As my regular readers know if you boil down email etiquette to one word, it’s courtesy. Taking the time and paying attention to details so that you are doing your best to think of others — not just yourself or what you are willing to do at any given moment. This goes for email unsubscribe requests as well.
The Proper Way to Unsub from a Newsletter
You would think this to be a no-brainer. But it isn’t. Too many do not live up to their responsibility when it comes to unsubbing to an email list or newsletter that they willingly signed up for.
Has this happened to you? You subscribe to a list or service, then either become too busy or simply no longer want to receive the mailings you signed up for? Then what do you do?
Hit reply and type unsub? Or email the sender requesting removal?
If the email newsletter is legitimate and following email marketing best practices they should have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the newsletter. Look there first. Click that link and unsubscribe.
Many services offer you the opportunity to tell the sender why you are unsubscribing. Take a moment to let them know so they can improve their mailings.
Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.
~ Margaret Chase Smith
Many professional services and ezines advise you of your unsubscribe options when you sign up. Keep a copy of that e-mail on file for future reference. Make it easy for yourself and create a folder in your email program called Subscriptions. Keep all your subscribe notices in that folder so you know what to do when you want to unsubscribe.
If you sign up for something, regardless of the reason to want to unsubscribe, always do your best to make sure you are following either the previously provided instructions or use that little link at the bottom of the email. This is a simple courtesy offered to those whose services you willingly signed up for.
If You Send Newsletters Take Note
As the Sender of newsletters it behooves you to make a point of having your unsub instructions clear and obvious. Including an unsubscribe link with every email you send.
It’s the law.
Some have told me they don’t want to make that too obvious because they don’t want folks to be able to easily unsubscribe. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. If you’re legit, you are up front with this information. Who wants unwilling subscribers anyway?
A Word of Caution
What I am discussing here are lists and newsletters you know you subscribed to. Be very cautious “unsubscribing” from emails you didn’t ask for. This is a notorious way for spammers to determine which emails are “live” or accurate out of the thousands they spammed.
Guess what happens next? You do not get unsubbed — you get added to a mailing list to be sold and spammed further.
When you receive these surprise emails, mark them as spam/junk and delete. Better yet, report them to SpamCop.net.
My generation of radicals and breakers-down never found anything to take the place of the old virtues of work and courage and the old graces of courtesy and politeness.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald