CTCT Subscriber Activity ReportDo you dread learning that someone has un-subscribed from your email list? Everyone who uses an email marketing platform dreads the email notification of people who un-subscribe, usually following an email distribution. People opt-out for many reasons, usually:

    – They changed positions within a company.
    – They departed their current company for another one.
    – They changed suppliers, and you are no longer it!
    – Your content no longer engages their interest.
    – They forgot who you are.
    – Their inbox is packed.

For many small business owners, the day to day routine makes it difficult to carve out time to create great content and share it on a regular basis. Three articles a year is not going to create a level of engagement, nor should article creation be confused with the white papers and case studies you produce for creating conversion opportunities on your landing pages. Don’t let them forget who you are! A routine schedule of great, relevant content will engage your readers and when done properly will:

    – Inspire your readers to send referrals your way.
    – Create up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
    – Intrigue new prospective customers.

So, what can you do about it?

If you know the contact well, you might want to reach out to him/her and ask why s/he unsubscribed. I view this as an opportunity to (1) reconnect with a prospect or past client, or (2) understand if there is a problem with an existing client and take steps to rectify the problem.

Most email marketing platforms lack an automated way to do this. Ecommerce platforms have the unsubscribe button on a page, and simply redirect the user to another page, often with a form asking them to explain their reasoning. But in an email-based process you have a unique issue: how to link to the new page while maintaining the moral (and legal) obligation to honor their request to opt-out of your list.

Here is one approach

Note: for the purposes of full disclosure, Zen Marketing is a Master Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact. Although we have direct experience with many different marketing platforms, the images used here, and much of the content direction, relates specifically to Constant Contact. It’s a rock solid platform, ideal for the SMB community that we serve, and we love sharing information about it.

When I receive notification of someone who is unsubscribing, I want to try and reconnect with them as soon as possible. How I approach this depends on the manner of our relationship, since I don’t know many of the people who subscribe through our website, blog or other inbound tactics.

If there has been a client relationship, I will often pick up the phone. Discovering the “why” is critical to improving your processes. You may find that your content was too heavily weighted toward one specific subject, or perhaps you haven’t touched on a topic of interest to them… and you should be! Regardless of why, this is an opportunity to learn – be certain to ask the right questions, really listen to the answers, and don’t be defensive.

If I don’t have a relationship with the contact, I will usually send them a personal email. This will be a short acknowledgment of their wish to unsubscribe, a reminder of the great content they will no longer receive, and a nudge that they will no longer receive invitations to local or online events.

I always include an opportunity to re-subscribe. With Constant Contact it’s easy to grab a link to a specific contact list, which will streamline the process for the re-subscriber. Just embed it in the text as a hyperlink. Here is an example:

Come on! Change your mind and click here.

Here is a screenshot of where you can get the link within Constant Contact:
CTCT Signup Tools Screen Shot

Please note that the person’s contact information will remain in your CTCT contacts, but you will no longer be unable to distribute email to him/her. So, take a minute and insure they remain in your master contact list, so you can post print materials and invitations to them in the future.

Never Give Up! Save Your Email List!

Just because someone elects to opt out of your email list doesn’t mean that future business opportunities have to go away. The ideal marketing campaigns are diverse and will utilize a mix of different marketing and advertising tactics. Running a “keep in touch” campaign or orchestrating a referral campaign while leveraging your blog over social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook can drive amazing results. In fact, the inbound marketing process in general is a great way to communicate and share information with past email subscribers. Just determine the networks they frequent and work the inbound marketing process.

Many people will reconsider and rejoin your email list if you share really great content with them over time, and provide an easy way to rejoin.

What the heck is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a modern, digitally-based marketing strategy that is the ideal blend of art, technology and science. It aligns beautifully with human behavior and leverages the informational and functional power of a website through the tactical use of email, blogging and landing pages. In fact, it is widely favored by business and consumer services companies of all sizes, largely because performance results are easily and widely measurable.

If you aren’t familiar with this approach to marketing, we have many terrific articles to help build some understanding; here are a couple:



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