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Learn how to win back newsletter and email list subscribers who hit the ‘Unsubscribe’ button.
If you’re an email marketer, the most significant problem is people unsubscribing from your emails. It’s hard enough to get people to subscribe. So when they do, it becomes critical to ensure that people stay.
The longer people stay on as subscribers, the more likely they will convert into paying customers. And having your audience engage with your content has other benefits too. Your subscriber list and activity show that you provide value.
They also let you know if your brand image is strong or needs work. It’s not uncommon for subscribers to leave, but you should be wary if a significant number of them do. If your email campaigns have an unsubscribe rate below 0.5%, it’s acceptable.
But over that rate means you have to identify what’s wrong. Regaining lost subscribers as part of your regular marketing practice would be best. Why? Because they’re already familiar with your business, engaging completely cold leads and prospects will be more accessible.
In this post, I’ll help you with practical ways to win back the very same people who decided to opt out in the past. Dive in to start learning!
1. Is there a problem?
The first question you should ask yourself is if there’s a problem with the current state of your email marketing efforts.
Many issues might cause a subscriber to hit the unsubscribe option. Here are some things to consider:
- Your emails aren’t addressing your subscribers’ interests
- You’re sending too many emails and far too often
- If your emails have errors, look unprofessional, or are difficult to read, then readers will leave your email list
- Your emails are generic and hence don’t provide valuable or engaging content
- There’s a concern about privacy and data protection
- Your subscribers have lost interest in your topic, or their needs have changed
- And your subscribers want to reduce the overall number of emails they receive.
As you can see, some of these issues are within your control, and some aren’t. In cases where customers want to avoid ‘subscription fatigue’ or aren’t interested in your content, there isn’t much you can do. But you should be able to make a difference in all the other areas.
For example, ensure you send emails to your list regularly but not multiple times a week. Depending on your industry and audience interests, you could send a newsletter once a week or even less frequently. Also, be sure to provide value to your audience.
That’s the real reason they’ve opted in to receive your content. You should curate interesting news, discuss the latest trends, and share powerful tips. In this way, start to address the potential issues with your email marketing, and you’ll soon see an uptick in maintaining and growing your email list.
2. Add signup forms everywhere
If you want your lost subscribers to return to the fold, you should make the action easy. Do this by adding signup forms to multiple spots on your site and blog posts. Signup forms are simple forms that feature an email field and a button.
They should be attractive and stand out from the rest of the content on your website. If a former subscriber wanders on to your website or social media, they should easily be able to sign up again.
You can also put these forms in the footers of all your web pages. You can even add them to emails that go out to non-subscribers (for example, customers who bought something). In this way, you’ll ensure everyone knows how they can get back on your list and start receiving your great content again.
3. Add push notifications
It is essential to understand that email lists shouldn’t be the only avenue for reaching your customers and prospects. Push notifications are an ideal complement to email marketing, enabling you to connect with your audience immediately and personally.
They allow you to send timely messages, promotions, updates, and more right to people’s devices. And best of all, you can ensure that push notifications arrive when people are active online. So you’re sure to reach your audience in real time.
Something that is not email marketing’s strength; your audience will get to your email whenever they get to it. And there isn’t instant engagement. Push notifications have a higher engagement rate than emails overall.
For example, while the average email open rate is 2%, the average rate for push content is 20%. Likewise, emails have an average click-through rate of 2%, while push notifications are 28%.
Enabling push notifications on your website and app means that you create an alternative way to engage your audience. And if some of your email subscribers opt out, you can use push content to win them back as long as they’ve enabled it.
Also, remember that whatever drove people away from your email list can lead to them opting out of your push notifications. So, focus on using these tools only when needed and always provide high value.
4. Provide a high-value offer to draw back subscribers
If you want to bring back subscribers, offering something valuable is the best way to do it. This could be anything from a free product or service trial to an exclusive discount code for returning customers.
Research and studies on email marketing show that 50% of marketers rely on free lead magnets to drive higher conversion rates. 27.7% of marketers use eBooks to win subscribers, 24.9% use webinars, and 21.3% use complimentary tools.
It’s clear that offering value in some way, including lead magnets, is critical to win back former subscribers. People need an incentive and something tangible that makes them interested and entices them into receiving your emails again.
You could also use other channels such as social media, retargeting ads, or even regular mailings (snail mail) if that’s possible. Just remind users about your brand and ensure they have a compelling reason to sign up with you again.
5. Offer personalized messages
Personalizing your email content in-depth is the key to stopping people from unsubscribing and getting them to re-subscribe. One powerful way to do this is to collect your subscribers’ content preferences when they sign up. This step uses a feature called ‘Preference Centre.’
A preference center is a powerful tool that allows subscribers to customize their email experience. Implementing a preference center gives subscribers control over the type and frequency of emails they receive.
Subscribers can choose their preferred topics, update their contact information, adjust email frequency, and even choose the format of the content they receive (e.g., text-based or HTML).
Empowering subscribers with options enhances their overall experience and reduces the likelihood of unsubscribes due to content mismatch or overload. Also, there are other ways to personalize your email messages.
For example, you could mention the subscriber’s name in the subject line or throughout the body of your message. You can also use segmentation to target specific groups with content that speaks directly to them. The preference center feature will help you refine your targeting even further.
Using these tactics, you can ensure your offer is relevant and interesting to each user. Doing so will make them more likely to stay on your email list and return if they have previously unsubscribed. Overall, personalized emails are an effective way to engage your audience and increase loyalty.
6. Monitor your email performance
Data is the key to understanding how your subscribers engage with your emails. You can use this data to make changes that will help you keep more of your subscribers on board or win them back if they’ve unsubscribed.
So, track email metrics such as open rates, click-throughs, and unsubscribes. You should especially pay attention to which emails led to the most unsubscribes. Is there something about the content of those emails that might have caused people to opt out?
By tracking metrics and assessing your email performance, you can then take action to improve it. You could start by looking at your emails’ length, timing, format, and quality. Please ensure they are easy to read, digest, and relevant to your audience.
7. Invest in retargeting campaigns
Retargeting campaigns are also a great way to win back former subscribers and keep your list full and engaged. These campaigns allow you to target email opt-outs with relevant ads across the web.
You can use them on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, or display networks, such as Google Ads. Retargeting campaigns are expensive but rewarding when done correctly. A timely ad can remind people about your brand and website.
You can also create ads designed to get former subscribers back on board. Ensure the message is clear and compelling enough for them to act. Also, tie your ad campaigns to special rewards only available to former subscribers.
This creates a sense of exclusivity and shows that you’re eager to connect with your audience again. Retargeting ads are a good choice because you’ll reach out to people who have previously engaged with your brand. They’re already familiar with you and will trust your messages more.
8. Optimize for mobile devices
Optimizing your emails for mobile devices is crucial in today’s smartphone-centric world. Many subscribers check their emails on smartphones or tablets, so if your emails are not mobile-friendly, they may appear cluttered or difficult to read. This can lead to frustration and, ultimately, unsubscribing.
Ensure your email templates are responsive and adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes. Keep your content concise, use legible fonts, and include clear call-to-action buttons that are easy to tap on smaller screens.
9. Listen and respond to feedback
Pay attention to feedback from unsubscribed or disengaged subscribers. If they provide reasons for unsubscribing or express concerns, take their feedback seriously and make necessary improvements. Make sure that you link your unsubscribe button to a specific landing page.
Ask users for a second chance to keep them on board. And also create a tiny questionnaire with multiple-option answers. Adding surveys or providing a feedback mechanism to understand subscribers’ preferences, pain points, and so on will help you learn more about your audience.
Also, actively respond to subscribers’ feedback, address their concerns, and communicate any changes or enhancements you’ve made based on their input. By showing that you value their opinions and are committed to improving their experience, you may be able to keep or win back people who want to stop communicating with you.
Remember, building and maintaining a strong email list is an ongoing process. Continuously analyze your email performance, adapt your strategies, and stay responsive to your subscribers’ needs and preferences.
By implementing these tactics, you can reduce unsubscribe rates, re-engage past subscribers, and cultivate a loyal and engaged audience for your email marketing campaigns.
10. Manage your email deliverability
If you use WordPress and its integrations to send your email list content, you face a problem. Emails via WordPress use the default PHP mailer, which lacks authentication. As a result, even your most well-thought-out content can land in the spam folder.
If your audience finds that they aren’t receiving your emails in your inbox and it lands in spam, they’ll be more likely to unsubscribe. To fix this, you must fix any email deliverability issues using SMTP to authenticate your domain. ‘
A simple step is to add an SMTP plugin to your WordPress site. This tool will verify that emails using your domain name come from you. And this will prevent spammers and hackers from impersonating you and communicating with your audience.
When your audience finds that your email marketing follows the best security practices, they’ll stay with you longer.
Email remains one of the most effective marketing channels, regardless of industry. However, one of the challenges you have to deal with is ensuring that people don’t leave your email list. It’s normal for some people to go to your newsletter after every campaign, but any more than 0.5% of subscribers quitting means something is wrong.
Start by studying your previous email campaigns and check that your content is relevant and personalized. Also, ensure that your emails are attractive and easy to read. And you also need to bring back lost subscribers by enticing them with more value.
Create good quality content and offer special discounts or rewards to people who join your email list again. I’ve laid out several ways to re-subscribe your subscribers. Give these tactics a go, and keep growing your business and community.
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