There’s a rule in improvisational acting and comedy: You don’t say “no” to someone else’s scenario. Instead, you say “yes, and” before contributing your part to the narrative. If your partner starts with “We’re on a ship,” you don’t respond with “No, we’re in a hot air balloon” but with “yes, and it’s an airship.” You build on the foundations someone else has given you, or the whole bit falls apart.
In email marketing and lead gen, you need to provide prospects with an unsubscribe opportunity. That’s a “no” you don’t want to hear – and with thoughtful email design, opt-downs, and preference pages, you may not need to. Here’s how to give leads a chance to say “yes, and” instead of “no.”
Get to the Bottom
Marketers sometimes put unsubscribe links front and center in their email sub-headers, but that real estate is far too valuable for a strictly functional link. Save your sub-header for a relevant call to action and move your unsubscribe link to the bottom of your email marketing communications. Because recipients then move through the email to get to the unsubscribe link, you give them another precious few seconds to discover reasons to stay with you. Leads who are motivated to unsubscribe don’t object to a quick scroll to the bottom of the page, and leads who are on the fence about unsubscribing may decide not to.
When in Doubt, Ask
No one likes to say goodbye to leads, but it’s important to hear their parting words. When you find out from departing leads why they chose to unsubscribe, you have a valuable opportunity to keep others from following them out the door. Not every lead wants to share the reason for their choice to unsubscribe, but you can make it easier for them to tell you why they’re going. Get a higher response rate by supplying them with a checklist as well as a blank for them to input their own reasons for unsubscribing. Possible reasons you might list include:
- Email frequency
- Content relevance
- Unmet expectations for help or service
- Moving out of the area
- Shifting away from the industry
- Recipient didn’t ask to be a part of the mailing list
At the top of your checklist, be sure to offer a path back to a spot on the mailing list. Some leads might unsubscribe by mistake, and you want to give them an easy road home.
Offer an Opt-Down Alternative
Not every unsubscriber is wholly committed to breaking contact. Some of them just want more control over their communications with you and would be happy to stay on your mailing list if you give them more options. Opt-down lists let leads control the frequency and type of content they get from you. It’s a courtesy that pays off; not only are you showing that you listen to their needs, but you’re also helping leads save you time and effort.
Leave the Door Open
Other customers may want to unsubscribe for now but rejoin you later when they have a need for your products or services again. That’s especially true in B2B industries that have long sales cycles. Leads might drop off a list for months at a time and then reappear when they’re considering a new purchase. Make it easy for them to return by archiving data instead of purging it entirely. This way, you can link returning leads to their original accounts and preferences, saving you both some time.
Always give your leads a “yes, and” opening instead of shutting them out with a firm “no.” It’s a rule that works in improv, and it also makes good marketing sense.
© Reach Marketing LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved.