You've Got (Too Much) Mail

Recently I asked someone, what would cause you to unsubscribe from your favorite brand’s email?  His response: receiving too many messages. While that isn’t a surprising answer, it was interesting to note that he actually WAS interested in the content, but it came too frequently for his liking.

It’s important that messaging meets consumer expectations of frequency. Check out these tips to stave off that unsubscribe and keep consumers engaged with your messages.

Periodically reset expectations. Consumers are generally receptive to messaging that thanks them for their patronage. There’s an opportunity to take this a step further and “check-in” with them, reiterating what emails they’ve signed up for, showcasing new products, services or digital features and perhaps even soliciting feedback if it seems relevant. This is a gentle reminder of the great benefits of your organization and can lead not only to long-term engagement with your email program, but also stickiness with your brand.



Offer subscribers a way to manage their preferences. To have an effective email marketing program in today’s consumer-driven economy, you need to let the customer control the marketing relationship, not the other way around. Getting to a true one-to-one communication strategy can mean many things, but the first step is determining what your customers want and expect from your brand.

Allowing subscribers to self-report and self-manage their information will help you build a wealth of data for future targeting efforts, as well as help prevent unsubscribes that stem from irrelevant or too frequent mailings. 

Offer the option to opt-down in addition to opt-out. Instead of presenting a sole option to completely unsubscribe from your mailing, offer subscribers the chance to put the program on pause. You can allow them to select a particular amount of time (e.g., 2 months) or a particular “restart” date. This gives the customer a break from your messaging when they are requesting it, but keeps them on the list for future mailings when they will be more receptive to receiving them.

Conduct a cadence analysis. Engagement levels will vary for each email subscriber. Individuals who are less engaged are more inclined to opt out of messages that are not relevant to their current needs. With a cadence analysis, your organization adopt the optimal messaging frequency for specific audience segments (e.g., browsers vs. buyers vs. advocates) that will maximize conversions and minimize customer opt-outs. 

Brands who email aggressively risk aggravating their subscribers by seeming overbearing or irrelevant. Actions as simple as keeping customers informed about frequency and giving them control over it can go a long way toward preventing the dreaded unsubscribe. By executing these simple practices, organizations are better equipped to understand their audience’s needs and deliver emails that drive engagement and deliver revenue.

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