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Managing email unsubscribes that don't follow protocol

May 12 2009, 08:07 AM

Have you ever sent out an email marketing campaign with an obvious unsubscribe link at the bottom – and found that a handful of people choose to ignore it and instead bounce back an email with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line or body?

email list managementIf you have, you understand how maddening this is. In a perfect world, everyone follows the rules and hits the unsubscribe link. As email marketers, we've done everything we can to give people an easy out. However, one has to wonder why a customer would take the less-used route. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They got your email on their smart phone and aren't seeing the link
  • They find the old method to be faster than scrolling to the bottom of your email
  • They're just plain vindictive
  • They're stuck on using older unsubscribe methods
So, what can you do about these three scenarios?
Nothing, really. But rather than opening up your master unsubscribe list and adding them by hand, you can do the following to save time.
  • Open the email response from the person unsubscribing.
  • Check to see if your email is still attached. Most people who unsubscribe tend to keep your email intact when they ask you to add them to your master unsubscribe list.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the response email and hit the unsubscribe link on their behalf. This sends you to the unsubscribe page as a customer rather than in an admin capacity. Doing this is much faster than opening up your HTML newsletter or email master unsubscribe list and adding the contact by hand.
Truth be told, there may always be one or two people who fail to follow the unsubscribe rules. Clicking on the link in the email they send back can save you lots of time in the long run.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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