If you thought that unsubscribes spelled the death of your email marketing success, you will be glad to know that they are not always as bad as they seem. Although it seems to defeat the entire purpose of this channel, there is much that you can learn when people unsubscribe from your lists.
Although list size is important, it is not the only metric. In fact, it is far better to have a smaller list of engaged followers who click on your links and actually make the transition from readers to customers than to have a large list of followers who open your emails without ever moving forward.
Engagement is what email marketing is meant to be about, after all. W
hy is it not the end of the world when you have people leave your email marketing list? Keep reading to find out.
How Unsubscribes Can Help Your Email Marketing Efforts
Some of the surprising benefits that unsubscribes can have for your email marketing include the following:
It removes disengaged subscribers that can harm email performance metrics.
A bloated list of subscribers who are not engaged can easily ruin your metrics. Often, non-engaged followers will delete emails without opening, or they may open without ever clicking any links or taking further action. These subscribers do not help your performance metrics at all, which means that you can end up losing sight of your real progress over time. Getting rid of disengaged subscribers will help you focus on those who are actually going to convert or at least have a chance of converting.
If you have not seen any engagement in the last six months, you can get proactive and think about a re-engagement campaign that re-targets those who are not clicking or engaging. If you still do not see any engagement, you can score them accordingly or archive them on your list.
It gives you an accurate representation of your list quality.
Another benefit of unsubscribes is that it tells you whether your list needs any improvement in other areas. How did you originally get this subscriber onto your list? Were they are genuine opt-in or did they get added to a list without permission? Did they enter your list from a competition or similar campaign that did not give any indicator of engagement or interest?
Take the time to do a regular clean-up of your list as well as your list growing steps. Look at your lead forms, your calls to action, your message and the list itself. Put your efforts on your qualified leads rather than the leads that are not showing interest. Invest in lead scoring so that you don't waste time on leads that score low.
It shows you how you are succeeding with your overall email marketing campaign.
Unsubscribe rates can also be a good indicator of your success in strategies such as segmentation. And, it can also tell you whether you are sending out the right content, at the right time, with the right CTAs and enough relevancy. If your emails are not targeted, personalised or relevant, there is a far higher chance of people leaving your list. Likewise, if your emails are not optimised for mobiles or you are sending too many emails, too often, you will soon start to see an increase in opt-outs.
Before that happens, you can look hard at your emails to see whether they are genuinely engaging and relevant to your target audience. Invest in A/B split testing to compare different content, images and even times to see what works and what doesn't work. Testing will help you learn what is going wrong. You can then optimise for your segments and improve your emails considerably.
It allows followers to get some breathing room.
Sometimes, people opt-out for reasons outside of your email quality. They may not be interested in the product or service you offer, they may have entered a different stage in life where your message is no longer relevant or they may simply not be ready to become more engaged. One way to prevent losing the lead completely is to have an option to pause the emails or change the frequency. Offer the option to pause email for a set time length and make it easy to change frequency according to the subscriber's preferences. You can also give recipients more control over the type of content they want to receive. If you offer these options on the unsubscribe page, you may potentially save that potential lead.
It gives you insight into where you are going wrong.
Finally, if there is no chance of keeping the subscriber, it is always a good idea to find out why they are leaving. Not every unsubscribed person will give feedback – many will let you know if you leave a feedback option on the opt-out page. Over time, you can begin to identify any potential areas for improvement.Rather than flood the person with too much choice or put them on the spot by trying to think of a reason they are leaving, offer a few options for possible reasons that they may be leaving. Make sure that this box is easily accessed but not in a way that prevents them from following through with the unsubscribe. Unless you actually ask, you will never know why they leave your list.
Can You Improve Your Email Marketing Unsubscribe Rate?
Last, but not least, here are a few simple ways that you can improve your email marketing unsubscribe rate.
- Be compliant with spam regulations. That means following international spam regulations, providing clear instructions on how to unsubscribe, using clear language, including a link or a return email address for people to leave your list, an option to stop all messages completely, and not ever requiring login to opt-out of messages.
- Keep your unsubscribe option visible. Hiding this link somewhere or making people have to search for it will end up putting you at risk of spam complaints and worse. This link is usually found in the footer of your website and that is where most people will expect to see it.
- Use the word unsubscribe. Make it as easy as possible for people to find this link by wording it clearly. When you use other words or confusing terms that do not easily tell people that they will be able to opt-out will cause frustration very quickly.
When you see unsubscribes as a way to fine-tune your digital marketing efforts, they become less of a hindrance and more of a valuable lesson. With the help of a marketing automation platform that allows you to test, personalise and create highly targeted campaigns, you will soon see a difference in your opt-out rates.
Contact Grapevine today to find out how we can take your email marketing to the next level.