Unsubscribe from unsubscriptions

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Being committed to optimizing the conversion of your e-marketing activities, you continuously tweak your mailings based on the results. Besides putting a lot of effort in optimizing the look-and-feel of your mailings, you also focus on your list growth. Your subscription form is well visible on the site, and your sales department is very active in harvesting addresses. In spite of all these efforts, still your list grows very slowly.

There is a phase often overlooked by e-mail marketeers, maybe because it's just not the most fun phase in the relationship between your contacts and your company: the moment they unsubscribe from your mailings.

No matter how good the offer, a few recipients will unsubscribe from your mailings. It's probably nothing personal, most of the time the reason for unsubscribing will be based on soft criteria.

So why invest a lot of money in list growth and let your recipients walk away through the backdoor without asking them a few questions? This article elaborates on some ways to reduce unsubscriptions right away.

Why do people unsubscribe anyway?

First of all it's important to determine the reason for unsubscribing. One way to obtain the reason is by simply asking for it by using a form.

Reasons we mostly observe are:

1: The frequency is too high
2: The content is not relevant
3: The look-and-feel is poor
4: I'm not interested in your offers right now

This very useful information is waiting to be used to reduce the unsubscription percentage. Let's explore the ways to deal with each reason.

The frequency is too high
If the recipient let's you know you send out too many mailings, just offer the possibility to change the frequency. For example, instead of just a monthly newsletter, also offer a quarterly one.

The content is not relevant
In Marketing Land, one size does NOT fit all. Why don't you offer the recipient the possibility of telling you what does actually interest them. So you can use this in your mailings. Don't forget this last part, tough, it's very important.

The look-and-feel is poor
There are several causes for a mailing not to look good in an e-mail client. An e-mail displayed on a mobile phone consists of only text, while Lotus Notes has problems displaying HTML. Sending out your mailings multipart (text and HTML in one message) can help, as can a check-up of the HTML code and adding a web version. Or, if it's all about the e-mail channel, simply offer another channel to stay connected, like RSS or a postal mailing.

I'm not interested in your offers right now
Although I am a travelling addict, I am not always in the opportunity to go out and explore. Especially when I've just returned from a trip, I will not book a new trip right away. Really, I won't, so I am quite likely to unsubscribe. In a few months I might be interested again. If only the tour operator would offer me the possibility to unsubscribe temporarily... Now wouldn't that be great? Why not stop the subscription for a while, so I can decide myself when I want to be seduced to buy a ticket to a tropical island...

Not only is this relevant for tour operators, but this also applies to theme parks, car importers, financial companies, e-commerce organizations and training institutes (to name just a few).

Preference center

In order not to lose a contact straight after a click on the unsubscription form, you could add a subscription preference center. A webpage where you contact can not only (temporarily) unsubscribe, but can also manage his or her mailing preferences, like mailing frequency, fields of interest and type of mailing.

If used well, this information can be of great help in getting a bit closer to the perfect dialogue with your relations!

Do you want to add a preference center to your own mailings? Copernica Marketing Software offers a whole range of wizards to set this up quickly and efficiently!

Walter van der Scheer