Subscriber leavesIt happens. People split up. And, like any great relationship, when it ends, we’re crushed; the feeling of rejection is often too hard to bear.

Nowhere can this be more prevalent than in email marketing. We love our subscribers, and when one decides to leave, we  stare at the gaping hole left in their wake, wondering if they’ll ever return to fill it once more.

Depending on the type of products and services you offer, you might also be familiar with the pain experienced by those people who decide to stop using your wares. However, at the point of un-subscription, they may choose to remain on your list. If they do, it represents a unique opportunity further down the line.

Over a year ago, I unsubscribed from a popular TV and film streaming service. They hadn’t upset me; I simply wasn’t using it. I chose to remain on their mailing list entirely by accident and, consequently, forgotten I had, because they recognised I wasn’t interested any more and decided to leave me be.

Fast-forward 12 months, and they’re feeling hopeful, clearly, as I’ve just received an email from them with the following subject line:

Email subject line

Instantly, they had my attention. There’s no hard sell, no hint of frustration that I left in the first place. Just a nice, friendly message.

This did two things. Firstly, it reminded me they existed and that I once had an account with them. Such is the way they’ve started the conversation, I’m not even miffed by the fact that they’re contacting me (which is good, because it’s down to my subscription preferences!). Secondly, it grabbed by attention enough to continue reading.

Here’s what was above the fold:

Email copy


I’m forever extolling the virtues of great copy in emails, and they’ve pretty much nailed it here. What you see are three sentences within one paragraph, and it is excellently pitched. It’s also combined with a really good image.

This email will have presented their marketing team with an age-old challenge. Which call-to-action (CTA) should be the main CTA? To answer it, they’ve used an equally old trick which I’d always recommend.

It would have been conceivable for them to have a CTA which would take me to a landing page further advertising how great their service is by showing the latest shows and films they’ve added. Instead, they’ve plonked a ‘Restart Today’ link above the fold, setting it as the main CTA. Clicking that nice big red button takes me to a simple landing page from which I can reactivate my account. No hard sell, just an incredibly tempting button to get me back on side.

A bit further down the email, it appears they have implemented the alternative CTA…

Email call-to-action


You’d think clicking on any of the titles above would take you to a page detailing the latest releases further, wouldn’t you? Wrong. This is where the old trick comes in – it simply links to the exact same landing page as the main CTA, encouraging me to reactive my account. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. No matter what I click, I’m going to end up where they want me.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the footer:

Email footer


Two things: they’ve not been afraid to ask for feedback. If I want to talk to them, they’ve given me a way of doing so. The only thing I would have liked would be the ability to contact them via email, but they are clearly more keen on me calling, so we’ll let that go. Secondly, within that text, it reminds me why I’m receiving this email. The only complaint I have here is that such text should also be present in the pre-header of the email.

So, if you’ve lost someone – go get ’em!


Main image courtesy of smarted /


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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