Why you don’t need to worry (too much) about unsubscribe reminders

Why you don't need to worry (too much) about unsubscribe reminders

Inboxes are tracking.

They are monitoring your subscribers’ behavior, waiting for them not to open your emails too many times.

When a subscriber doesn’t open one of your messages after 30 days, Gmail pops up a message asking if they want to cancel registration or not.

“You have not opened any emails from this sender in the last month,” it said. Subscribers can choose “no thanks” to continue subscribing or “unsubscribe” if they no longer want to receive emails from you.

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Other email services help people unsubscribe without having to scroll down to the fine print. Yahoo’s email service takes this approach by adding an unsubscribe link in the “to” field.

These automatic unsubscribe reminders are a boon for those who manage overflowing inboxes. But are they equally good news for email marketing databases your ?

Are unsubscribe reminders good or bad for email marketing?

Unsubscribing often helps open rate . It’s a simple math. If your 250 out of 1, 000 Subscribers open the email, the open rate is 25%. Let’s say 100 subscribers opt out via automated reminders. Now if your 250 900 subscribers open the email, your open rate is 27.7%.

If you only focus on total subscribers, unsubscribing is not a good thing. But turning subscribers into metrics only important is a bad move. The number of subscribers alone is more than an illusory metric. Open or click-through rates are better indicators of how subscribers use content.

# Email open or click-through rate are better indicators of how subscribers are using #content, said @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet

But that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore unsubscribes. You may have a group of subscribers who may be interested in your content but are too busy or overwhelmed by email to open your emails. Sometimes, showing up in the inbox – even if they don’t read the email – can help brand awareness . It can even serve as a reminder that brings people directly to your website.

Explore ways you can help that crowd in between keep signing up or let them keep going if they don’t fit in. (But before you do, make this basic rule: Your email must provide Quality content Your subscribers will probably want to.)

. @Gmail’s unsubscribe reminder is a boon for people with too many inboxes. But what do they mean for #ContentMarketers trying to grow an audience? @AnnGynn explained via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet

Make subscribers feel welcome from the start

The ability to unsubscribe starts from your first communication with a new subscriber. Establishing a relationship right from the start will make it less likely that readers will leave you.

Think of the confirmation email as your welcome mat. Explain what subscribers will find inside your emails and engage them in conversation.

Ann Handley does this incredibly well with Total Annarchy – and it pays off. The biweekly email newsletter has grown to 50,000 subscribers since its 2018 launch.

The subject line on the confirmation email of the newsletter reflects the light, friendly tone of the email content .

After the waving emoji, the emoji opens with the following simple message: “Welcome, I have a question for you.”

From the first line of the email, Ann creates a personal interaction without including the recipient’s name.

“Hello!” she writes. “Congratulations on becoming the newest Total Annarchy subscriber! Thank you! ”

After explaining what to expect from the newsletter, she asked the question:

“Why did you sign up for my newsletter? What do you hope to learn here?

Your answer will help me get to know you a little better so that in return I can bring you real value. Let me know by hitting reply. ”

Recipients who want to answer her questions can hit “reply” or write her directly as she uses her real email address instead of the unfriendly DONOTREPLY like some marketers wear. confusingly defined.

You might think this personally welcoming approach makes sense for Total Annarchy because it’s a newsletter that comes directly from one person. But think again. Brands can do the same thing.

Hey guys #email (like @AnnHandley to Total Annarchy) is the source for the kind of interaction that will never trigger the @Gmail unsubscribe prompt, @AnnGynn via @CMIContent said. Click to Tweet

Give your confirmation opt-in to emailing with human touch. Sent them from a person, not a brand. Make your new subscribers feel welcome by explaining what they’ll get and starting a conversation with them. (Most will never reply, but those who do will be impressed when they get your answer. And you’ll send a reply, won’t you?)

TIP: Strengthen subscriber engagement from the start. Ask them to move your email out of the “Promotions” or similar tab and directly into your inbox.

Ann provides instructions for doing this in both Gmail and Apple Mail in the postscript of the welcome email. Here’s how she laid out her Gmail request in a funny, signature-friendly style:

PS Gmail users: You may find that this newsletter is moved to your promotion tab. (Rude.) You can reroute it by dragging the newsletter over to your Main tab. Once you do, Gmail will ask you if you want to make the change permanent. At that point, you flung your fist into the air and shouted, “GET GOOGLE GOOGLE.”

Apple mail users: Tap the email address at the top of this email and “Add to VIP.” This guarantees delivery.

PPS Here are my top five posts of all time. I hope you will like.

Contact us to re-engage before 30 – the date

You know the last time someone opened your email (thanks email marketing tool). And you know Gmail knows it too. Be on the lookout for that 30 – day unsubscribe reminder. Ask inactive subscribers if they want to continue.

Convince & Convert sent this email with the subject line “are we bothering you?”

Notice that the From line lists a person’s name (Jay Baer, ​​founder of Convince & Convert), not a brand name.

The note, signed by Jay, reads in part:

Just a quick note because you’ve signed up to receive emails from us here at Convince & Convert. But it’s been a while since you last opened an email from us and we miss you so much!

We’re working on removing people from our list who don’t want to receive emails from us about all things content marketing and customer experience.

Jay then gives instructions on how to maintain the list, claim interests, unsubscribe, and provide feedback.

Sending this type of email seems counter-intuitive. But it does provide the recipient with options that benefit them and you. If they unsubscribe right away, you’ll have a cleaner email list. If they click on the “confirm how often you want to hear from us” link, you have one linked subscriber (and one email frequency data point).

The tone of Convince & Convert’s email is so friendly that recipients won’t take it as a warning. Instead, it shows care – Jay and the Convince & Convert team wanted to tailor their message to the needs and preferences of the recipient.

Want to reconnect your #email subscribers? Show them you care about their needs and interests. See a great example from @JayBaer and @convince, via @AnnGynn and @CMIContent. Click to Tweet

If subscribers don’t respond to this effort, send one more “last call” email every week for the next 10 days. Let them know you respect their lack of interest and will remove them from the list within the next two weeks. Of course, you’ll want to include the last chance stay option. If they don’t take it, then remove them. Your list will be leaner, and your engagement numbers should reflect that.

The editorial manager chooses to email the last call to subscribers who haven’t opened in six months:

The editor manages to keep text and images fun and light. After all, “Free Me” is a great opt-out language. While recipients can make a choice, a message is conveyed stating that they will be unsubscribed if not (and the Editorial Manager will have a clearer list.)

RELATED CONTENT TO BE HAND-VIEWED: Email Lists: When Is Smaller Really Better

Don’t make it all or- Nothing to choose from

Frequency is the top reason people opt out of email. In this 2020 HubSpot survey, more than half of respondents said they unsubscribed because the emails were too frequent. (Post annoying once a day 34% of those surveyed. Only bother once a week 17%).

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Even if you ask about how often someone has signed up, ask again before they opt out. Convince & Convert requires subscribers to:

  • How often they want to receive email from the company (two or more times a week, once a week or once a month)
  • What topics are they interested in (content marketing, social media, digital/email/analytics, and Soon)
  • The industry they work in
  • How Convince & Convert can make their job easier

By offering similar options, you can send emails when your content is relevant to your subscribers (as long as it’s not more often than they claim.)

Will they stay or will they go?

Email remains one of the top content marketing delivery tools. In 2021, CMI research finds that 74% of B2C and 77% of B2B marketers send email newsletter . If you’re one of those people, you need to make a plan to unsubscribe.

Don’t bury the option at the bottom of the email thinking you’re done. Welcome your subscribers at the beginning of their relationship with you. Contact when their activity drops. Your email list will be cleaner, your email recipients will be more engaged, and your email marketing will become more effective.

What examples have you seen (or submitted) to retain or attract subscribers? Please share in the comments.

Learn from Ann Handley , Jay Baer and other content marketing professionals and practitioners at Content Marketing World 2021 this fall – in person in Cleveland, Ohio, or virtually anywhere. Check the agenda and subscription options .

Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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