In an article in EmailLabs, Loren McDonald discusses ways of optimizing the unsubscribe page.
McDonald observes that most unsubscribe pages are plain one-shot transactional pages where the subscriber goes to opt out. She points out, however, that a subscriber could have several reasons for wanting to opt out and the unsubscribe page should recognize those alternatives and provide options. She prefers to call it the subscription-management page.
The author says this page should also be treated like a landing page, giving subscribers options to manage their subscriptions, and marketing your other email programs that might better meet their interests or needs.
She identifies design as the key to the page, keeping text to a minimum, removing unnecessary navigation, headers, etc., and using graphics and buttons to help visitors understand their options.
McDonald suggests including the following features on the subscription-management page:
1. Recognize the subscriber’s wish to leave the list while also offering other options, such as less frequent mailings, other emails/newsletters, blogs, podcasts, etc. from your company.
2. If your company has other email newsletters, provide brief descriptions and a link to a more detailed explanation and opt-in page, preferably a consolidated preferences page listing all of your newsletters.
3. Provide links to other resources on your site that the visitor might find useful, such as a white paper or special offer.
4. Provide a quick exit survey with no more than two questions using a text box or clickable options, asking for the reason for leaving and any suggestions for improvement.
5. For subscribers who are merely unsubscribing an old address to subscribe using a new one, provide an address-update form.
6. For subscribers who may have clicked to the page in error, provide clear directions on how to stop the unsubscribe process.
In other words, don’t give in without a fight.