Email unsubscribe survey questions

If you’ve got an email list,you’ll also have unsubscribes. Now one thing you want to do is to put an unsubscribe survey into place so that you can learn why people actually unsubscribe.

What’s the reason that they went through the whole trouble of signing up in the first place… only to unsubscribe again later on?

In many cases, the reason is probably just that there’s misalignment between what you offer and what they need… and these kinds of unsubscribes are cool. You want to keep your list relevant and engaged, and anyone that’s not a good fit should not be on your list.

But in some cases, where it’s actually the people that you do want to reach, if they unsubscribe, you definitely want to know why they did so, and what you can do to improve your emails for these kinds of people.

So the feedback will be incredibly valuable.

Here are the typical unsubscribe exit surveys questions that you could ask your unsubscribers:

  • Your emails weren’t relevant to me anymore
  • Your emails are too frequent
  • I don’t remember signing up for this
  • I’ve got other reasons

Now there’s an art and science to writing exit survey questions. The above were actually taken from a blog post from CampaignMonitor.

But there are 2 things I would improve about these questions:

  1.  they switch up You and I. They should keep it consistent, and they should make it from an I point of view.

Here’s why: when I unsubscribe from a list, it’s easier to tell you the reason why I decided to unsubscribe, rather than telling you what you did wrong. The I-perspective is much closer to what’s going on in my head.

2. They use fancy, difficult words. “not relevant”. “too frequent” Now they’re not too fancy, but they’re still not the way most people think in their heads in the middle of a busy day.

Better ways to phrase these questions would be:

“It didn’t interest me anymore.”

“I got too many emails from you.”

But before you take these unsubscribe survey questions and stick them into your process, take a step back for a moment and ask yourself if these are the best questions you could be asking your unsubscribers.

The best way to get to a meaniningful answer to that question is by asking yourself:

If I see that a high percentage of people choose this answer… what will be the action that I take based upon that information?

Because these answers will only be meaningful if they help you change something in your current marketing efforts that will then lead to an improvement in your overall process and help you send better, more engaging emails to the right kind of people.

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