From time to time, some people are going to request to be unsubscribed from your email communications. This can be done by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of your emails or by personal communication which are both a normal part of any spam compliant marketing practice.
This article has been designed to help with all things unsubscribe related. Here is a list of the topics we will be covering below (click to skip ahead):
- Upload a suppression list of previous unsubscribers
- Unsubscribing by clicking a link in an email
- Manually unsubscribing a contact within a list
- Unsubscribing a contact across all lists
- One-click Unsubscribe
- Search and remove unsubscribers from your lists
- Resubscribing an unsubscribed contact
- Collecting unsubscribe feedback
It is also important to note that when a contact chooses to unsubscribe or have been manually unsubscribed in a single list, they will only be unsubscribed from the list the message was sent to or in which they were unsubscribed from. Therefore you may need to manually unsubscribe the contact across all lists as well depending on your purposes for managing the contact across multiple lists.
Once a contact has been flagged as unsubscribed (whether in just one List or several) as long as the option 'Do not upload previous unsubscribers from all of my lists' is selected when you perform a bulk upload in future they will not be uploaded to your account again, saving any pesky hassles of re-uploading contacts who have opted out.
You may also wish to look at setting up a newsletter subscription using an update profile form instead of the default unsubscribe feature if you are using a Master List.
When you move your contacts over from your CRM, you will usually have a list of contacts who have opted out of your marketing. When you move your contacts into the email marketing system, you need to make sure these contacts are still excluded.
Before you upload ANY contacts in your account (and even before you upgrade your account if possible) you should upload your suppression list of previous unsubscribers. Here is how:
- Download the suppression list from your CRM into an Excel spreadsheet, then save to your computer.
- Follow the steps for uploading a contact list into the email marketing system.
- Once uploaded, go to 'Contacts' in the system.
- Your suppression list should be showing on the screen. If it isn't, navigate to the suppression list using the 'Folder' and 'List' drop down menu's up the top.
- Tick the first check box at the top of the contact list. This will select all the contacts currently on the screen.
- A yellow text box will appear. In this text box click the 'Select All' option.
- Then choose the 'Unsubscribe' option from the Actions menu at the bottom of the page.
- Confirm that you want to unsubscribe all the contacts.
- When the contacts are unsubscribed, go to 'Lists and Forms'.
- Select the suppression list from the items available.
- Choose 'Delete' from the Actions menu at the bottom of the page.
- Confirm that you want to delete this list.
Contacts from the suppression list will now be stored in the global unsubscriber list in your account. You can find this list by going to 'Contacts' and then 'Unsubscribers' from up the top of the screen.
Please note that only contact lists uploaded AFTER the above process has been completed will be washed against the suppression list. Existing contact lists (before suppression list was uploaded) will not be washed against the suppression list retroactively.
If you have a list of unsubscribers that you wish to have washed against your existing list in your account, please submit a support ticket where we can assist with this.
To help keep you spam complaint, the system automatically adds in an unsubscribe link to the footer of all emails sent from the system. But depending on the look you are after in your email, you may also like to customise your own unsubscribe link to look a certain way.
Below are the steps on how to:
- Edit the default unsubscribe link; and how to
- Create your own custom unsubscribe link in the message
Both these methods of unsubscribing a contact will only unsubscribe the contact from the list the message was sent to.
- Select the message.
- Under Actions select 'edit settings'
- This will display the Message Details pop-up window, select the Footer Links tab.
- Ensure the Unsubscribe Link check box is ticked.
- For the list drop down option, select the list you are sending the message to OR select the "(Contact's List)" option as above and the system will automatically unsubscribe the contact from the list the message is sent to.
- For the Form Style drop down option, select the form style you designed for this function OR select the "(Default Style)" option to have the default unsubscribe form in the list display.
- Click Save Changes.
- Edit the message you wish to add a custom unsubscribe link to.
- Select 'Details' up the top right to display the message details window.
- Select the footer links tab as above.
- Untick the Unsubscribe Link check box to turn off the default option and read the pop-up notice and click 'OK'.
- Click to Save your changes.
- Edit the text in your message to type in some text for you link eg: Click here to unsubscribe.
- Highlight the text then click the 'link' icon on the toolbar - this will open up the insert link window.
- Select 'Web forms' on the left.
- Change the drop down options to the unsubscribe form you wish to display.
- Click Insert Link and save your changes.
If your contact requests to be unsubscribed by personal communication, this can be done by following these steps:
- Click 'Contacts'.
- Search for the Contact in the list.
- Selecting the Contact (little check box on the left of the contact).
- From the 'Actions' menu, clicking 'Unsubscribe'.
The selected contact will then be unsubscribed from the selected list. Please repeat if you need to unsubscribe the contact across all lists or follow the steps below.
If a contact requests to be unsubscribed, you can use the 'Unsubscribe Contact' button. To do this:
- Click 'Contacts' up the left navigation menu.
- Then click 'Unsubscribers' from up the top - this will display all the contacts in your account that have ever unsubscribed.
- Click the 'Unsubscribe Contact' button and fill out the details of the contact. Ensure that 'All Lists' is selected for the 'List' drop down menu.
To make your unsubscribe function more seamless for your contacts, you can set up one-click unsubscribe.
This means that recipients can simply click the unsubscribe link to be unsubscribed rather than having to confirm their email address. (Please note: not recommended if your email will be forwarded on to another recipient)
To set this up:
- Login to your account.
- Click on 'Lists and Forms' on the left in the navigational bar.
- Select the list that contains your unsubscribe form and click the edit button on the right hand side.
- Select the correct form from the tabs along the top of the editor.
- Ensure you are on the 'unsubscribe form' section of the form (there are little sub tabs showing which is which).
- On the list tab, expand the 'Advanced Settings' section by clicking on the arrow next to 'Advanced Settings' heading.
- Tick the checkbox that says 'Allow one-click unsubscribe.'
- Click save.
When contacts unsubscribe from your list(s) it is a good idea to remove them to keep the number of contacts in your database down. Here is how:
- Click 'Contacts'.
- Use the 'Current List' drop down menu's up the top to select the correct list
- Click the Advanced Search icon (a little magnifying glass in the top right area beside some other buttons)
- In the first drop down menu option, select 'Subscribed' - 'Is' - 'No'
- Click 'Search'
Once you have your search results of all unsubscribed contacts, you will 'select all' and then choose 'Delete' from the 'Actions' menu. (please note: we recommend to download this list of contacts prior to Deleting so you can save a record for your reference)
Once you have removed the unsubscribers, you may also want to remove any inactive / deactivated contacts from your list.
From time to time a contact who has previously unsubscribed might like to be added back into your contact list. To resubscribe contacts who have been unsubscribed before:
- Go to 'Contacts' in your account.
- Click on 'Unsubscribers' from up the top.
- Using the search bar at the top of the unsubscribers list, search for the contacts email address or phone number.
- When you find them, select the contact record by clicking the check-box to the left.
- From the Actions menu at the bottom of the page, choose to 'Restore Contacts'.
- Tick both check-box items.
- Click the 'Restore' button.
If you would like to gather some feedback from your subscribers when they unsubscribe from your list, you could set up an autoresponder to collect this feedback. (please note: this feedback is unable to be collected directly on the unsubscribe form)
To set this up:
- Create a plain autoresponder message that will be triggered to be sent when someone unsubscribes. In this email you will need to clearly state that they have been unsubscribed and that you are only gathering some feedback. Please see below:
- Create a new list called something like "Unsubscribers Feedback only - do not send". Add a comments field onto the subscribe form to collect the feedback, as per below:
- After the list is created, you will need to link to the Unsubscribe Feedback form from the message, as per below:
(in my example I would be placing this link on the text "Please click here to submit your Unsubscribe Feedback through to us!")
- Then you simply need to set up the Autoresponder to trigger the send of the above email when someone Unsubscribes. To do this:
- Go to the 'Automation' menu on the left
- Make sure 'Autoresponders' is selected up the top
- Click the 'New Autoresponder' button on the right
- Select the type of autoresponder you wish to Create eg. 'Welcome New Subscribers'
- Select the Folder and the List that your contacts will be Unsubscribing from
- Click 'Select and Go'
- Click 'Edit' to set up what message is to be sent and when
- In Step 1 of 4: Select 'Unsubscribe'
- In Step 2 of 4: Check the correct list people will be unsubscribing from is selected
- In Step 3 of 4: Select the message you wish to send that contains the link to the feedback form you created
- In Step 4 of 4: Set when you would like this to be sent eg. immediately
- Click 'Save'
- Then Activate when you are ready by simply turning it 'ON'
Please note: The Spam Act states that you have up to 5 days to unsubscribe a contact so as long as the autoresponder is triggered immediately you will not be in violation of the spam act.
I would recommend going through and unsubscribing all contacts that are in the feedback list as well to save from accidentally sending to them in future.
If you like, you can export the feedback from the new list and update this in the existing record of the contact so you can delete out the duplicate records to save on costs.