Effective management of subscriber complaints when they are receiving newsletters after asking to unsubscribe

Noé Soriano

It is possible that in certain situations, you have to handle subscriber complaints, even after they unsubscribed from your newsletters, they may contact you to complain that they are still receiving your emails.

This sounds like a contradiction or a technical failure on our email marketing platform, but as we shall see, there are other explanations for this type of problem which occurs quite frequently.

There are many customers who contact us concerned that a Subscriber who requested to unsubscribe is still receiving newsletters, which always results in several problems for the customer service department of the company.

When this happens, the first thing to do is to respond to the customer by email, stating that the privacy policy of the email marketing platform you work with requires all users to respect the regulations and laws, and never to send emails to any subscriber who doesn’t wish to continue receiving newsletters and that you always offer this option for your subscribers.

Also, it is important to explain that you will review to know what might have happened and will get in touch as soon as possible.

This first contact has two objectives.

First to respond and give attention to this subscriber that is complaining, so that he will know that you are doing your best and are interested in solving  the problem.

Second, to keep a written record showing that you answered the request immediately, if he decides to take legal measures against your company.

What could you do after contacting the subscriber?

After that you need to initiate investigations.

Verify that the subscriber actually canceled the subscription, you can do it on the Subscribers menu, selecting Optout, taking the date he unsubscribed, and check that the email address  remains in the list of deleted subscribers, by clicking on Subscribers / Deleted and that it was not reactivated by error manually or imported otherwise.

If this has happened, you will need to contact the subscriber to apologize explaining that it was a mistake and that you will make sure he will not receive any other newsletter from you.

It is highly recommended to blacklist this subscriber, you can do it on the email marketing platform, to prevent further problems.

If the email remains in the deleted list, and was not reactivated, you can contact our customer service department so that we can check the server logs to confirm that there were no technical failure, although probably there is a simple explanation for this.

There are two main reasons why a subscriber could receive your emails even after he clicked to unsubscribe:

1) The first is the most common, he may be getting the newsletters sent from another email he uses, it is normal in many occasions, when users have a forwarding email address.

2) Someone else could be sending newsletters to this subscriber on behalf of your company, (Which happens often in sectors where there are  franchises or local dealers).

In either case, the way to proceed is the same, contact the customer to indicate that after reviewing the logs of your email marketing platform you confirmed that no email was sent by you, attaching the unsubscribe date, a screenshot showing that the subscriber was deleted and confirmation of our Customer Service Department.

This will be proof that you did everything you could to confirm that you didn’t send him any newsletters after he requested to unsubscribe.

Also in the same contact with the customer, it is important to explain the possibilities we just saw, to explain why he could have received the email, even after he unsubscribed, and ask him to forward the message received so that you can investigate, if possible with the original source code, including headers.

Once you have all this information, you can contact our technical department.

We hope that this little guide will be useful when you need to resolve the complaints of subscribers who have requested to unsubscribe, but are still receiving emails.

If you use our email marketing platform, you will have all the necessary things to check this information and make sure your mailing list is always clean and updated.

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