11 September 2018 - Sharon Beilis

Email marketers often think that unsubscribes are the worst thing possible for a company – and if you see your list size dwindling when you spend a great deal of time and effort growing it, it might feel that way.

Fortunately, unsubscribes are not the worst thing to happen to your company, and in fact, you can improve your overall campaign effectiveness if you learn to love your unsubscribes.

 

Out with the old 

Email marketers know that it’s important to keep lists clean to improve deliverability and campaign effectiveness. One way to do so is by cleaning lists. 

When users unsubscribe from your list, they are essentially cleaning your list for you. When your list is clean of recipients who do not want your email and may even report you as a spammer (because it’s one less click than unsubscribing), it’s better to say “buh bye” to them.

 

Your bottom line will thank you

Many ESPs have pricing models that are based on send volume. If that is the case, those recipients that don’t want your email to begin with were actually costing you money.

When un-engaged recipients are removed from your lists, not only do you stop paying for them, but you also increase your ROI. This is because the recipients left on your list will be those that still want to receive your email and therefore have a higher chance of opening them, engaging with your brand and converting, making your bottom line bigger.

 

Inbox placement goes up

When your email marketing list is clean and your open rate is higher, email providers will reward you by improving your deliverability and inboxing. This creats a positive cycle of improved reputation, better inboxing, better deliverability and so on.

 

Rethink your strategy 

Seeing an increase in unsubscribes? Maybe it’s time to reexamine your email marketing strategy and see what you can do to improve your campaign effectiveness. If your subscribers are leaving, that means you are not giving them the content, the offers, or the personalization they want.

Take the departure of a few as a reminder to do what you can to hold on to the rest and begin split testing campaigns to see how to increase engagement and reduce unsubscribes. Use tools such as personalization, segmentation, dynamic content integration and more to see if engagement increases and unsubscribes decline.

 

Consider email frequency 

Over 50% of unsubscribers remove themselves from a company’s mailing list because they just get too many emails. Other reasons include receiving more emails that promised from your company, or not offering frequency control.

That is why it when you see your unsubscribe rate go up, it is important to see if your frequency went up, and if that is the case, reduce your frequency and see if that has a positive impact on your unsubscribes. 

 

Don’t let unsubscribes go without a fight

When a subscriber wants to remove themselves from your list, it’s important to give them the opportunity to stay by giving them control over the type of content and the frequency of emails they receive. Many times, recipients will stay if they can customize the content they receive or reduce the number of emails they receive to something they decide. 

If your recipient choses to unsubscribe still, be sure to ask them the reason why. While not all recipients will give you feedback on why they left your list, the few that do will be providing you with valuable information that you can use to improve future campaigns.  

 

It happens to everyone

At the end of the day it’s important to remember that unsubscribes just happen. No company can boast a 100% retention on their list over time, and that’s okay. The important thing is to dive deep into the unsubscribes and see what you can learn from them in order to improve future campaigns and get as close to 100% retention as you possibly can.

That’s why email marketers need to learn to love their unsubscribes for the valuable information they give them and the drive they provide them to continually improve campaigns.

 

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