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4 Can’t-Miss Ways to Optimize Your Unsubscribe Page & Win Back Contacts

4 Can’t-Miss Ways to Optimize Your Unsubscribe Page & Win Back Contacts Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Managing Editor, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

July 7th, 2015 min read

shutterstock_255456853-compressor.jpgEveryone hates goodbyes.

Whether it’s a good friend moving cross-country, the series finale of your favorite show, or seeing one of your beloved marketing contacts suddenly opt-out of your emails, it’s never easy to let go.

With CAN-SPAM laws firmly in action, it’s not only important that organizations respect their contact list, it’s legally necessary, but before you start going through the five stages of lead loss, there is hope for getting them back.

Here are four can’t-miss tips for winning back email contacts with your optimized unsubscribe page.

1. Make ‘Em Laugh

Most default unsubscribe pages sound something like this: “You have successfully unsubscribed from all email communications.” Kinda anti-climatic, right?

No marketer is ever happy to see someone unsubscribe from their emails, but being cold, formal, and emotionless isn’t going to help the situation. That’s like laying down and accepting defeat.

Instead, use your unsubscribe page as an opportunity to show personality and humanize your brand with humor. Show your contact who they’re cutting ties with and aim to form a human connection through laughter. For example, take this video from HubSpot’s unsubscribe page:


By keeping the situation light and entertaining (rather than begging them to stay on board), HubSpot appeals to their audience and frames their brand in a playful, positive, and relatable light.

69% of the most effective advertisements in North America contain humor or light-hearted elements. Even if your laughs don’t manage to win back your lead immediately, they will likely stick out in their memory, invite a social share, or even encourage them to return in the future.

2. Get Personal

As a marketer, you want your leads to see that you’re not just some stiff, heartless organization sending out automated messages to an anonymous contact on their email list, but rather a caring team that is dedicated to helping them specifically.

An easy way to achieve this is through personalization and Smart Content.

Use information from your contact database to customize the copy on your unsubscribe page with elements that appeal and relate specifically to your lead.

For example, human beings are wired to respond to their name. Instead of saying, “Was it something we said?” you can try writing, “Was it something we said, [FIRST NAME]?”

By including a contact’s first name, you create the impression that you’re speaking directly to them and them alone; like they have your undivided attention.

With this type of personalization, your copy is automatically more likely to resonate in the minds of your lead and have a psychological impact on their subsequent actions.

You can also consider personalizing your page using your knowledge of your contact’s:

  • Past Actions
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Job Title/Position
  • Organization
  • Age

3. Offer Alternatives

One of my IMPACT colleagues used to argue that any lead who unsubscribes from receiving your emails will never end up working with you.

To a degree, he was right, but like every rule, there are exceptions.

As a consumer, how many times have you unsubscribed from a company you like or want to work with purely because you wanted to keep your inbox clutter-free? Or because you only wanted blog articles and were now receiving promotions?

People unsubscribe for a variety of different reasons. By offering alternatives on your unsubscribe page, you can increase your chances of salvaging the contact by finding the right arrangement to keep them both subscribed and happy.

On your unsubscribe page, consider including a form with options like:

  • Email Frequency
  • Email Type
  • Email Subject Matter

You also take a page out of men’s clothing line, Bonobo’s email playbook and offer the option to pause emails for a certain amount of time.

Overall, the idea is to work with your contact to create an arrangement that will be pleasant and rewarding for each of you.

4. Ask for Feedback

Don’t think of every unsubscribe as a loss; think of them as an opportunity to learn.

Even if there is no salvaging the contact at hand using the tactics above, you can still get useful information from them by requesting feedback on your unsubscribe page.

Unlike active contacts, un-subscribers can offer valuable insight into what isn’t working with your email marketing activities or strategies as well as what “delight” factors might be missing.

On your page, try including a form asking, “Why do you no longer want to hear from us?” with multiple choice answers for them to choose from as well as a message box for more detailed responses.

With this feedback, you and your team can then improve upon your email marketing strategy for your remaining and future contacts, and avoid any pitfalls that may have scared off others in the past.

Key Takeaway

Worst case scenario, your unsubscribe page is the last time you’ll see your email contact, which also makes it your last chance to make the case for your brand and its emails.

While some may argue contacts that have made it to this point are a lost cause, that doesn’t mean you should just surrender. Put up a fight!

Show them exactly why they should stay by making an emotional connection and putting in the effort to find out exactly what made them tick about your email practices.

Even if they continue on to fully unsubscribe from your messages (some people just aren’t the right fit, don’t beat yourself up about it), you can be rest assured that you did everything you could to better meet their needs.

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