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How Unsubscribers Could Save Your Campaigns

How Unsubscribers Could Save Your Campaigns

Posted 14/04/2009 by Gareth Cutter

Once you've had a contact on your email marketing list for more than a few months, it can be tough letting them go - after all, you've spent time and money building your list; losing a subscriber feels like a wasted effort. But sometimes, the best way to keep subscribers engaged is to let them unsubscribe.

Contrary to popular belief, having a prominent unsubscribe option could drastically improve the success of your email marketing campaigns through:

  • Establishing trust in you as a sender and the quality of your messaging i.e. 'this sender isn't forcing their messages on me'
  • Providing an opportunity to redefine the relationship you have with a subscriber i.e. message frequency, interests, offers etc, so they don't unsubscribe altogether
  • Minimising the risk of being black-listed for spam by email service providers, creating deliverability problems

Although the short-term effect of lost subscribers seems negative, the long-term positives are increased subscriber retention, higher delivery rates and higher resulting conversion rates.

Consider the alternatives: if a subscriber can't opt-out of your email campaign easily, they will make a spam complaint instead. Too many spam complaints equal a dead end for your email marketing campaign's deliverability as it finds itself on a black list.

Remember, unsubscribe requests aren't a rejection of your company or brand altogether; they're a sign there's room for improvement in your email marketing campaigns. Before the subscriber leaves, ask them:

  • Would they prefer to change the terms of their subscription (monthly vs. weekly, subject specific content etc)?
  • If they insist on leaving, is there any optional feedback they'd like to leave about the campaign to help improve it?
  • Would they prefer to follow your blog / Facebook profile / Twitter account instead?

You could easily turn unsubscribe requests into opportunities for positive action simply through following the approach outlined above. Don't try to hide the unsubscribe option; wear it on your sleeve as a badge of best practice and confidence.

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