As some of you know, much to the ongoing frustration of many Webflow designers, there is an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every form submission notification email that gets sent out from Webflow. This is only the beginning of the problem though. This issue has been plaguing me and my clients for as long as I’ve used Webflow, which is 5+ years at this point.
I know this has been discussed repeatedly on this forum. I want to publish a summary of the issue to once again shine a light on this absolutely asinine setup, in hopes that someone from Webflow will deem it enough of a problem to finally address and improve.
Here’s the scenario: One of my clients gets an inquiry through their website form, Webflow then sends a form submission notification email to my client. All is well at this point. My client does something totally reasonable, he replies to the inquiry by forwarding the form submission notification email to the person who sent the inquiry. This makes sense because it gives context to the reply, it’s good for record keeping, etc. This is where the problem begins.
Now let’s say the person who initially sent the inquiry is no longer interested in the services of my client and they happen to notice the “Unsubscribe from notifications for this site” link at the bottom of the email thread. For some people it might make sense to click that link, so they click the link. Now with that one click, my client is unsubscribed from notifications from his own website’s form submissions. I repeat, literally anyone who clicks that link has the power to stop the owner/manager of the website from getting their own form submission notification emails.
Further compounding the problem:
- There is no notification of any sort to alert the site owner that the form submission notification emails have been unsubscribed.
- There is no indication in the Webflow Editor or Webflow Designer Project Settings that form submission notification emails have been unsubscribed.
- There is no clear way to undo this once the problem has been discovered.
- The only way to discover that this has happened is to notice that form submission notification emails have stopped coming. Then you could go into the Webflow Editor or Designer and look at the form submission table to see that submissions are continuing to happen, but the notifications for those submissions were never sent.
This situation is beyond ridiculous. It’s is an AWFUL user experience for me and for my clients. It has cost my clients money in more than one situation when they did know that they were not receiving notifications for inquiries through their contact form. It’s honestly embarrassing to have to explain this ludicrous setup to my clients when they opt to use the Webflow forms instead of paying for me to set up an 3rd party form service for them. It makes no logical sense, and hundreds of paying Webflow customers have complained about it on the forums for years.
I very recently had an exchange with Webflow support about this after one of my clients was unsubscribed from his own form notification emails and had lost potential money because he didn’t know that he was missing work inquiries. This Webflow support agent explained, as I’ve read on these forums, the reasoning behind the unsubscribe link in these notification emails:
Although this is not ideal, the unsubscribe link has to be on the bottom of all Webflow form notification emails as it’s a requirement for anti spam rules with our transactional email provider that manages the form notification email sending.
If the unsubscribe happens then the form submissions are still delivered to the project, so you can access from the forms tab in project settings, however the form notifications will no longer be sent to that email.
To avoid this issue, please try to ensure that form notifications emails are not replied or forwarded, but instead a new email created to reply to users who fill in the web form.
I understand that the unsubscribe link must be in the email for Webflow to comply with the anti spam rules. I also understand that it’s easy enough to create a new email instead of replying/forwarding the form submission notification email. However, many of my clients are not tech-savvy people, and it is very easy to forget how important it is to NOT hit the reply button, which is something that would be totally normal in any other situation. Also, not all of my clients want or use their Editor access, so there’s no way that they would log in to see their form submissions in the form tab of the Editor.
So this has been an issue for years, and it hasn’t been addressed or improved except for some messaging on the forums along the lines of what is quoted from Webflow Support above. This wouldn’t be all that difficult to resolve—we all know that Webflow’s engineers are brilliant, and this is not beyond them to fix. Here are some basic, common sense suggestions:
- Improve the unsubscribe flow. For example,
- Require double opt-out so the admin has to somehow confirm the unsubscribe, this way someone other than the website owner/manager can’t unsubscribe the notification emails under any circumstances.
- When an unsubscribe occurs, send a notification to the website owner/manager email account saying something along the lines of “Hey, you just unsubscribed from your own contact form notifications. If you didn’t do this or if it was done in error, click here to undo it.” This could be structured similarly to the type of notification that one gets when they change their account email address or password. It’s not complicated!
- An even better option—albeit likely requiring more engineering work—would be to switch to a transactional email provider that doesn’t require an unsubscribe link in admin emails. Surely one exists that doesn’t require this problem-causing link.
Webflow can give reasons for this being the way that it is all day long. Regardless of the reasons the bottom line is this—it is preposterous that one can accidentally be unsubscribed from their own contact form notification emails without any clear way to know that it has happened.
It is preposterous and embarrassing that this problem exists, and has continued to exist for years. Brilliant, talented Webflow engineers, this is a big problem and has been ignored for too long. Please, please fix it.
Community, if you can an upvote on this wishlist item perhaps we can accelerate getting this issue fixed or improved: Ability to disable Unsubscribe link from form | Webflow Wishlist.