Unsub Feature Image

7 Ways to Win with Email Unsubscribe Messages


We’re all experienced, thick-skinned and mature email marketers here, right? 😉

So when someone unsubscribes we know its actually a good thing, right?

Of course when it comes to email deliverability it’s better to have less, more engaged contacts but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try to “save” those that want to unsubscribe.

Whilst an unsubscribe is much better than a spam report, there’s a few email unsubscribe message tricks you can implement into your email marketing strategy that might maintain some quality subscribers.

What exactly is an email unsubscribe message, you ask?

Well I like to define it is as whatever message you put in front of your customer when they attempt to unsubscribe from your list.

It might be at the footer of your email when your unsubscribe link lives, on the unsubscribe confirmation page itself or it may even be a followup email that you send to your customer to confirm that they have unsubscribed.

Let’s dive into a few ways you can change up your email unsubscribe message and dissect some cool examples we found.

1. Include a Personal Video Message

Rank and Rent Club Unsubscribe

Herc Magnus from Rank and Rent Club is a bit of a Local SEO legend, and his email game is pretty great too. When you click unsubscribe on his emails, you get taken to a clean looking page with a video message from Herc himself.

The video explains what subscribers will miss out on if they unsubscribe, but they are still given a very clear and easy way to unsubscribe or remain subscribed.

The key takeaway for this strategy is to inject a bit of FOMO into your subscriber, but don’t make it difficult for them to continue unsubscribing if they wish to do so.


2. Add Some Humor to the Mix

Daniel Throssell Unsubscribe Message

Now this example from email marketer Daniel Throssell is actually part of his email footer and it stopped me personally from unsubscribing, so I felt it deserved to be showcased in this article.

Whilst I’m not so sure about the Bible excerpt, perhaps it appeals to his subscribers, but the rest of the footer is fantastically written and actually made me say to myself “ah, let’s give this guy another shot”.

Barkbox Unsubscribe

Apart from the strange looking formatting, this Barbox email unsubscribe page was great. It’s cute, funny and fits their overall branding.

I still unsubscribed though, because I only joined their list for research purposes to help write this article. Ruh roh.


3. Allow Subscribers to Receive Less

Podium Unsubscribe

This unsubscribe page from Podium lets users customize the type of emails they receive, and even gives the option to pause emails for 90 days. This is a great way to personalize your user’s experience and keep them engaged.

If you’re an ActiveCampaign user, you can actually customize the unsubscribe page and give subscribers an option to manage what information they receive from you.


4. Tug On Their Heart Strings

Keap Unsubscribe

Cute or emotional messages can help turn impending unsubscribers around at the last minute.

Infusionsoft, now known as Keap, have a neat little unsubscribe page that is eye-catching and kinda funny.

The important thing to note with this kind of strategy is to make sure the tone on your email unsubscribe message page is similar to the overall tone of your emails.

If your email copy is usually very serious, having a humorous or cute unsubscribe page probably won’t resonate with your users.


5. Rekindle The Love On Another Platform

No matter what you do, people might just be cleaning up their inbox and they want to unsubscribe.

This doesn’t mean they don’t remember the good times you had, so make sure there’s a way for them to connect with you somewhere else.

I don’t see enough of this strategy, but some brands do it really well. Just include a message like “let’s connect somewhere else” on your unsubscribe page and use some on-brand social icons so they can follow you on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or wherever else you consistently publish content.

They fell for you once, so there’s a good chance they’ll be back one day!


6. Give Them the Option to Stay

It might be rare, but sometimes people accidentally click unsubscribe so make sure you have an option to remain subscribed, or re-subscribe if you use a one-click unsubscribe.

Also if you’re using one of the strategies outlined in this article and users decided that you are in fact “the one”, you need to make sure there’s a way for them to stay in your life.

Nike Unsubscribe Groupon Unsubscribe

Both Nike and Groupon have relatively simple unsubscribe pages, but they do give people the option to stay on their marketing list.

This feature is a must-have for any email list.


7. Followup With One Last Chance

If someone ends up unsubscribing, you do need to be careful with this strategy but you can actually send them one last email to confirm that they are no longer subscribed. (Please check relevant spam laws though, to protect yourself).

I subscribed to startup community Betalist and when I unsubscribed, I got this clever email.

Betalist Unsub Email

The confirmation email uses a few of the other strategies mention in this article, and it gives users the option to re-join.

Not a bad last ditch effort to get the subscriber back if you ask me!


Winning With Email Unsubscribe Messages

No matter what email platform you’re using, there’s always a way to customize the unsubscribe page to retain a few extra stray subscribers that may have forgotten why they subscribed in the first place.

Whether its a reminder about why they joined your list, a bit of humor, or a simple option to remain subscribed in the event of an accidental thumb slip on the unsubscribe link, you should be doing something unique to keep your subscribers on board.

You’d be surprised at how many lists I had to subscribe to when researching this article, only to realize that some big name marketers aren’t even optimizing their email unsubscribe pages.

This presents a great opportunity for fledgling email marketers to really stand out from the crowd.

It’s also important to take into account the relevant email laws and to put it simply, don’t be slippery when it comes to unsubscribes.

If people want to go, make it easy for them to do so. Definitely make a last-ditch to save them, but ultimately sometimes our subscribers need to leave to realize how much of a good thing they are truly missing out on. 😉





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