Rachel Folz

People, product, and process pro.

Why I unsubscribed

Last night I got it in my head it was time to clean house. Not my real house, of course, that’s in great shape, but rather my digital house.

As the Digital Marketing Manager for personalization company Cerkl, I deal with a lot of email. My work inbox receives hundreds a week and I have no problem addressing each one, deleting or filing, and moving on. My personal Gmail, however, is another story. It’s like the inbox version of “Hoarders.”

The Cleansing Begins

Resolve strong, I started by cleaning out my Primary folder. That was pretty easy – tax info, upcoming travel plan docs – keep. Old emails from a camp my daughter no longer attends – ditch. Quickly I had whittled that inbox down to just 20 items. Could I be the Marie Kondo of inbox maintenance, I wondered. Yeah, I was flying high.

Then I looked at my Promotions tab and my aspirations of email inbox excellence fell sharply to the ground. I had thousands of emails. Ugh. So much junk. I began an unsubscribe spree. So, how did I separate the wheat from the chaff?

Here are the three reasons I, and most people, unsubscribe:

  • Too Frequent – Email me every day or even every week and we haven’t had an interaction in three years? Would you do that in real life? We are done.
  • Not Mobile – Most internet use in on mobile devices. If your email doesn’t look good on my phone, you are out of my inbox forever.
  • Not Relevant – I am 35-year-old plus size mother of a daughter. I am not in need of boys clothes or the perfect prom dress. If your email systems spoke to your website, you could figure that out and tailor your messages.

Respect the box, dude

In the end, it comes down to respect. If your audience has welcomed you into their digital life, be sure that your communications are providing them real value and respecting their preferences. Everything else is just noise.