People will unsubscribe from your email list – maybe 25% or more – accept it. Don’t fight it. If they want to leave, it’s probably your fault.

The penalties for making it hard to unsubscribe include damaging customer relations and brand reputation, getting reported to the authorities, receiving fines, but most likely and perhaps most dangerous of all - being marked as SPAM (unsolicited mail) by recipients.

In this article, I'll give you 11 rules to help make it easy for email subscribers to opt out and keep you on the right side of customers, the law, regulators, ISPs and email providers. First, some perspective...

Let’s put this in perspective

A customer wants to leave your store / restaurant / office because you’ve tricked or forced them to come in or you can't provide the product or service they want at the right price? How do you react? Do you lock your doors? Put obstacles in the way to slow them down? And if you do, how do you think they will react?

Why is your email marketing program any different?

It is clear to anyone who has conducted a purge of their inbox that few marketing emails share the same method for unsubscribing. On some the unsubscribe link is harder to find, on others the landing page (or series of pages) place way too many hurdles between the subscriber and the exit. We share a number of examples in this article.

So what are the rules of email unsubscribing?

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