It’s challenging enough to get people to subscribe to your mailing list, so when they start unsubscribing at a noticeable rate, it’s hard not to worry. Are you doing anything wrong? The likely answer is yes. But don’t fret! The usual reasons people unsubscribe can be addressed in the following ways:
Reason: You send too many emails
Whenever people access their inbox, they have several messages from you. If this happens too often, they start feeling overwhelmed. Tired of deleting emails, the only other way out is to unsubscribe.
Solution: Give delivery options.
Let people choose how often they hear from you. Some prefer weekly; others want monthly. Some want to be updated right away, while others just want a summary of highlights. Different strokes for different folks, so provide several options they can choose from. And stop sending messages several times a day!
Reason: You send too few emails.
Not sending enough emails is just as bad as sending too many. When people hardly hear from you, they don’t remember they subscribed, so they unsubscribe or even worse, report you as spam. As expected, balance is important.
Solution: Stick to a consistent schedule.
Life can get in the way of email-writing, but try to follow a publication schedule. Even if you send emails twice a month, it establishes a pattern people can recognize, and they know when to expect to hear from you.
But what if it isn’t you, it’s them? There’s still something you can do:
Reason: They signed up by mistake.
It’s easy to click on the wrong buttons on smartphones and tablets. The result is people subscribing to newsletters they never intended to join in the first place. They only realize what happened when they get messages from you.
Solution: Use a double opt-in form.
These people aren’t major losses because they won’t become conversions, but they skew your marketing data. To prevent accidental signups, use a double opt-in form that confirms their subscription. This ensures that all members of your mailing list are either potential or existing customers.
Reason: They canceled by mistake.
Again, we can blame the small screens of mobile devices for the increasing number of accidental cancellation. People who don’t plan to unsubscribe still leave your email list because they didn’t realize what they’ve done. They’ll just wonder why they haven’t heard from you and assume you’re too busy.
Solution: Use a double opt-out form
If you ask people to confirm their subscription, then it makes sense to confirm their cancellation. Otherwise, you’d lose a good lead, and that’s a shame. Only those who intend to leave your mailing list will go through the whole process of opting out.
Reason: Your content is too sales-y.
People who knowingly joined your mailing list did so because they want to get relevant content from you. So if you bombard them with ad after ad and not much else, they’ll unsubscribe.
Solution: Deliver content your subscribers find useful.
Soft sell is the way to go when communicating with your subscribers. They’re more likely to respond positively if you give them what they want first, which is information they’ve been looking for.
Building your mailing list is not just about getting new subscribers. It’s also about retaining the ones you already have. Work on both, and you’ll see considerable growth in your subscriptions.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.