Goodbye for now, but not forever

Graffitied Wall Amongst Two Apartment Buildings

No-one likes being dumped by email. The unsubscribe notification comes through and you sit there with a tub of ice-cream, sifting through old campaigns sent to bleepdyboop73 wondering where it all went wrong.

However, the reality is on average you’ll lose 30% of your subscriber list every year to that unsubscribe button. The trick isn’t making it harder for people to leave, it’s saying goodbye in a way that will leave them open to coming back later.

The unsubscribe button

Make it clear, make it visible and make sure it works. It doesn’t have to be at the top of your email, but if someone wants to find it they should be able to. If it’s easier for your subscriber to ‘mark as spam’ than it is to it unsubscribe, that’s exactly what they’ll do. Being marked as spam can affect your ability to reach the inboxes of people who actually want to hear from you.

Let them know why

It’s always a good idea to include a short message somewhere in your email reminding people why they’re on your mailing list. They may not remember subscribing at that trade show last month, or when they registered for that discount code a couple of weeks ago. Jogging their memory about how they may have signed up will likely prevent a few reckless unsubscribes.

‘Manage your preferences’ option

Give people the option of getting off the mailing list they’re on, but not your entire mailing list. If your subscriber doesn’t  want your weekly newsletter, but they want to know about your special offers, make sure they have the option of telling you before it’s too late.

Give people another way to stay in contact with you

Your marketing emails are the perfect place to remind people to keep in touch via your social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or wherever else your business hangs out. Someone on a mission to clean out their inbox might still be more than willing to ‘like’ you on Facebook.

[email protected] / DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL

This can of worms is a topic on its own. But as far as unsubscribing is concerned, there are two main reasons why ‘Do Not Reply’ causes problems. The first is the message this sends to people who would usually reply to an email in order to unsubscribe. At best it says “Don’t talk to us”, at worst, “We don’t want to know”.

Good communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship – make sure you’ve got it! The second reason is that, by law, you must remove someone from your mailing list within five days of them asking. Ignoring unsubscribe requests because they’re in your [email protected] inbox can land you in hot water quicker than you can say fine-print.

Continue to build your subscriber list

Losing subscribers is unfortunately part of the game. Continuing to reach out to new subscribers and building your contact base will ensure you have engaged subscribers. Run campaigns, do competitions and get people signed up who want to hear from you.

If you love your subscribers enough to let them go, the trust it gives them will go a long way to getting them back, when they’re ready.

Do you have any stories about subscribers coming back after unsubscribing? Let us know in the comments!

My role with Andzen is to lead our team in managing our clients' digital marketing strategies to create strong and engaged communities. Permission-based marketing is at the centre of our philosophy. We create engaging, informative and timely email, social and mobile marketing campaigns that drive real results for our clients.

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