Letting Customers Go The Right Way

Man in tree with chainsaw
Don’t prune your email list like this

Who doesn’t love email’s ease of use and ability to blast messages around the globe to lots of people at little cost? Like every powerful tool, making sure you know how to deal with anything other than smooth operation is important.  In the case of email, people will prune themselves from your mailing list with unsubscribe requests. How you handle that unsubscribe request makes you look like a company that could win back future loyalty or one that is operated out of a basement in a rented duplex with servers linking to a Central European country and no permission-based marketing.

Nothing has yet beaten the horrible unsubscribe we posted from Hertz earlier this year.  A few have come close though.  And while a recent experience wasn’t awful in terms of process, the thumbing the nose letter returned leaves a lot to be desired. Bad news.  I’m on the blacklist. Good news.  Whatever that is. So without any changes except to redact the URL, here’s my official blacklist notice. Santa, if you’re reading this, they didn’t mean I was naughty and I don’t want coal in my stocking.

Goodbye from our Newsletter, sorry to see you go. You have been unsubscribed from our newsletters. This is the last email you will receive from us. We have added you to our “blacklist”, which means that our newsletter system will refuse to send you any other email, without manual intervention by our administrator. If there is an error in this information, you can re-subscribe: please go to (URL was here) and follow the steps. Thank you

That’s it.  The blacklist.  The arrogance by which I communicated is unspeakable.  I have been measured and found to be wanting.   Yet hope still lurks in the future, just out of site.  I can return to their site and “follow the steps”. As a small business, you’re probably using email to communicate with customers more this year than last and will likely use it even more in the future.  Beyond hiring a decent writer to compose your acknowledgment note when someone sends an unsubscribe request, make sure you’re using your best customer service skills. A simple thing like an unsubscribe requires a bonsai master’s delicate touch, not a chainsaw.  Treat people nicely and the word of mouth you gain is unimaginable.

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