Best practices for unsubscribing

Article author
Bryan Garcia
  • Updated

Make it easy to unsubscribe when subscribers feel it is time to move on. Your campaigns will have higher engagement and better deliverability when you’re sending to addresses that always want to receive your emails. 


Unsubscribe link

Every bulk marketing email must include an unsubscribe link. This is the law in the United States (CAN-SPAM Act) and in Canada (CASL). You can read more about the requirements by visiting the sites for both laws. These laws provide an outline for email best practices since bulk email marketing began.

1. Be clear and conspicuous

Subscribers should not have to download images to click the unsubscribe button. The link should be easily found, typically in the header or footer of the email.


2. Use commonly understood terms

Use `Unsubscribe` or `Opt out` for the unsubscribe link label. Don’t bury the unsubscribe link in a long sentence.


3. Design for readability

The unsubscribe link should be no more than 2 pixels smaller than the body copy and should not be smaller than 8px font. Keep away from low contrast type against a similar background. Links should always be highlighted or underlined to distinguish them from other text.


4. Allow for global opt-out in every email

Provide an easy mechanism to globally opt-out from all mail. The Unsubscribe link is included in the footer of all WordFly starter emails. This link redirects subscriber to a landing page where they can confirm that they want to globally opt out. This is a good place to add a link to your preferences page in case a subscriber wishes to update their preferences instead. You can add your link anywhere in your design. Before you send a campaign, we’ll verify that it includes an unsubscribe link. If the link isn’t there, we will flag it in the Testing > Email Checklist of your email campaign.



Unsubscribe landing page

Clicking unsubscribe should lead to one straightforward outcome: being unsubscribed from emails. It should be an easy and uncomplicated process that ends in success every time.


1. Make sure the unsubscribe landing page matches your brand

There should be no doubt to the subscriber who they are unsubscribing from when they reach this page. Customizing the unsubscribe landing page is an excellent way to reinforce your brand and also inform subscribers of what to do next.


2. Provide preferences

Provide a link to the preferences page on the unsubscribe page. This give subscribers an alternative to opting-out completely by allowing them to modify their communication interests.


3. Consider adding text for subscribers who might have accidentally unsubscribed

Let them know how to re-subscribe or modify their preferences. You might even suggest they follow you on social media if they don’t like receiving emails.


4. Never send an unsubscribe confirmation email

This violates both the CAN-SPAM and CASL laws.


5. Remove unsubscribed addresses promptly

The Gmail and Yahoo rules for mass senders require unsubscribes to be honored within 2 days. CAN-SPAM requires unsubscribed address to be removed from lists within 10 days.