One of the strongest assets of any business is their email list. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, email marketing is very much alive and it is still one of the most cost-efficient ways to get leads to purchase your products and services.
There are a number of metrics you can track in regards to emails, including open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and more, but there is one stat that will make you tremble in fear every time… The number of unsubscribed users.
Why do people unsubscribe?
The great thing about email marketing in 2017 is that there is so much data available to learn from. You can take a look at other companies’ mistakes and see why they’re losing precious subscribers. For example…
People don’t remember subscribing. When you’re building an email list, make sure you think things through. Tactics like scraping, buying or renting lists are not only unethical, but will quickly get you a ton of unsubscribed users. In fact, one third of people state that their main reason for unsubscribing is that they have no idea how they became a subscriber in the first place.
You send too many emails. According to Campaign Monitor, 53% of internet users say they get too many emails in their inbox. Just 44% say they get the right amount. Alarming stat, but nothing that cannot be fixed with trial and error.
Your content is irrelevant. If someone subscribed to your list because they wanted to get info on the latest fashionable sneakers, don’t send them emails about golfing equipment. Sounds like common sense but many marketers get this wrong and that’s when subscriptions go down. This too has an easy fix – simply segment your lists so you can send out more personalized emails.
You’re going for the hard sell. If every email you send out is trying to push some sort of product or service, don’t be amazed that you’re getting a ton of unsubscribed users. The majority of your emails should contain helpful advice, strategies, free ebooks, webinars and other inbound marketing materials.
Here are a few ways to dwindle the number of unsubscribed users and make sure your emails reach the maximum possible audience.
1. Make your emails personalized
You would think that something as simple as using a recipient’s name at the start of an email doesn’t make that much of a difference for email performance. However, you would be completely wrong.
Personalized emails get 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates. What’s more, personalized emails will get six times higher transaction rates. Therefore, if your next email starts with Hi there instead of Hi Emily, you’re seriously missing out. In fact, research by Eloqua says that some of the highest performing emails include personalized subject lines.
Image source: Eloqua
However, there’s a lot more to personalization than simply running a script that auto-inserts the recipient’s name. Truly personalized emails have content catering for specific recipients.
The best way to go about this is through email segmentation. There’s many ways to segment your emails, and every good email marketing software will allow you to utilize this option.
For example, you can segment by geographical location. If you have a brick and mortar store, you can send newsletters to addresses close to one specific store. If you have subscribers in multiple countries around the world, you can send them emails according to their time zones, and even in their own languages.
One of the best ways to segment what you send out is according to user behavior. You can track what your subscribers click on and then set up actions based on that. For example – someone clicked on a link in your newsletter with the list of 10 essential sporting good items for this fall. You can instruct your email marketing software to send out more emails about sporting goods to this subscriber.
When it comes to personalization (and segmentation), you can filter your emails so thoroughly that your recipients will be amazed at how well you know them. And that is by far the best recipe to slash the number of unsubscribed users.
2. Provide some choice
Chances are that there’s more than one type of email you’re sending out to your subscribers. There’s newsletters, product updates, company updates and many more different types of emails. When subscribing, give your visitors a choice in what they want to have delivered to their inbox. This is a standard option in many email marketing softwares and it is pretty straightforward to use.
3. Quality Prevails over Quantity
If you send one email per day to your list, don’t be surprised to see the number of unsubscribed users shoot through the roof. No matter how important your message is, you don’t need to spam your subscribers’ inboxes on a daily basis.
Here’s a great piece of data to consider – the average worker in an office gets 121 emails per day. If you look at the big picture, the amount of emails sent in a single day, worldwide, amounts to a staggering 269 billion. With such a vast number of mail being sent out daily, it’s hard to retain that valuable spot in your reader’s inbox, and chances are they will unsubscribe if you’re bombarding them with unwanted emails.
The way to get around this is fairly simple. You can let your subscribers choose the frequency they want their emails sent in. You can do this either immediately when they sign up, or later on through a newsletter. The subscribers will feel in power as they will control how much emails they get.
Alternatively (and better for your business in the long run), you can perform email frequency testing. Many users simply won’t care enough to tell you how many emails they want, so it’s up to you to find out. Make sure you run different frequency tests for each of your lists separately.
So what’s the ideal number of emails to send? According to Campaign Monitor’s research, the sweet spot is one email in two weeks for maximum engagement, but this can vary depending on your industry and the type of emails you send.
Once you figure out your ideal email frequency, do your best to stick to it. An email sending schedule will make things easier for both you and your subscribers. If they have clear expectations on when your emails will be arriving, there’s less chance they will unsubscribe. If your list is used to getting emails every Monday at 1PM on the dot, stick to that schedule for best results.
4. Make sure people can actually read your email
If you’re like us at LeadQuizzes, you’re sure to go over your newsletters at least a dozen times before sending out. You check for grammar, spelling mistakes, formatting, signature, which list the email is going out to… And then you test the email on just one device.
Sometimes the reason people are unsubscribing is because they cannot properly view your email. This can be because of poor formatting, pictures that just look weird, broken links and so on. An email that looks great on desktop might not look great on mobile, a tablet or a Mac. You can go around this issue by testing on multiple devices before blasting your list, or by using a tool like Litmus to check all your outgoing mail.
5. Use Exit Surveys for Unsubscribed Users
It’s not you, it’s me. Breakups aren’t easy they’re not fun for anyone involved. However, if someone told you the actual truth about why they’re breaking up with you, you may feel slightly better. Luckily, emails are a lot simpler than relationships.
If your users already have their mind set on getting unsubscribed, you can make the most out of the situation and see what went wrong so you can improve for the future. Luckily, the majority of email marketing software solutions nowadays provide the option of exit surveys.
Exit surveys are simple forms where (former) subscribers can tick off fields saying exactly why they’re unsubscribing. List a couple short questions with options such as “emails were too long”, “emails were irrelevant”, “emails were too frequent” or whatever may be the cause for unsubscribing. Make sure to leave an option for “other” along with a text box they can fill out.
Your Unsubscribe page doesn’t have to be gloomy or sad. You can take a look at this list for some inspiration on how to make people change their mind about unsubscribing. A combination of good humor and great design can yield great results.
Image credit: Hubspot
You can probably already see the value in using exit surveys. You can see exactly what went wrong and improve your email campaigns. Using split testing, you can adjust your strategy for the future and better prepare your next newsletter or product update. Now if only dating was this simple…
Are you wondering what you can do to increase the number of your subscribers? We can help! Quizzes are a great way to quickly add fresh leads to your email list. Don’t take our word for it – try out a free account today!