Richard Fallah
Richard Fallah 25 October 2017

Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate: 8 Questions you Need to Ask Yourself

There is no denying that emails are a key element in what goes into marketing a product to consumers. Building a viable and effective email marketing campaign is a huge part of getting a strong conversion rate.

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are in setting up a campaign, people will unsubscribe from your emails. The goal here is not to halt unsubscribes completely-- this is unrealistic. What you can do is reduce your unsubscribe rate.

So, how do you reduce your unsubscribe rate? Ask yourself these questions.

1. Are you adding value with your emails?

Simply put, if you are wasting people’s time, they will not be interested in what you have to say. This ties into two main things: content strategy and segmentation. We will get into segments in a moment, but consider the actual content you are sending out.

You should not be bombarding people only with emails that ask them to “Buy Now!” Of course, enticing prospects to make a purchase is indeed a part of it, but sending out interesting information is a great way to add value into someone’s digest.

Consider sending out a newsletter. Newsletters are effective in building relationships with subscribers on a consistent basis, all while establishing yourself as an authority on the subject matter.

2. Did you segment your subscriber lists correctly?

Sending targeted emails to customers and prospects using segments means that you aren’t badgering people with irrelevant content.

It is an industry best practice to segment your subscribers as soon as they become subscribed. This may mean that when they are giving you their email address, you present them with a questionnaire that asks them about their goals and interests.

3. Are your subscribers opting in?

This leads me to ask you a crucial question: are your email subscribers opting into receiving emails from you? It may seem simple, but it is not good practice to send emails to people that haven’t agreed to receiving them.

While it might not necessarily be illegal for you to send these emails, depending on the country’s privacy laws, you will not retain subscribers by emailing people that don’t want to hear from you. Learn more about spam compliance by country here

4. Is your content responsive?

Now, I’m sure you are well aware of the utmost importance of responsive design. In essence, if you open an email on a device and the formatting is sloppy, chances are you won’t engage with the content at all.

In this day and age, new devices with different screen sizes are popping up on the market at a faster rate than ever before. Keeping your ear to the ground and staying plugged into industry news will ensure that you are aware of any modifications you need to make to your email formatting.

Of course, this will also apply to any landing pages or links that you are adding to your emails as well.

5. Are you sending emails at the right frequency?

Here is where you need to work to find your sweet spot. If you send emails to subscribers too frequently, you will end up annoying people. If you don’t send emails often enough, people will forget who you are-- and possibly unsubscribe when you finally do message them.

It is advisable to allow people to choose their email frequency when prospects are opting in. This will allow people to have agency over when they want to hear from you, in turn reducing your unsubscribe rate.

Put yourself in a subscriber’s shoes, would you stay subscribed to an email newsletter that flooded your inbox with information that wasn’t addressed to you?

6. Are you personalizing your emails?

The idea here is that people are more likely to feel engaged by your message if you are using their names. For example, a good subject line would be: Hey Jane/John! Check out this promo.  

A study by the United States National Library of Medicine determined that the brain is activated in multiple locations when the subject heard their own name. The brain even lit up in areas that are responsible for self-awareness, laughter, and emotions.

7. Are you writing compelling subject lines?

The case may be that you’ve acquired quite a lengthy email subscriber list. That’s a great first step! However, a significant hurdle is to actually get them to open your emails.

An email subject line is a chance to make a first impression with someone. If the subject line is deemed irrelevant or uninteresting by the receiver, you can consider yourself unsubscribed already. In this case, it might be interesting to A/B test email subject lines in order to determine what works best for your audience. 

8. What kind of analytics are you looking at?

Above all else, it is crucial that you are tracking your email analytics in order to determine when things might be going in the wrong direction, or fine tuning your email strategy (for example: frequency). There is no reasonable way for you to correct an email marketing misstep if you are not properly tracking your email marketing analytics.

Using a platform that has this information built into it will help you quickly identify where you need to work in order to boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Briefly summarized, it is important that your email marketing strategy is well thought out, and that you aren’t just slapping email messages together and sending them out without truly strategizing. You get what you give. 

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