Subscription Footer Copy Best Practices

Bill Anderson

We’re often asked to provide guidance on the language and links in email footers to ensure compliance with privacy laws, as well show best practice examples of various email footers in use.

We recommend a combination of:

  • A sentence that explains: “Why did I get this?”
  • An offer to manage subscription preferences by content or frequency within a preference center.
  • A one-click unsubscribe link
  • If there  are only two options, consider making the second-best offer more prominent in the footer so the user can readily select rather than unsubscribing. See the ‘Literary Hub’ example below.

Creating a good email footer is hard work. Especially if you want to ensure you included all components while following best practices. So here are a few examples to get you started.


Wells Fargo

What we like: Describes why the user received the email.

Where we see improvement: The user must log into the account to modify email preferences and there is no direct ‘unsubscribe’ link. There are many situations where the recipient does not have access to the account and will continue to receive emails indefinitely.



Cognitive Class

What we like: Offers both a simple unsubscribe link and a method to manage subscriptions in a preference center. Copy clearly explains why the recipient received the email.



Undark Magazine

What we like: They include most best practice components.

Where we see improvement: It would be more effective if the explanation “Why did I get this?” was written out rather than displayed as a link, taking the reader away from the email. As well, they risk increased unsubscribes, by not listing it in the last position. Since a user is reading left to right, they will often click on the first available link.



What we like: Trello does exactly this, offering the reader to manage their account before offering the Unsubscribe link.

What we like: Offers both a one-click unsubscribe and an offer to manage the subscription preferences. They rephrase the ‘Why did I get this?’ in a way that reinforces loyalty. This can be done using a ‘subscribed date’ token.

Where we see improvement: It would be more effective if they switched ‘manage your subscription’ and the ‘unsubscribe’ link.


Literary Hub

What we like: They offer two options based on frequency. Users can receive a daily newsletter or weekly digest. There are 3 ways to manage a subscription on this footer: Unsubscribe, Weekly Digest, and Manage Preferences. The weekly offer is prominent and inviting. This is very clever and likely keeps reader retention high.




Though subscription footer copy might seem like an afterthought, it is a component of email marketing that shouldn’t be dismissed.

We urge you to incorporate these tips into your subscription footer practices to stay compliant with privacy laws, while improving your customer segmentation and satisfaction.

The post Subscription Footer Copy Best Practices appeared first on Demand Spring.

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