No matter how well executed your email campaign is, there will always be those recipients who unsubscribe.
Your may have split tested the hell out of your subject line. Tweaked and refined your content to the small ours and personally phoned every subscriber to double check they want to remain on your mailing list.
Like paying taxes, email marketing unsubscribes are something we simply can’t avoid.
Somewhere someone may think ‘not these guys again’ or they may be having a bad day. They may click that unsubscribe link, or even worse, mark it as spam.
Understanding why unsubscribes happen.
Email marketing is such a fundamental part of any businesses marketing activities. You buy something from amazon, they start emailing you their newsletter. You take out a Tesco club card, they email you their newsletter. You signup to a dating site, they will send you their email newsletter … and so on!
For this reason, we get bombarded with email newsletters, because companies know that if they can get it right its a great way to market. But this also means as consumers we get frustrated by the volume and if the mailer if not interesting, we unsubscribe.
What sectors attract the most unsubscribes?
The biggest unsubscribe rates tend to be from services used for one off purchases. For this video, we did a little research.
econsultantly report that:
- Expedia get as much as a 45% unsubscribe rate
- Ticket Web even bigger at 47%
- 1800 Flowers takes the top spot at 52.5% unsubscribe rate.
What should we do to manage email marketing unsubscribes?
For many marketers we need to get the right balance between over and under exposure. Send too many emails, you will annoy your customers and they will unsubscribe. Send too few, they will forget who you are between large mailing gaps and unsubscribe when you do mail.
Marketing experts cottoned the following buzz phrase:
‘send one less email than too many’
For this you need to experiment and establish how many is too many. As this will vary greatly between industries and the content of your mailer.
For generic what’s new mailers, once or twice a month is a good starting point. For e-commerce sites, you can sometimes get away with mailers once a day – this is something a guys a eBuyer follow.
> Position of unsubscribe.
You may be thinking that unsubscribes are a bad thing. So for that reason bury the link at the footer of your email among text. If the user can’t find your link, they won’t unsubscribe – so you can go to your boss and report that everyone loves your mailer as your unsubscribe rate is so low.
Well that will actually be doing you a lot of damage. I see so many companies who send me mailers that try and hide the link.
If i cant find the unsubscribe link – I’m just going to mark it as spam instead. That will do much more damage to delivery of future campaigns to everyone on your mailing list
So remember, keep that unsubscribe link clearly visible.
> Remove inactive users.
After an address has been inactive for over a year, you may want to consider removing the user from your database.
Before you do this, consider sending a single email or series of mails offering the option to stay on your email list.
Remember, inactive users who don’t read your email, will damage your sender reputation and impact delivery for those who love your mailer.
> The emotionally unsubscribed.
Research shows that up to 50% of an average email database is made up of ‘emotionally unsubscribed users’.
These are users who rarely open your email and never click on a link.
Perhaps you should consider culling those users? Thought before hand, consider hitting them with a final series of mailers to perk them up with your strongest deals of content.
Should you continue to email emotionally unsubscribes, that’s a debate for another day!