Tips to Help Combat the Unsubscribe

A common marketer’s dilemma: How can I send prospects, customers, and clients email newsletters when I get so many I don’t know what to do with, much less read?

If you’ve ever sent an email marketing campaign, you’ve likely thought about how to ensure that they will be delivered, read, clicked, or maybe the best yet...shared.

Email marketing doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon - it may just evolve as new platforms make it easier to design, send, and integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for seamless customer experiences from lead to loyalty.

In fact, 58 percent of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing this year, according to Convince and Convert and Salesforce ExactTarget’s 2014 State of Marketing report.

Here are some tips and tidbits to help marketers avoid the unsubscribe and grow a list of engaged email recipients:

  1. Teach your audience something new, starting with the subject line. Spark curiosity that encourages the reader to click through to learn more.
  2. Make your audience feel exclusive. Offer them access to something they couldn’t get somewhere else. Give them new information. Provide them with a sneak peek or early access to a work-in-progress. Make your audience feel like they’re part of your inner-circle and they’ll likely reciprocate with loyalty.
  3. Successful email marketers focus on engagement, according to an April report from Tech Cocktail. That engagement includes mobile-friendliness, personalization, and using data based on the reader’s activity with a brand, along with segmentation based on customer purchase frequency, sales cycle stage, and recipient preferences on when and how often to receive email.
  4.  Let your audience choose what and when to read. If you’re able to provide preferences on the type of news you share or options on when to receive information, your audience will feel that you want to be accommodating and helpful, versus sending information on your own schedule, which may be different from theirs.
  5. Be convenient. Make it easy for your audience to subscribe from an easily accessible location on your website, provide simple ways for them to engage with your social media channels, unsubscribe, or share without them having to search within your email layout.
  6. Be proactive and be transparent, even if it’s tough. Email can be a quick and important communication channel for connecting with your audience. Sometimes the message is more urgent than promotional-- like Target’s President and CEO message to customers about the security breach at the end of 2013, or a similar message following a 2012 cyber attack at Zappos.

What tactics do you use to combat the unsubscribe? Tell us in the comments.

Rebecca Otis is a digital marketing strategist, speaker, and blogger that focuses on using simple marketing tactics to make a significant impact for businesses. You can find Rebecca on Twitter and Google+.

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