Your data’s pristine. You’ve selected your audience with pinpoint accuracy. Your content sings. You can do everything right, and a few members of your email list will still click that Unsubscribe link. Here’s how you and your marketing automation system can benefit even from prospects who are on their way out the door.
Put the Link Where It Belongs
Unsubscribe links often appear in marketing email sub-headers, but that area’s far too important for something as utilitarian as your removal link, especially when recipients read your email on mobile devices. Most phones and tablets display the first line of the email as well as its subject line, and that’s usually the sub-header; it’s valuable real estate and deserves a stronger message. By putting your unsubscribe link lower on the page, you give people a reason to move through your email and another chance to see why they should stay with you.
Monitor Unsubscribe Rates
Establish a baseline for your normal unsubscribe rates and watch them over time. Any number below 0.5 percent is generally considered a good rate, but there’s no right amount of churn. Lower numbers are preferable, but a relatively high unsubscribe rate is normal in some industries. Newly acquired lists also have more unsubscribes than established lists with well nurtured leads. Marketing automation software tracks unsubscribes and can alert you to recent jumps in unsubscribes that could be cause for concern.
Look for Reasons
While saying goodbye is never easy, it gives you an excellent chance to find out from your leads exactly why they’re parting ways. To ensure a better response rate to this important question, a form with radio button answers as well as a blank space for write-in responses is a good plan. Possible reasons you could list for unsubscribing include:
- Mailing too frequently
- Mailing too rarely
- Content wasn’t relevant
- Unmet expectations
- The recipient is no longer working in that industry
- The recipient didn’t request to be on the list
Don’t forget to leave a blank for more specific answers, and include “Oops – put me back on the list” as one of your radio-button options. Sometimes people unsubscribe by mistake, and every lead counts.
A big move in email marketing is toward the opt-down list instead of the opt-out. Many clients want to hear from you, but they only want to hear about certain topics or communicate at specific times. When you give them the chance to control content, frequency and other elements of their correspondence with you, they’re more likely to reconsider leaving. Connecting with a customer, even if it happens once a month instead of once a week, gives you repeated chances to make an impact on that customer, so always give people options.
Keep Communications Open
When customers unsubscribe, they often do so only temporarily and plan to return when they need you again. Make it easy for them to come back by retaining their information in your list database. You want to welcome returning customers personally instead of starting them off as new leads, so move their data to an inactive list for a time before purging their files completely from your database.
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