Email unsubscribes can be a nightmare for email marketers, and it can be especially frustrating to have your email unsubscribed after all the effort you put together for your email campaigns.
But it's not all bad news - there are ways to use unsubscribes in a positive way, as a learning experience to improve and refine your email marketing efforts.
Here are some key ways to analyze and action unsubscribes - and even turn them into a boon for your business.
The Positives of Unsubscribes
1. Your sender reputation remains intact
Yes, it sounds a bit absurd, but unsubscribe is actually a positive sometimes. You certainly lose out on a prospective client forever, but it's better than being marked as spam, because in that case your sender reputation suffers and so does your sales funnel.
While that user has decided they're no longer interested in your message, it's better to see them go that to unintentionally annoy them, leading to a more negative response.
2. It keeps the scope alive to know the reason for unsubscribing
One significant benefit of unsubscribes is that it's possible to get valuable feedback from your customers and learn the reason why they didn't like your content.
While not everyone will provide such feedback, those that do can give your valuable pointers.
You can also offer alternatives - take a look at this unsubscribe page by Secret Escapes. They've included a uniquely designed preference center which enables the users to change their preferences and take a break from their emails, as opposed to cutting them off.
3. Your list includes only interested and qualified prospects
It can be tough to accept, but not everyone is interested in the services of your company, and it's quite possible that some of the subscribers got on your list unintentionally.
These recipients are either under-qualified or unqualified for your services, and it's a futile effort to try and hold them on your list.
Some unsubscribes are unavoidable, they're not always a negative response.
4. You can identify the loopholes in your email marketing
When you start to see unsubscribes, you need to step back and examine your approach.
Were you getting too bothersome with frequent emails?
Check for the relevance of your content and take a time to study your email marketing strategy. Modify it according to the lessons learned and it will help you strike the right chords of your audience in future.
The unsubscribe page by Nike asks for a reason whenever a subscriber unsubscribes. That, indeed, is a great idea to collect user feedback and figure out what's working/not working in emails.
Measure the 'Loss' from Email Unsubscribes & Act Upon it
1. Disengaging readers
By unsubscribing, the reader gets disengaged from your company forever. This is obviously distressing because it can affect your sales pipeline.
2. Increase in the customer churn rate
If customers regularly unsubscribe from your emails, it can burn out your list, causing greater customer attrition. That's certainly not a very good sign for your business growth.
3. Drop in sales (Maybe?)
There can be a significant drop in sales if your churn rate exceeds the rate at which the customers subscribe from you. This can get really frustrating for email marketers.
Effective Ways to Minimize Your Email Unsubscribe Rate
1. Prudent Segmentation of your email list
Segment the different groups according to their interests, demographics, company size, age, gender, educational qualification, job position, sector, purchase history or other parameters that are relevant for your business.
Segmentation helps ensure that you're sending out pertinent emails according to the interests of each subscriber. The best segmentation parameters are demographics and purchase history. At the outset, you can personalize your emails according to two unique segments and then proceed in the direction of multiple email campaigns with diverse segmentation options.
2. Content Mapping
The information gathered through lead nurturing campaigns can be used for manual mapping of content according to their buying patterns.
An Excel spreadsheet is a good option to sort out such information - you can subsequently use that info to determine the kind of content that can be sent to a specific segment.
In doing this, you can also ensure that only the most relevant content is reaching your audience.
3. Keep email frequency into consideration
It's your duty to follow a proactive approach and carry out email frequency tests. This is a crucial step to work out the correct frequency with which you should be sending out emails.
Experiment with different approaches and monitor your response analytics.
An important point to take into consideration is that there is a unique frequency for every segment.
4. Have a provision for alternative communication
You should also look to highlight alternate communication options - like social media networks, your company blog, text messages and other communication channels - besides email that your customer can use to learn about company updates.
Check out the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the unsubscribe page by Chipotle. It gives subscribers an option to remain in touch through other media.
5. Set a consistent email schedule
Imagine a company sends you their emails right at 9:00 EST. This kind of consistency can work as a brand statement - it conveys to your customers that they can expect your emails at that time.
Make sure you stand true to that expectation and deliver what they're looking forward to.
6. Check the load time of your emails
Email load time varies according to the email clients and devices used. Having a fast loading email is likely to make your email campaigns successful. The general thumb rule is not to insert images or design elements that make your email slow to load.
7. Consider the feedback seriously
When people unsubscribe from your emails, ask for their feedback. Make sure you act according to that and modify your email marketing strategy. Having feedback might not necessarily help you get that recipient back, but it will help you understand possible problems for your future strategy.
8. Give your customers a personalized feeling with exclusive offers
Giving exclusive offers to your customers reduces the chances of your emails getting unsubscribed, as customers always love feel like they're getting a special offer.
9. Let your customers change their email preferences and do not disregard the changes
If customers unsubscribe, refer them to a preference listing so they can customize the contact they receive from your business as a possible alternative.
10. Write subtle and engaging subject lines
Subject lines are the main gateway to the email land - if that gateway is uninspiring, even the most beautiful emails are sure to get ignored.
Make sure you write short, engaging and relevant subject lines that help customers to understand what to expect in the email.
The Final Say
Customer satisfaction is the highest priority in your e-mail strategy, so you need to ensure you're delivering value through the content of your email messages.
Focusing on these key elements will help you build a list of engaged customers and reduce your unsubscribe rate.
It almost goes without saying, but content with context is what sells best.
Thumbnail image via Bogda13/Pixabay