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“Hit them now and hit them hard” is a phrase that should never be associated to your strategy for an effective, email marketing campaign. You have worked hard to collect the addresses in your database, and you want these contacts to continue strengthening their loyalty to you through your commitment to excellence and your brand credibility. You do not want to attack them at all angles so much that they feel bombarded or pressured to take action immediately. While hoping for them to react to your specific calls to action, they shouldn’t have to do so three times a week. Your contacts vary and therefore should be divided appropriately into different email lists.
Segmenting Your Email Database
Some customers want everything you have and more, while others want to demonstrate their loyalty to your company or brand but might only want to hear from you once a month. We need to differentiate these customers and keep them all happy by utilizing a more complex opt-out option when unsubscribing.
Over the years, you have continued striving for excellence on your website, as well as collecting email lists from customers, clients, and vendors. You now have one big email list, but you notice that while the traffic hitting your website continues to grow alongside your conversions for email address submissions each month, your total email address database continues to remain flat. You do some further review in Google Analytics and see that one of your top landing pages is your unsubscribe page. What can you do to decrease the number of opt-outs?
Updating your Opt-Out Page
When customers receive your email blasts, they have the option from the link to go directly to your un-subscription page to remove their email addresses from your database list. Like most companies, your site probably only has one option on this page–to unsubscribe completely. Once they select this option, their direct connection with you is gone. You have worked so hard to gather their information, so don’t you think it would be wise to provide them some options in an attempt to retain some of these customers?
Your goal as a company should be to make the opting out process as easy and painless as possible for the customer, even if you don’t want them to go. Remember, by leading an effective and positive unsubscribe experience; you can keep the user as a customer for years to come even if they are no longer on your email list because despite popular belief in the marketing world, an unsubscribe is not necessarily the end of your relationship with that customer.
Instead of a single unsubscribe option, why not provide them with some choices for them to consider before they sever all ties? A great ecommerce website that provides two simple options is Victoria’s Secret. When customers receive an email blast and click on the unsubscribe link, they are directed to a certain page, and instead of disconnecting themselves completely, they can choose their level of intensity. More often than not, the customer will select the “fewer” emails than the end-all “unsubscribe.”
Ideas to Expand and Optimize your Opt-Out Page:
1) If you send a quarterly newsletter along with custom email blasts, you could split up your groups into three main lists: Newsletters Only (B2B and promotional), Email Blasts Only (promotional), and both.
2) Provide options such as brand specific targeting if your company hosts a series of products and services, or for products that tend to be seasonal, it may be appropriate for you to give them the option to only be emailed during the specific seasons or holidays.
3) Provide them the option to update their email address listed since they might be leaving if you are sending these blasts to their work account
4) Consider briefly reminding the subscribers at the top of the page the benefits of remaining on your email lists ( seasonal promotions, exclusive offers, new and online only merchandise, etc)
Just for the record, revising your unsubscribe request to include options will not keep 100% of your database in constant conversation with you but it is a great start to providing excellent customer service to your need-based clients.