The Right Way to Unsubscribe

Clicking “Unsubscribe” should have a straightforward outcome, but in the wild it’s rarely that simple. Here’s an example from Ugmonk, a fantastic clothing brand run by a passionate designer. I’d never unsubscribe from their newsletter in real life, but let’s pretend:

Notice that clicking “Unsubscribe” doesn’t unsubscribe. It brings us to a screen with the action “Update E-mail Settings”. Does clicking that button unsubscribe? No. The default behavior is this:

“I like the current email frequency. Don’t change a thing.”

In other words, neither “Unsubscribe” nor “Update E-mail Settings” have done what they say they do. We have accomplished exactly nothing, thanks to Klaviyo.

What should happen when you click “unsubscribe”? This:

Good example

What’s better about this example?

  1. It unsubscribes. Buttons should do what they claim to do.
  2. It affords undo. People will click by accident.
  3. It asks questions afterward. It doesn’t get in the way.

Unsubscribing is a defense mechanism. People use it to reclaim their time and attention. The unsubscribe process is a great opportunity to show users that you respect their needs. Slow, complex processes will only harden their resolve to separate from you permanently.

Unsubscribe means unsubscribe.