by Chris Low, founder of MyTeamPlan
No matter how useful and interesting your newsletter is, there is still a small percentage of your subscribers who may no longer find your content relevant. A Mailchimp study found that between 0.1 to 0.4 percent of subscribers opt out of mailing lists on average during any given email campaign. Mailing lists that offer discounts and vouchers have extremely low rates of opt-out. However, opt-outs are highest in industries like restaurants and construction.
If you see an unsubscribe rate that is higher than these average numbers, it is time to take a step back and look into ways to fix this.
Are your mailing lists uniquely targeted?
Subscribers opting into a mailing list do so for very specific reasons. A customer who wishes to receive discount coupons for future purchases may not appreciate receiving your latest blog posts over email. Similarly, a subscriber to an eCommerce store may find the content of the newsletter relevant only if the products being promoted are carefully curated based on their past purchase history. The average user receives nearly 88 emails each day. If the emails you send to your subscribers are not relevant, there is a good chance that they will be deemed irrelevant. A good chunk of newsletter opt-outs are due to lack of relevance.
How frequently do you send your emails?
Personalizing your newsletter to your subscribers’ unique preferences alone does not give you the license to clutter their inbox with your promotional emails. Over 45 percent of subscribers who opted out of mailing lists did so because they received too many emails. Mailing frequency is a contentious topic among email marketers. Mail too often and you risk being labeled a spammer. But mailing too sporadically could mean loss of brand equity or sales. The ideal frequency depends on the kind of communication you send your customers. A discount mailer for products with low value and high purchase frequency could perhaps be sent once every day or two without being viewed as spam. Restaurants are a good example of this category. For example, if you are sharing your latest blog posts with your customer, then once a week is ideal. It is a good idea to experiment with various mailing frequencies and pick one that sees high engagement and fewer opt-outs from subscribers.
Capture navigational behavior to segment users.
There are two ways to personalize newsletter content to suit user preferences. One way to do this is to make use of their opt-in intent and purchasing history to curate content that appeals to the subscriber. The second way to do this would be based on their navigational behavior. A subscriber who adds products to their cart but does not make a purchase may need specific triggers with respect to their products in order to convert.
Similarly, if you sell a product that has a monthly purchase cycle, then it is a good idea to reach out to a subscriber based on when they made their last purchase. A good way to execute such narrow-targeted emails is to make use of third party tools that can segment users based on specific navigational behavior. You can then automatically send this information to Mailchimp or any other email marketing platform that you use. This way, you may automate your campaigns based on user behavior and make your emails more relevant to the subscriber.
It is also important to know that customer behavior and preferences change all the time. A customer with an iPhone may not always stay in the iOS ecosystem. This is just one example of an external factor that contributes towards your emails being no longer relevant to the customer. As a marketer, the onus is on you to stay on top of the evolving patterns in customer preferences and tweak your campaigns to suit these changing trends.
Chris Low is the founder of MyTeamPlan, a desktop-based project management software. He also serves as the project manager at Shepherd Software.