Sorry you’re leaving: Are you making a bad last impression?

email marketing, messaging, branding
Jan 31, 2019
Brand Marketing

When a customer unsubscribes to your newsletter or cancels a membership, it’s quite common to send a “sorry you’re leaving” message. 

The hope is that you can at least send them away with a positive sentiment about your brand so they might return later, if not actually convince them to stay right now. 

But if that’s the case, why are so many brands so spectacularly bad at getting this message correct? 

Is your “sorry you’re leaving” message leaving a bad taste? 

A few months ago I moved house and as a result I had to change gyms. So, I cancelled my gym membership.

The cancellation process was done directly with the branch of the gym I went to. Over the previous few years I’d got to know the staff there really well and we were all sad to be saying farewell. They could not have been lovelier. 

Two months later, the parent company of the gym sent me this email: 

Subject: Sorry you’re leaving. 

Hello Daniel, 

We’re sorry to remind you that you’ll no longer have access to your [company name] services through [gym name]. 

We’d like to remind you that access to your services on [company name] portal will also be lost. These include: 

And the company goes on to list the services I won’t be able to access.


email marketing, messaging, branding

Don’t patronise your customers, even on their way out the door

Here’s where the gym went wrong.


email messaging, marketing, branding

Phrases to include in a “sorry you’re leaving” email to customers 

Here are some phrases I would have liked to have seen, and which you can include in a farewell email to your customers. 


email marketing, messaging, branding

Do all of this and your customer still might leave you. After all, I only cancelled my gym membership because it was now a 90-minute round trip and therefore impractical to stay.

But, you can wildly increase the chances of leaving a lasting good impression and, therefore, make it more likely they’ll return to you (or recommend you to someone) in the future. 

If you need help with your email marketing or your brand messaging, get in touch with the team at Lush – The Content Agency. We have experts on hand who can help you get your messages right.