Yes, this probably sounds counter-productive. After all, don’t we all, as marketers, work tirelessly to keep subscribers wanting to hear from us? What went wrong? Didn’t we court them with relevant and engaging content? Didn’t we entice them into sharing their email so they can hear from us on a regular basis, and now this? Why?
Don’t get us wrong; continue to forge on in your mission of helping customers and prospects make their way through the buying journey. Provide them with useful and timely information that only your brand—as industry experts—can provide. Despite this and for myriad of reasons, however, subscribers will sometimes want out.
Here, we take a look at five tips for including opt out options in your email marketing messages. In some cases, if you handle the situation well, you may not lose your contacts entirely. Read on.
Make it Easy
If subscribers get frustrated with an extended, complicated opt-out process, they might find it easier to simply push that dreaded “mark as spam” button. Result: not only is the proverbial bridge burned, but the more spam reports your email provider receives, the lower your email delivery rate will be.
Place it Prominently
Hiding your opt-out button using small text or placing it somewhere less-than-obvious, again, is going to lead to frustration on the part of your subscribers. The longer they have to search, the madder they are going to be. Put it somewhere obvious and big enough to find quickly.
Make ‘em Laugh
Why not interject some humor and see if you can’t get them to reconsider. There are several stellar examples of companies that have pulled this off well. HubSpot created a brilliant and super funny post-unsubscribe video that tells those who opt-out “It’s okay to break up with HubSpot.” Check it out here.
Offer a Chance to Re-subscribe
There’s no shame in trying to get subscribers to change their mind. Texas retailer Woot! does an excellent job of this. When subscribers unsubscribe, the company sends them a hilarious message notifying them they have been removed from its list, but adds: You will receive one last email, and maybe a creepy voicemail because we know we can work this out. Having second thoughts already? Take us back! It then offers a link to re-subscribe.
Provide a Way to Opt Down
This is clever. Instead of simply making it an either-or proposition, give subscribers a way to simply reduce the frequency of emails. A New York retailer tried this, launching a “manage preference page” that provides the option to reduce the frequency to once a week, once a month or even “pause” the subscription for 30 days. The company reports that this simple technique has consistently kept 25 percent of people from completely opting out.
What’s the take-home message here? Always provide subscribers with an easy way to opt out of your emails. Make it quick and painless (think band-aid removal), add a little humor and you never know—they might be willing to give the relationship another try one day. Even if they don’t, it will still reduce the chance of your carefully crafted messages’ lives ending tragically in a spam filter.
Barb Schmitz is professional writer with more than 20 years of experience writing for B2B and B2C publications and web sites. She served as an editor on Computer-Aided Engineering magazine for more than 10 years before starting her own PR/freelance writing business in 2000. Her expertise includes interviewing, researching and writing whitepapers, blogs, eBooks, case studies, and feature articles.