look like? We’d love to hear your best practices in the comments below.