Looking at my reports, I noticed an odd stat that suggests a complex challenge.
One user shows 12 opens 102 clicks and an unsubscribe. It's seems very likely that they forwarded the message within their email app and that someone else clicked to unsubscribed.
I plan to write them personally to inquire. People who forward a message are the absolutely last folks we want to mistakenly lose.
I'm wondering if anyone has some best practices for tracking and fixing these forwards that lead to unsubscribes? In the future, I will likely insert a name field before the unsubscribe link. But this can't prevent a silly mistake by someone receiving a forward.
I'm curious how people might browse, follow up, and correct subscribers. So we don't lose our most valuable readers.
Perhaps campaign monitor could let us set up an automatic unsubscribe confirmation email?
Your best bets to prevent unsubscribes like that are going to be to make sure you include our forward to a friend links and emphasize them, so that people will use them over forwarding manually. And in your unsubscribe link section try using personalization, to make it clear who is being unsubscribed. Something like "Click here to instantly unsubscribe [email]from this list". People are less likely to unsubscribe if it's clear it wasn't them who was subscribed.
As to fixing them when they do happen, that's tricky. In those cases you can look for unusual activity like you did and manually follow-up with them. Just keep in mind that it may not have been a mistake, so word your follow-up email to make it clear that you're just double checking, etc and that they won't be added back unless they explicitly confirm to you that it was a mistake.
Fortunately, the user wrote me with a compliment before I had to write the confirmation email. Here's a list of a what I believe would be the best practices:
* multiple, bold forward links to curb manual fwds
* personalized unsubscribe link that displays email
* periodic review of people who unsubscribe following high activity
* a friendly "sorry to see you go" email with opportunity for feedback or re-subscribe