When a subscribed contact in your audience opts out of future email marketing, it's called an unsubscribe. CAN-SPAM, CASL in Canada, and other anti-spam laws require Mailchimp to have an unsubscribe process in place.
In this article, you'll learn about unsubscribes in Mailchimp.
How to manage unsubscribes
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you manage unsubscribes in Mailchimp.
- You must include an unsubscribe link in all of your email campaigns. If you use Mailchimp templates, we’ll include the unsubscribe link for you. Custom templates need to include the unsubscribe merge tag. If you don't include it, Mailchimp will add a footer to your campaign that includes an unsubscribe link.
- Mailchimp doesn't allow outside unsubscribe processes, so you need to use the unsubscribe link we provide in your email templates.
- If you see high rates of abuse complaints or unsubscribes, we recommend you use the double opt-in process for audience subscriptions.
- High unsubscribe rates can lead to account suspension. If your account has been suspended, please follow these steps to resolve the issue.
- For security reasons, when someone unsubscribes from your email marketing, Mailchimp automatically hides their full email address in the unsubscribe confirmation page and URL. If you add third-party code to your unsubscribe form, we recommend you make sure that the service you’re using also has safeguards in place to protect the privacy of your contacts.
How unsubscribes work in Mailchimp
Mailchimp treats all audiences in your account independently. When a contact unsubscribes from an audience, they opt out of marketing emails for that audience only. This is especially helpful if you manage audiences for multiple clients within a single account. A subscriber who opts out of email marketing from 1 client isn't unsubscribed from other client audiences.
If you have multiple audiences for a single organization, it's best to manage 1 primary audience, and use tags to organize contacts. You can then send campaigns to tagged subscribers or create segments based on tag data.
Since all audiences are independent from one another, a subscribed contact can unsubscribe from one audience with no impact to other audiences. When you use a primary audience, the unsubscribe process is streamlined. If a contact receives continued communications from your other audiences after they believe they've opted out of communications from your entire company, it can result in complaints. This could put your account at risk for compliance issues.
If you want to make sure specific contacts aren't added to your audiences as subscribed contacts, import their addresses as unsubscribed.
To help limit accidental unsubscribes caused by inbox filters from impacting your list, Mailchimp has a confirmation step when a customer clicks unsubscribe in the body of your emails. For example, when a customer clicks the unsubscribe link from the footer of your marketing email, we’ll take them to your unsubscribe form to confirm that they’d like to unsubscribe from your list.
There are a few reasons a subscribed contact may show as unsubscribed when they didn't request it.
- They forwarded the email from their inbox, and the secondary recipient clicked the unsubscribe link. Unsubscribe links are tied to the original recipient. Encourage contacts to use the Forward to a Friend link instead.
- Some inbox filters click each link in your email, and that can accidentally unsubscribe contacts. If the contact knows they didn't forward your campaign, ask them to contact their IT or hosting service about this issue.
- Did you post your version of the campaign on a website? If someone clicks the unsubscribe link on a shared campaign, it will unsubscribe the original recipient. Set up an email campaign archive to protect against this.
- Another account admin may have accidentally unsubscribed them.
I thought new changes from Google and Yahoo required a one-click unsubscribe, why is Mailchimp implementing a two-click unsubscribe process?
In order to reduce the risk of accidental unsubscribes due to bot clicks, Mailchimp is implementing a new unsubscribe link process. When your subscribers click on the unsubscribe link in an email body, they will be taken to an unsubscribe page. They will need to click “unsubscribe” on this page, too, ultimately requiring two clicks before the contact is opted out.
However, this change will not affect delivery to Google and Yahoo. What inbox hosts think of as a ‘one-click unsubscribe’ process is a bit different; the two-click unsubscribe process only affects the unsubscribe link in the body of an email, which has no impact on the one-click unsubscribe process available via the headers of an email sent through Mailchimp. Gmail and Yahoo will require one-click unsubscribe functionality via email headers, not the email body.
If a contact wants to receive your campaigns again, they’ll have to resubscribe to your audience.