Don’t you hate when the response you get is “We received your request” OR even worse “We are ‘submitting’ your request,” as if it needs to be approved. When I unsubscribe from your email marketing list, it’s not a request, it’s a directive. Please don’t “submit my request”… rather “execute my directive.” Start paying attention to… “the Customer Experience with your marketing.”

Enough is enough: Don’t waste email marketing on people who don’t want to see it… because it is not just a waste, it depletes your brand equity, not only for that customer, but for everyone she shares it with.

When you’re in marketing, you can appreciate other good marketing when you see it, right? A well-crafted ad, an excellent customer experience, a brand that puts action behind its commitment to build relationships with its customers. The flipside to that is that you’re also likely to develop some marketing pet peeves when you see brands doing things in a way that you would not do yourself.

An unsubscribe feature that doesn’t actually allow you to unsubscribe touches on a few of my biggest personal pet peeves. First, the brand sending the email is banging its head against a brick wall. Keep sending me messages after I ask you to stop, and I’ll just start ignoring you… or worse, get annoyed with you. It’s not so different from a brand that barrages me with ads after I have already purchased the product in question. You’re not going to make me purchase an unnecessary second copy of something I already like, SO STOP TRYING.

As my business partner, and Retail Relevancy co-author John Andrews so aptly likes to say: “I think some marketers interpret ‘unsubscribe’ as a positive response. There’s a live human here, man the spam torpedoes!”

Ultimately, pushing customers past their breaking point is an easy way to develop a bad reputation for your brand. Whatever algorithm or email automation platform says that it’s time to send MORE emails after someone has unsubscribed needs to be seriously revisited. If I unsubscribe, I will still be aware of your brand and have the potential to continue to be a customer in the future. If you keep sending messages, I will keep ignoring them until I forget that your brand even exists. And worse yet develop a very bad taste, cease any interactions, and share that aggressively with others.

So… LET PEOPLE UNSUBSCRIBE! AND be clear about it with an acknowledgment that it’s done. Stop banging them over the head for a while when they have specifically asked you to stop. Put the customer first, even when they’re taking an action you’d prefer that they didn’t from a marketing perspective. It’s really not that freaking complicated, treat your customers with some simple respect, and it will be much better for your business and reputation in the long run.

Your Brand/Business is what you do; your Reputation is what people Remember and Share.

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