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Remember Courtesy When Unsubscribing

Be courteous when unsubscribing from email newsletters.

As my regular readers know, if you boil down email etiquette to one word, it’s courtesy. Take the time and pay 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. So naturally, 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 regarding unsubscribing from an email list or newsletter they willingly signed up for. What responsibility, you say?

Has this happened to you? You subscribe to a list or service, 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 follows email marketing best practices, it 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. Please take a moment to let them know so they can improve their mailings, even if it is because you are too busy or want to reduce your email load.

Many professional services and ezines advise you of your unsubscribe options when you sign up. Keep a copy of that email on file for future reference.

Make it easy for yourself and create a folder in your email program called Subscriptions. Then, keep all your subscription notices in that folder so you know what to do when you want to unsubscribe.

If you sign up for something, regardless of why you want to unsubscribe, always do your best to ensure you follow 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 unsubscribe instructions clear and readily available. Including an unsubscribe link with every email you send.

It’s the law.

Some have told me they don’t want to make the unsubscribe function too apparent because they don’t want folks to be able to unsubscribe easily. But, unfortunately, that’s not how it works. If you’re legit, you are upfront with this information. Who wants unwilling subscribers anyway?

A Word of Caution

Of course, I am referring to lists and newsletters you know you subscribed to for this discussion. Be cautious about “unsubscribing” from emails you didn’t ask for. This is a notorious way for spammers to determine which emails are “live” or accurate from 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 them. Better yet, report them to SpamCop.net.

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