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Want to allow subscribers to opt out of sales emails WITHOUT unsubscribing completely from your email list? It’s really easy – here’s how…
It’s good practice when you launch a new product, run a flash sale or promote a special offer to send daily emails to your list – usually for a period of 3-7 days. This kind of daily reminder, with varying sales messages designed to appeal to different personality types, objections and offering ‘social proof’ and a hard deadline, is usually enormously effective at driving maximum sales.
However, not every subscriber will be interested in your product, sale or offer. Those who aren’t interested will either ignore/delete your emails, or – worse – hit the ‘unsubscribe’ link. Even subscribers who normally love your weekly email newsletters may be tempted to unsubscribe.
So how do you harness the power of those daily sales emails without annoying your faithful subscribers and provoking a massive spike in unsubscribes?
The answer is very simple: offer an opt-out.
But what exactly is an opt-out? Why are they so powerful? And, most importantly, how do you create an opt-out for your sales emails?
What is an opt-out?
An opt-out is a simple link in your sales emails. You invite your subscribers to click the link if they are not interested in hearing about your latest launch / sale / offer. When a subscriber clicks the special opt-out link, they will automatically stop receiving your sales emails, but will still get your regular email newsletters, product updates and any other types of emails you send out.
Why are opt-outs so powerful?
Opt-outs are powerful because they allow you to send daily sales emails to those who are interested in your launch or sale, while preventing those who aren’t interested from getting annoyed and unsubscribing. Done well an opt-out will maximize your sales while minimizing your unsubscribes.
How to create an opt-out link for your sales emails
Obviously the exact details will depend a little on the email service provider you use, but the basic process will be the same. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m using ConvertKit*.
Step 1: Create a rule
The first step is to create a rule that means that any time someone clicks an opt-out link, they will be automatically tagged as having opted out.
Go to AUTOMATIONS >> RULES >> ADD A RULE.
Choose the trigger CLICKS A LINK. Name your rule – I use OPT OUT: [Name of product / Name of sale] For example, OPT OUT: Evergreen Funnel Jumpstart Launch or OPT OUT: SEO Jumpstart Flash Sale
Choose a destination URL (this is where the reader will be redirected to once they click the link). You can either create a simple page on your website that confirms they will no longer receive sales emails or just use ConvertKit’s standard ‘Preferences Confirmed’ link >>> https://app.convertkit.com/preferences-confirmed
Select the action ADD A TAG, then CREATE A TAG and name your new tag. Again, I use OPT OUT: [Name of product / Name of sale] For example, OPT OUT: Start & Grow Bundle Offer or OPT OUT: Black Friday Deal. (It doesn’t really matter what you call your tag, but using a naming convention like this helps you to keep your email marketing dashboard tidy and helps you find things more easily in the future.)
Finally save the rule.
Step 2: Create an opt-out link
The next step is to place an opt-out link in every sales email.
Open your first sales email and type a sentence which says something like ‘Not interested in hearing about my new product launch? CLICK HERE TO OPT OUT’
Make CLICK HERE TO OPT OUT bold and then click INSERT LINK.
Go to LINK TRIGGERS and scroll down until you find the correct rule. Click on the rule and you will see that subscribers who click that link will now be automatically tagged with your OPT OUT tag.
Click INSERT to insert the link.
Now go into all your other sales emails and repeat this step so that every sales email has an opt-out link in it.
Don’t forget to put an opt-out link in your last sales email too, because while you know it’s your last sales email, your subscribers won’t. If you don’t put an opt-out link in your last email, you are likely to get more unsubscribes instead!
Step 3: Exclude subscribers who have opted out from future sales emails
The final step is to ensure that any subscriber who clicks an opt-out link does not receive any future sales emails. You do this by excluding anyone with the opt-out tag from all the remaining emails in your sales sequence.
How you do this will depend on if you have your sales emails set up as a SEQUENCE or a BROADCAST.
For a sequence, simply go to FILTER and where it says, ‘Exclude subscribers from this email’ choose ‘Matching ALL the following’, then ADD FILTER >> SUBSCRIBED TO >> TAGS and choose the opt-out tag you created in Step 1.
If you have set your sales emails up as broadcasts, you will need to go into each broadcast and, where it says, ‘Who would you like to send this to?’, choose ‘Matching ALL of the following: ALL SUBSCRIBERS. Then ADD FILTER GROUP ‘Matching NONE of the following’ >> SUBSCRIBED TO >> TAGS and choose the opt-out tag you created in Step 1.
Where to put your opt-out link?
As we’ve covered already, you need to put an opt-out link in every sales email. But where in the email should you put it? There are a number of different options. You could put it:
- right at the top of your email
- somewhere in the middle
- as a P.S.
- right at the bottom of your email
My personal preference is to put the opt-out link right at the bottom, just above the ‘unsubscribe’ link. My logic for this is that people who are considering unsubscribing will see this opt-out option right before they hit unsubscribe. And it’s the people who would otherwise unsubscribe that you most want to use your opt-out.
But there’s no hard and fast rule for this one, it really depends on your audience. If you have the type of audience who are likely to be easily offended by sales emails, you may want to put your opt-out at the top AND the bottom.
Tips for wording your opt-out
There are numerous ways to word your opt-out, but I have a couple of tips:
1. THIS sale
Whenever I put an opt-out in my sales emails I always make it clear that they are opting out of this particular sale only, by saying something like: ‘Click here to opt out of this sale / Click here to opt out of my sales emails this week’
This is important because if you say ‘Click here to opt out of sales emails’ then really you are saying you won’t send them any more sales emails ever! You definitely don’t want to do that. They might not be in a position to buy your product this time round, but they might be really interested next time you have a sale or launch!
2. Explain unsubscribe
Another good tip is to tell people what will happen if they hit the opt-out link vs the unsubscribe link. Tell them that if they hit the opt-out they will no longer get your SALES emails, but if they hit the unsubscribe link they will no longer receive ANY emails from you. You might think that is obvious, but your subscribers might not realise that. This helps them make the right decision – and is likely to reduce your number of unsubscribes.
Here’s an example…
‘Not interested in my 50% OFF EVERYTHING SUMMER SALE emails? Inbox too full already? No hard feelings! Just CLICK THIS LINK TO STOP GETTING THEM. Or, if you are totally fed up with hearing from me, you can click the unsubscribe link below… but that will unsubscribe you from EVERYTHING – just so you know!’
3. Include personality
You don’t need to make your opt-out link really dull and dry – instead make it sound like you and reflect your personality. Make your subscribers laugh, if that’s you! So long as you make it clear what they need to do / what will happen, you can have a little fun with your opt-out.
Here’s an example of a funny one…
‘Seriously? You want to opt-out of my carefully crafted sales emails? Do you know how long I spent writing them? You’re breakin’ my heart here! Alrighty then CLICK THIS LINK TO STOP GETTING THEM. Your loss. #justsayin’
But remember, your opt-out should reflect YOUR personality. I would never use the above opt-out as it’s not how I normally speak / write, but for someone who normally speaks like that, it would be perfect and would most likely make their target audience smile.
Will including an opt-out link guarantee you won’t get unsubscribers?
Sadly not. No matter how well you write your opt-out and no matter how obvious you make it, you will always get some people who scroll on past your carefully crafted opt-out and hit the unsubscribe link. But DO NOT worry about those people – they clearly are not YOUR people.
Think about it, if they are offended so much by a sales email that they scrolled straight past your opt-out and hit unsubscribe, then they are clearly not a good fit for you / your product, so they’ve actually done you a favour by unsubscribing! Think of it as saving you the bother of having to clean them off your list at a later date!
And please don’t let unsubscribes stop you from sending sales emails. Unsubscribes are a totally normal result of sales emails and are to be expected. Just remember to always offer an opt-out!
FUN FACT: In the last sale I ran, I made roughly $50 for every subscriber I lost. Which would you rather have… a whole bunch of $50’s or a whole bunch of subscribers on your list who don’t really like you and are never ever going to buy anything from you? I know which I’d rather!
ConvertKit makes everything easy!
Creating an opt-out is just one of many, many things that ConvertKit makes easy.
If you want to find out what else ConvertKit makes easy head here >>> 26 reasons why ConvertKit is the best email marketing service for bloggers
If you want to check ConvertKit out for yourself, head here >>> ConvertKit Free Trial
Over to you…
Do you add opt-outs to your sales emails? Why or why not?
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