Do you remember the days when local neighborhood kids would scour the town, reluctantly going door-to-door, outfitted in clothes that closely resembled those of English school boy and harboring a satchel full of magazine publications? Of course you do – because that usually meant you were suckered into buying a subscription to Women’s Health Magazine, American Angler, or some other form of gripping literature. Now although the format, and hopefully the outfits, has changed, many of today’s consumers are still subscribers of one thing or another; leaving us marketers with full hearts and a job to our name.
Subscriber lists are immensely valuable to content marketers since they are compiled with customer and contacts expressing interest in a brand or organization. However, that loving feeling does not always last for the subscribers themselves…
It’s inevitable that for one reason or another, subscribers will do the unthinkable – the unimaginable; they will voluntarily choose to unsubscribe to your emails (gasp!). But like any relationship, amidst all the heartache there are a few lessons to be learned. Below is a list of some of the most common reasons for high subscriber churn rates:
- They never signed up or didn’t realize they signed up for your email list
- You’re emailing them too often
- They can’t properly view your email
- Your email is too cluttered or looks unprofessional
- The content isn’t relevant to them
- You’re always trying to sell them something
- They feel your content is boring, unoriginal or redundant
If you’re guilty of one, most, or all of aforementioned don’t worry – you’re not alone. Not to fear, though, below are a few strategies for optimizing your email lists and reactivating your unengaged subscribers.
Give Subscribers the Chance to ‘Opt Out’
Sometimes your subscribers may get that ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ feeling, and rather than smothering them, it’s best to just let them leave on their own free will. Why you ask? Because instead, you can set up a system that allows subscribers to only opt out of some of your marketing emails – not all.
To do this, you can simply include a message in the footer of your email that says something along the lines of: ‘Too many emails? Request to only receive 2 emails per month’. That way, you can create an email list specific to subscribers that don’t want to be contacted all the time; allowing you to maintain qualified and un-annoyed contact database.
Segment, Segment, Segment
Did I mention that you should segment your contacts? People hate receiving emails that don’t pertain to them, yet so many of us still do it – why? Rather than wasting their time and your efforts emailing subscribers shit they don’t care about, simply create targeted list segmentations. Use previous purchase history, offer downloads, lifecycle stage – use their horoscope for all I care – just make sure the emails you send are relevant and address their needs and challenges.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Last three-peat, I swear. With that said, my repetition comes with good reason. Personalization isn’t just crucial for maintaining email subscribers – personalization is the future for email marketing, and all marketing for that matter. Gone are the days when marketing to the masses produced fruitful results. Today’s consumers are impatient, demanding, and a bit self-centered, and in order to be successful modern day marketers must cater to such narcissism. By including personalization tokens in the subject line, greeting, and throughout the body of the text (when applicable), marketers can significantly reduce the number of unsubscribers.
Make em’ Fancy
It’s no secret that today’s consumers (myself very much included) suffer from short attention spans. Seriously – there are some billboards that I can’t even get through, which is why the thought of working through one of many bland, content-heavy, generic marketing emails is a bit painful. So, let’s put a little effort in, folks! Add an eye-catching photo, format your content in an original way, and include a compelling CTA. Doing so will help your email stand out from the rest, and will help to establish your brand as authentic and unique.
Sometimes you can win back the emotionally unsubscribed by creating an incentive-driven reengagement campaign. We’d all be lying if we claimed that when the words ‘free’ or ‘discount’ came across our screen that our ears didn’t perk up, and so would the rest of the world. Offering an enticing deal on your products or services, providing complimentary resources, or proposing a courtesy consultation can significantly improve your chances of reactivating unengaged subscribers.
A little bribery never hurt anyone, right? My thoughts exactly…
Marketers spend so much of their time and energy trying to get consumers to opt-in or subscribe to their marketing communications, but often don’t exert the same effort to keep those consumers engaged. It’s inevitable that subscribers will take their leave for one reason or another, but rather than throwing in the towel, marketers first leverage the strategies listed above in an effort to win those unsubscribers back!
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