A lot of email marketers dread the unsubscribe link. They view it as the end of a relationship. But it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of fearing the process, email marketers should embrace it as an engagement opportunity. In doing so, email marketers can maintain their reputation with ISPs, learn more about their subscribers, and most important: retain subscribers and avoid the break-up altogether.
Here are some tips on how to improve your unsubscribe process:
Don't make the unsubscribe process too easy. Doing so forfeits your chance to salvage the relationship. Present a set of options for maintaining the relationship under the subscriber's own terms with full opt-out as the default last choice.
Allow subscribers to see you less often. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and that can apply to email too. Offer subscribers the option of receiving less frequent messages instead of opting out altogether.
Enable subscribers to take a time-out. Sometimes subscribers are still interested in your brand, but they want a break from seeing your messages all the time. Providing an option to pause emails for a predefined period gives subscribers some space while enabling you to keep them on your list.
Let your subscribers see other messages. As in any long-term relationship, sometimes subscribers get bored of getting the same thing week after week. They long for something new. If your brand offers a variety of newsletters or targets multiple segments with different content, give subscribers the option of receiving different messages to revitalizing their interest.
Try meeting up in different places. Subscribers may not want to receive your messages any more, but they might be open to connecting with your brand via other channels. Include links to your social media pages to enable subscribers to interact with your brand outside of email campaigns.
It's not you, it's me. Sometimes there's no way to avoid a break-up. The key is learning from it. Include a survey that lets subscribers tell you why they're leaving. You can use their feedback to retain other subscribers in the future.
Don't assume the break-up is final. Over time, subscribers may miss your offers. Provide a resubscribe link to make it easy for subscribers to rekindle your relationship.
Finally, ensure your subscribers never want to leave in the first place. Leverage subscriber preferences to make sure your content is targeted and relevant, optimized for delivery on their preferred devices, and deployed on a frequency that avoids over-saturation.