Give Your Subscribers Options Sooner Rather Than Later

Our friends over at Silverpop have a new study out on how top internet retailers use email marketing. We were most intrigued by this stat:

“And the most surprising finding: one out of five companies that didn’t offer recipients any choices when they opted in to receive emails did give recipients choices when they tried to opt out. As a last ditch effort to keep subscribers on board, these companies offered to send less often or send different types of content.”

This strikes us a very risky strategy, for three reasons:

1. As Bill Nussey at Silverpop points out, this tactic can hurt deliverability if your recipients use the “this is spam” button rather than the unsubscribe button to stop getting content that isn’t interesting to them.

2. If they don’t complain (see #1) they might just ignore you. Return Path finds, again and again, that most clients have email files with high percentages of inactive subscribers. They don’t find value and so they tune you out.

3. To our mind, the biggest risk of all is the risk of not sending high-value email – and thus driving more response – right from the beginning. In the interest of giving yourself lots of flexibility you get your subscriber onto a general list. They get the email and they don’t complain (risk #1) and they don’t totally ignore you (risk #2), but they don’t ever respond either. Or, they respond less than they would if they were getting exactly what they wanted.

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating options for your subscribers, even just for frequency, show those options right up front. If that feels too risky then at least make those alternate choices available to subscribers who have gone inactive or who haven’t responded by sending a special email campaign. Waiting until the subscriber is fed up with you – which is how most people feel when they take the trouble to unsubscribe – is just silly.

minute read

Popular stories

Products

BriteVerify

BriteVerify email verification ensures that an email address actually exists in real-time

DemandTools

The #1 global data quality tool used by thousands of Salesforce admins

Everest

Insights and deliverability guidance from the only all-in-one email marketing solution

GridBuddy Cloud

Transform how you interact with your data through the versatility of grids.

Return Path

World-class deliverability applications to optimize email marketing programs

Trust Assessments

A revolutionary new solution for assessing Salesforce data quality

Solutions

Validity for Email

Increase inbox placement and maximize subscriber reach with clean and actionable data

Validity for Data Management

Simplify data management with solutions that improve data quality and increase CRM adoption

Validity for Sales Productivity

Give your sales team back hours per day with tools designed to increase productivity and mitigate pipeline risks in real-time