When a consumer unsubscribes from a mailing list, they have a few specific expectations. They want to unsubscribe immediately from marketing email, and they also want to unsubscribe completely. This sounds like it is totally reasonable from the consumer perspective in the age of digital convenience. But in the reality of software and marketing automation the reality of managing unsubscribes from emails can be messier than you might think.

Ensuring someone’s unsubscribe request is handled in a timely fashion across all your lists and marketing tools isn’t just in the best interest of your brand image, it may also be a matter of compliance. Here’s three tips to go beyond automated free email unsubscribe tools.

Tip 1: Integrate Marketing Email Unsubscribe Lists

There’s no one tool or product a marketing team uses to carry out every single initiative. Marketers may be working with ActiveCampaign, Marketo, Salesforce, Mailchimp, or other tools that manage lists, all at the same time. When someone unsubscribes from an ActiveCampaign list, they will not be happy to get an email from the Mailchimp list. To the audiences on the outside of the marketing strategy there is no difference. This is why you need to integrate your unsubscribes into one master email list.

Your individual tools may be doing a fine job of managing email unsubscribes within themselves, but those opt-in and opt-outs from marketing emails need to be honored across platforms to ensure compliance. You may choose to have people on each of your marketing or sales teams responsible for sharing opt-out information, but we know how tedious this is. That’s one reason we developed a platform to centralize email lists and automate the data synchronization process.

Tip 2: Monitor Your Email Unsubscribes

The best practices of managing email unsubscribes mean taking a proactive approach, not reactive. This means looking for places an email marketing process isn’t working. That may mean from a literal compliance perspective. Though most email service providers have built-in functionality to manage unsubscribe requests immediately, you do have up to 10 days to honor a request. If the customer is still getting emails from you after 10 days, that would be a serious email marketing compliance issue.

Your email marketing list management process may also have more nuanced challenges. If a previous subscriber must come back and complete a broken form several times, or unsubscribe from several different lists, that would identify a hidden compliance risk. There’s two options to solve these risks, get a team member to manually compare unsubscribes across platforms or use a tool like UnsubCentral to make it seamless.

Tip 3: Anticipate Customer Email Marketing Expectations

Honoring someone’s email unsubscribe across all your lists and email marketing tools is a matter of compliance, but also of brand image. At the moment someone unsubscribes, they are clearly not feeling connected with or enthusiastic about your brand. You may or may not have the opportunity to win back their attention, loyalty, and trust on some other occasion outside their email inbox. But continuing to serve them content via email due to slow or unintegrated software tools is likely to make that effort even harder.

Take a Proactive Approach to Managing Email Lists

If email list suppression is part of your marketing team’s strategy, Unsub Central is a tool built with your compliance and collaboration needs in mind. Our product is a secure central repository for all marketing email contact data. Automation manages email lists for different CRMs and marketing departments, keeping everyone’s list current in real-time and delivering better brand integrity with less work. Explore our resources page to find data and stories about how that reality looks for brands across industries and sectors.