Email marketing is all about connecting with as many people as possible, in an effective and efficient manner. Unfortunately, no campaign ever keeps customers glued to their inbox forever. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to sit back and idly watch your contact list dwindle away into obscurity. With a proper understanding of the problem, as well as a smart strategy for maintaining and regaining your position, you can minimize the impact of opt-outs in your campaign and continue enjoying the benefits of email marketing moving forward.
Understanding the Core of the Problem
Before going any farther, it’s important to understand what actually drives customers to opt-out of your email contact list and choose another path. According to Julie Knudson of Small Business Computing, several roadblocks – originating both from your brand’s efforts and from issues on the consumer side of the process – lead to diminishing activity and drooping contact list numbers.
One of the prime offenders in this regard is poor email marketing practices. Whether it’s spamming your consumers day and night with messages or focusing too much on pushy promotions when generating email marketing content, losing sight of the basic value agreement that tethers your organization to these shoppers via the inbox and employing substandard practices is an easy way to force away the viewers that matter most.
Additionally, not understanding that value goes beyond coupons and limited time offers also creates a problem that can lead to opt-outs. This isn’t to say that customers don’t love deals, but rather that in today’s ultra-competitive online marketing landscape, these shoppers expect brands vying for their attention to go above and beyond with relevant and entertaining content, in addition to basic discounts and offers.
Finally, Knudson’s last piece of the opt-in puzzle isn’t really anything you can change, just something that you should be aware of as you develop your strategy; changes on the other side of the screen. From abandoning current email addresses and forgetting to rejoin your contact list to accidentally clicking the unsubscribe button, plenty of unfortunate and unintended errors by your viewership can artificially inflate opt-out numbers.
Redefining Your Strategy
So what can you do to fight back and revitalize the relationship with current contact list members before they also part ways with your email marketing campaign? As Syed Balkhi of Forbes magazine explains, it’s all about getting back to the basics and avoiding mistakes that reduce the original value proposition of your marketing messages.
First off, take some time to review your latest offerings and see if these emails actually stick with what you initially promised to provide to your contact list members. For instance, if your brand set out with the goal of creating an “insider culture” with early access to new products and discounts for subscribers, but somehow ended up straying off this path, it’s time to refocus and renew your commitment to this email marketing angle.
As for frequency and segmentation, Balkhi goes on to point out that these aspects of your campaign require constant testing and evaluation, not just when trying to fight back against increasing opt-outs. When it comes to segmentation, it’s important to create content that hits on the major demographics in your group, as the “one size fits all” approach is far from idle in the email marketing world.
Of course, the biggest question you have to ask yourself when redefining your strategy and aiming for fewer opt-outs revolves around the most important part of the email marketing process – do you still offer tangible value to these customers? If the answer is anything but a resounding “yes,” it’s time to get back to the drawing board and rethink what types of offers and content can truly spark the interest of these readers.
In terms of reconnecting with customers who accidentally unsubscribe or change email addresses without rejoining your list on the new account, the best way to regain lost ground on this front comes in the form of an active and vibrant social media presence. While there’s no guarantees that you’ll find a way to reach these viewers, having your posts shared, liked, retweeted, and spread in a variety of other ways presents your brand with the best chances possible to find these stray members of your campaign and bring them back into the fold. When combined with the rest of what you’ve learned about reducing the impact of opt-outs on your campaign, a strong social front stands as the perfect finish to a complete, and effective, email marketing turnaround.