A few weeks ago, a client came to me quite upset.
“They’re unsubscribing from my list,” she said. “And I don’t know what to do. I think it’s because I am emailing them more like you told me to. I am going to stop.”
“No, don’t stop,” I said. “It’s a good thing they are opting out. They never were going to buy from you anyway… and I thought you wanted a list of buyers, not just people who wanted your free offer.”
This isn’t the first time I have said those words. So many panic every time an email address unsubscribes. What most people don’t realize is this is a real blessing. Not only does it mean that you’re no longer marketing to someone who simply not interested, you can actually learn more about your audience from your unsubscribes. Here are some clues:
The first and easiest way to glean information from an unsubscribe is to ask for comments and feedback when someone opts out.If your autoresponder service captures comments or reasons for leaving a list, take a look at them. In many cases you’ll see comments like, “I just don’t have time to read newsletters,” or “Is no longer relevant to me.” In this case you can immediately tell that this person isn’t a viable prospect and you’re not losing anything.
If, on the other hand, you’re seeing relevant and informative comments like, “I found this post offensive,” then you can take steps to change your email marketing approach. This is particularly important if you receive many comments that are similar in nature.
Pay attention to the timing of your opt-outs. They usually happen when you change your marketing approach. For example, maybe you consistently send valuable information and on the day you send a promotional message, you receive a few unsubscribes. This may be an indication that your audience prefers a soft sell. You can appeal to them by integrating a gentle promotional message that is full of relevant and valuable information.
Another way to look at it is if you offer a variety of aspects of one topic, like I do. Many people sign up to my list because they are interested in sponsorship. When I promote anything else, they often drop out because it’s not their interest.
Finally, one of the most common reasons why people unsubscribe is because you’re contacting them too often. To me, this is about training your audience right from the start. People who subscribe to my list get frequent emails with valuable content. I do this to keep top-of-mind, because all too often subscribers can get distracted. By doing it from the beginning, you will get less unsubscribes because they know you will be frequently emailing them.
Finally, don’t hesitate to ask your subscribers why they opted out. You have their email address. Reach out to them personally and ask for feedback. This is often helpful if the person has been a subscriber for a long time. Short term subscribers often sign up simply to get the free download and then unsubscribe immediately. There’s not much to learn from this person. However, the long-term subscriber may be a fountain of information.
Remember, you list is for YOUR benefit – to make sales – people who don’t want or appreciate that need to leave your list. By understanding why you are getting opt-outs , you create a stronger and more profitable email marketing campaign.
Want to learn more about email marketing? Grab the free report: Grow Your Business With Email at http://shannoncherry.com/freeautorespondersreport