how to build an unsubscribe page

You’re here because you want to learn how to build an unsubscribe page quickly.

After reading this post, you’ll be able to :

  • Build an unsubscribe page in 5 minutes
  • 3 tips to reduce unsubscribes
  • 7 best practices to create a great unsubscribe experience

Not much time and just want to quickly set up an unsubscribe page? Use BirdSend email marketing tool to build your unsubscribe page in 5 minutes. Try BirdSend free here.

Content creators use BirdSend to send 30 million emails/month to get good email opens, while still saving them 80% in email tool expenses every month.

What is an unsubscribe page

An unsubscribe page looks something like this:

unsubscribe page example

It’s a page where your subscribers can unsubscribe from your emails. And it’s required per CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

If you do any kind of email marketing or email newsletter, you must have an unsubscribe page.

Some unsubscribe pages don’t have checkboxes to let subscribers choose only specific types of emails to unsubscribe from — they only allow to unsubscribe from ALL emails.

A better unsubscribe page, like the above, is recommended because you’re giving subscribers choices.

Common reasons why people unsubscribe

A/ No longer interested / relevant

The emails you sent are no longer relevant to them, or they’re no longer interested in your topic. Maybe because they have moved on to other things / topics or to another stage in their life / journey.

E.g. Your emails are about kids education and their kids have already grown up to become adults.

B/ Too many emails

They feel the frequency of your emails is too much.

Even though you might only email once per week, for example, there will always be people who find it too much.

C/ Email content doesn’t meet their expectation

Subscribers feel they don’t get what they signed up for.

Maybe your content is too beginner / advanced.

Or maybe they just don’t vibe with your emails.

Or they simply misunderstood what your emails are about, etc.

Unsubscribes is not necessarily a bad thing

Most people fear unsubscribes. They think it means they’re not doing a good enough job of keeping subscribers engaged.

While that may or may not be true (see section above), here are 3 reasons why unsubscribes is actually a good thing:

A/ It means you’re only emailing engaged subscribers

Why push emails down people’s throat if they don’t want them anymore? Wouldn’t that make you look desperate and pushy?

They’re not going to be reading your emails anyway, why not save your effort and time to focus on other folks who want to read your emails?

B/ Better deliverability

Over the long term, your email deliverability improves because you’re only emailing people who WANT to receive your emails.

Less spam complaints. Less email bounces.

It’s a win-win scenario for you and your subscribers.

C/ You save money

Most email marketing automation tools, including BirdSend, charge you by the number of subscribers.

This means people who no longer want to hear from you and unsubscribe results in a lower monthly email tool expense for you.

How to reduce unsubscribe rate

1/ Make subscribers look forward and want to open your emails

You can achieve this by making your emails (a) fun, entertaining, and (b) helpful.

(A) If your emails are fun and entertaining, they immediately stand out from all the other emails in their inbox.


Because most emails are boring and either just educate / provide value all the time OR they hard sell all the time.

(B) Admittedly, people subscribe to you in the first place not because of how your emails are going to entertain them, but rather how you can help solve their problems and pain points.

Hence, you also need to provide helpful tips and strategies to help alleviate some of their pain points.

(A) + (B) = Potent!

A good way to make people anticipate and look forward to your email is to use the “mini skirt” technique (#7), which is essentially a fancy name for the “open loop” tactic.

2/ Set the right expectations right from the very beginning

On your email opt-in form — where someone enters their email address to join your list — state clearly what kind of emails they’ll be getting and the frequency of the emails.

E.g. If you give away a lead magnet “3 simple steps to confidently speak in public” and plan to email daily, state something like this:

To get the “3 simple steps to confidently speak in public” guide for free, join my daily email newsletter where I’ll send you strategies and tips on how to become better at public speaking.

People who don’t want daily emails won’t subscribe to your email list.

3/ Offer customized subscription options

When subscribers click the unsubscribe link and are taken to your “Unsubscribe Page”, give them the freedom to choose:

  • the types of emails they want to subscribe / unsubscribe
  • the email frequency (whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, etc.)

7 Best practices for creating a good unsubscribe experience

Even though folks have made up their mind to unsubscribe from you, I still recommend that you provide them with a good unsubscribe experience.

Here are 7 best practices for creating a good unsubscribe experience.

1/ Process the unsubscribe immediately

The other day I saw this comment:

example of bad unsubscribe processing

Waiting for a few days before processing the unsubscribe is lame and deceitful. Plus, it reflects bad on your brand and reputation. Why take the unnecessary risk?

2/ Allow subscribers to change their email address

For whatever reason, sometimes people change their email address.

It’s wise to allow them to update their email address on their own, so they don’t have to manually tell you and then you manually updating in your email marketing tool / platform.

Provide a way for them to easily change their email address right on the Unsubscribe Page, like this:

subscriber can change their email address on unsubscribe page

3/ Never ask subscribers to “login” to unsubscribe

I’ve personally never experienced this, but I’ve seen people on Twitter complaining that they can only unsubscribe if they’re logged in to their account:

login required to unsubscribe eg1

login required to unsubscribe eg2

Never, ever do this.

Always make sure to make the unsubscribe process quick and easy. If you don’t, people will give up trying to unsubscribe and will instead mark your emails as spam.

4/ Prominent unsubscribe link

The unsubscribe link is typically located in the footer of the email message. Make sure it’s prominent there — i.e. underlined with the same color as other links in the email message, and with a clear text of what the link is for (e.g. Unsubscribe from emails).

5/ Give confirmation that their preference has been updated

On the Unsubscribe Page or the Subscriber Preferences Page, once folks have chosen the types of emails or frequency they want to unsubscribe from (and which ones to remain subscribed to) OR if they want to unsubscribe completely from all emails… make sure to give them a confirmation message right on the page that their preference has been updated.

6/ Make the unsubscribe page clean and easy to understand

People are busy and don’t have much time navigating your unsubscribe page.

Hence, you want to make it easy and quick for them to understand what they should do when they’re on your unsubscribe page.

As you’ve seen from the above, here’s what BirdSend’s Unsubscribe Page / Subscriber Preferences Page looks like:

subscriber preferences page

It’s pretty clear what a person should do, whether it’s:

  • Unsubscribing from certain topics (untick)
  • Remaining subscribed to other topics (tick)
  • Unsubscribing completely from all mailings
  • Changing their info (email address)

How to build an unsubscribe page in 5 minutes flat

I’m going to show you how to build an unsubscribe page in BirdSend, since… well… you’re on BirdSend’s site 😄

In BirdSend, we use a different terminology for Unsubscribe Page.

We use the Subscriber Preference Page as it’s a more accurate description of what the page is for — for subscribers to manage their email preferences.

This is what The Subscriber Preferences Page or Unsubscribe Page looks like from the subscriber’s point of view:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 1

As you can see, on this page:

  • The subscriber can choose the types of emails he wish to unsubscribe from (and which ones to remain subscribed to) or he can simply unsubscribe from all mailings
  • The subscriber can also update his email address by clicking [Edit my info]

Now, let’s start building the Unsubscribe Page / Subscriber Preferences Page.

On the [Unsubscribe Settings] page, choose [Let contacts choose which topics to unsubscribe from (The Subscriber Preferences Page)]:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 2

Next, click [Add Main Topic]:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 3

In BirdSend, you can add 2 types of Topic:

  • Main topic
  • Sub-topic

Basically a main topic is, as the name suggests, a broader kind of topic. A main topic can have multiple sub-topics.


  • Parenting (Main topic)
    • Child (Sub-topic)
    • Pre-Teens (Sub-topic)
    • Teenagers (Sub-topic)
  • Kids Activities (Main Topic)
    • Art & Crafts (Sub-topic)
    • Outdoor (Sub-topic)

Continuing our tutorial using the above example, let’s click [Add Main Topic] to add [Parenting] as a main topic:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 4

Then click [Save].

Next, let’s click [Add Sub-Topic]:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 5

And add the [Child] sub-topic:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 6

Give a short description of what the emails will be about.

Then, specify a tag to be associated with this sub-topic. In the above example, the tag is [child].

When a subscriber ticks a checkbox, the relevant tag will be applied to the subscriber.

When a subscriber unticks a checkbox, the relevant will be removed from the subscriber.

Recall again what the Unsubscribe Page looks like from the subscribers’ point of view:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 7

Next, add another sub-topic [Pre-Teens]:

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 8

how to build an unsubscribe page - step 9

Same as before — add a short description and specify a tag for this sub-topic, then click [Save].

Rinse and repeat the same steps for all the other main- and sub-topics… and voila! You’d have created an Unsubscribe Page / Subscriber Preferences Page of your own.


Not only have I given you tips on how to reduce unsubscribes… I’ve also laid out 6 best practices to creating a great unsubscribe experience, plus I’ve shown you how to build an unsubscribe page in 5 minutes.

Now it’s your turn to implement and actually build your own unsubscribe page, using BirdSend email marketing tool.

Content creators use BirdSend to send 30 million emails/month to get good email opens, while still saving them 80% in email tool expenses every month.

FAQ about unsubscribe emails

Do you legally have to have an unsubscribe button?

Yes, according to CAN-SPAM Act, you must have an unsubscribe link present in every email you send.

Here’s that section

How do you write an unsubscribe email?

You don’t really need to write a dedicated unsubscribe email. All you need to do is just send emails from your email marketing tool / email service provider (like BirdSend), and the email tool will automatically insert the unsubscribe link in every email you send.

How do I insert an unsubscribe link?

Your email marketing tool or software will automatically insert the unsubscribe link in the bottom of every email you send. However, if you want to insert the unsubscribe link manually in any part of the email body, you can use the unsubscribe link variable / macro — which your email marketing tool will provide you with.

Welly Mulia

Turning coaches’ newsletters into 6-fig money trees. 1.6+ billion emails sent. Claim free case study: 26k in 6 days via emails

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