Preventing eMail unsubscribes

Cultivating a robust eMail database is key to successful eMail marketing efforts. In eCommerce, eMail is one of the highest converting marketing channels. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the ROI of eMail is 3,800%. Further, 72% of customers say they would rather receive promotional material via eMail than any other channel. eMail continues to be valuable for generating sales while delivering strong ROI.   

Monitoring and preventing unsubscribes is critical for continued success for conversions and sales in general. With 38% of customers reporting that receiving special offers is the top reason, they subscribe to an eMail list, keeping subscribers engaged is critical for business.

While some eMail unsubscribers are inevitable, there are proactive methods for preventing eMail unsubscribes to keep customers coming back for more.

Re-think Strategy

When unsubscribe rates are on the rise it’s time to re-think strategy. Generally, there are two main reasons for high unsubscribes rates – frequency and irrelevancy. Consider the frequency of email sends. How often are emails sent?. Is there a dedicated employee on staff managing an eMail campaign calendar? Do they know how many transactional and triggered eMails are currently set up? Has a strategy been put in place for automated eMails? How often are offer eMails sent out? When do new product eMails go out? Are customers receiving multiple eMails per day?

Sending too many eMails will quickly frustrate customers and leave them reluctant to open any eMails. It’s likely that even if they do not unsubscribe, they’ll select all and delete. Cart reminder eMails, special offers or company updates are great to send. However, multiple eMails a day can quickly turn off customers. Re-think strategy on timing and why.

In addition to frequency, relevancy is critical to preventing eMail unsubscribes. Customers join eMail lists because they made a purchase or because they wanted to receive promo offers, discount codes, and awesome content. Target customers with information relevant to their past purchases and interests. Understanding the customer’s needs and interests isn’t just important for eMail, it’s important for branding and growing a customer following in general. Make sure content is relevant to subscribers and remember that they signed up to get more information about sales or to receive a discount code. They did not sign up to have their inbox inundated with several eMails a day with irrelevant content.

Keep Subscribers Engaged

It’s natural for some customers to unsubscribe over time as interests and needs change. It’s nearly impossible to keep every subscriber long-term. There are, however, several strategies to improve eMail retention rates to keep subscribers as long as possible.

Personalized content is vital for eMail marketing. However, that doesn’t just mean making sure to use the subscriber’s first name. One element of personalization, for example, is allowing customer behaviors to trigger specific eMails. For example, when a customer engages with a particular product, they are sent an eMail with a discount offer for that product. Another example could be cart abandonment eMails. When a customer leaves a cart, they should receive a timely reminder eMail to finish the purchase.

Send every eMail for a reason. Try not to send mass quantities of blast type eMails, which are three to four times less effective than personalized eMails. Instead, make sure that each eMail serves a clear purpose tailored to the customer.

Track Unsubscribe Rates

Monitoring analytics is critical for proactive eMail management. If a sudden spike in unsubscribes does happen, having a solid handle on historical data can be extremely valuable. Proactive managers should know what type of content does well with customers, what may fall flat, and how to keep customers engaged. Most importantly, never ignore any unsubscribe rates. Unsubscribe rates can have a massive impact on sales and negatively impact business in several ways.

Why unsubscribe rates matter:

  • High unsubscribe rates can hurt sender reputation
  • They can even impact the ability to hit other customers inboxes
  • Unsubscribes can cause future eMails to hit spam filters
  • They can impact the bottom line since fewer customers are receiving special offers

When merchants have a solid handle on the types of eMail campaigns that are successful, it’s easier to avoid unsubscribes in the first place. By carefully tracking unsubscribe rates, merchants can do something about it before it becomes a problem. Analyzing the type of content sent out, the frequency as well as unsubscribe rates will give a good idea of what content is going to impact subscribers. It’s important to note that unsubscribes do happen. However, merchants can decrease unsubscribe rates and increase the number of long-term subscribers by being proactive and regularly monitoring eMail performance.

Be Proactive and Thoughtful with eMail

Sending genuinely useful and beneficial content is crucial.  Track the types of content that are most interesting to customers. Be sure to monitor which eMails increase open rates. Especially open rates above the industry average. Analyze what topics or offers increase click-through rates. Regular data collection and analysis will help to determine what content is genuinely beneficial to eMail subscribers.

Need assistance with eMail campaign and strategy? Contact us today to learn more about how we can transform your eMail marketing efforts and help you keep your subscribers engaged and converting.