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Why you should embrace the unsubscribe button


The best friend of a racing car driver is not the accelerator it's the brake. In the case of email marketing, it's not the number of customers that you have signed up, its the number of customers that actually give a damn that count. The size of your audience really doesn't matter, it's those customers that create the value that you need to focus on.

The doors are there to keep people out, not keep people in.

That is one of my dad's favourite sayings and it applies for your customer base too.

At Websand, we operate a 'death star' unsubscribe policy on behalf of our clients. That means if you unsubscribe, you are out.

In our opinion that should be the deal.

Unsubscribe should be a binary question. Are you in or are you out.

It's a growing trend to asking customers or prospects to select which group they want to unsubscribe from.

I'd love to receive news on pancakes, but please don't send me anything about maple syrup.

I'd suggest that policies ask you to select what you don't want to receive at the point of unsubscribe just add more confusion to the customer.

I understand why this a popular thing to ask, it's hard to let go, however, if you are communicating in a respectful and relevant way, then it should not be an issue.

If you believe it really is important to your business (and it might be really important), then ask the people on the way into your business, rather than on the way out.

If you want out, then PLEASE unsubscribe.

If you are a customer and you unsubscribe, then you are telling me (the marketer) that you aren't interested anymore. It's over.

I'd suggest that is something to be embraced.

It should be a clear button, a call to action.

Some people are pushing for unsubscribe to be included in the header of the email. If you think that will work for you, then give it a try.

We make it a button on our marketing communications and we put it at the footer - because that is where people expect to find the unsubscribe within an email

It's ok if they don't want to receive marketing communications anymore.

As part of the process of unsubscribing, that customer or prospect will have seen at least one of your marketing messages, they will have read it and decided it's not for them.

That is something to be celebrated. It's a GOOD thing.

It means you can focus all of your time and effort into communicating and sending really clever and engaging emails to those customers that WANT to receive information, news and offers about your business.

Respecting people's privacy

Data protection legislation under review in Europe and the US. Data breaches are big news, look at the recent Ashley Madison incident.

So it's more important than ever to focus on sending engaging marketing messages to people that want to receive information from you.

Privacy is now regarded as a basic human right. So it's your duty as a marketer to respect it.

If people aren't engaged after a specific period of time, then perhaps you aren't for them and it's time to move on.

It's not you, it's me!

It's human nature to try and win the hearts and minds of those people that aren't interested.

"I can make them change!", "I can convince them".

If they have bought from you in the past, and within a specific time frame you have a decent chance of winning them back - see our posts on increasing customer retention for more on that.

However, if they have never bought from you and are apathetic to your marketing messages (never open anything), then perhaps it's time to accept that they just aren't into your product or service.

Better results

Websand makes it easy to identify those customers that ARE engaged and those that ARE NOT.

So you can focus on those people that ARE engaged and add value to your business. The likelihood that this will be about 50% of the current size of your dbase.

If you apply that focus, then the outcomes can be significant.

For a start, you have a clear understanding of how many active customers you really have. It's quality not quantity that counts.

You are sending messages to a more engaged audience - and to a smaller audience, so naturally your response rates increase, and that will be very well received indeed.

You can be more focused in your marketing - you have clarity on who your customers really are, what they buy and how they react.

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