According to ExactTarget, 91 percent of email users who subscribe to a company’s mailing list later decide they no longer wanted to be on that list. Every day, people subscribe to email lists and every day, those same people unsubscribe. If you’re watching your stats and noticing your retention rate is low, here are a few suggestions to make sure your e-mails get to potential customers.
Offer Interesting Content
The most important thing you can do to make sure your emails are read is make them worth reading. Provide fresh, well-written content and include tips your customers can use. If you’re in the food business, provide recipes and meal tips. If you are a retail establishment, provide helpful tips for consumers looking to buy certain products. In other words, work your sales pitch in subtly.
Most importantly, be sure your content is fresh. If customers feel you’re sending the same information over and over again, they’ll come to the conclusion that you have nothing new to say.
Everyone Wants a Deal
The best way to ensure your emails are opened and read is to include coupons and discounts offered only to email subscribers. Change the offers frequently to keep customers guessing. Try a “Deal of the Day” or a “Special of the Week.” Mimi’s Cafe sends coupons to customers at least once a week, often as “Buy one, get one free” offers. Customers who might not normally visit the restaurant regularly might become regular patrons because of these coupons.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
One sure way to lose subscribers is to bombard them with emails. Even semi-weekly emails can seem annoying if you have nothing new to say. Try to save your emails and send them when you have something interesting to say.
Give a Digest Option
If you prefer more frequent emails, allowing subscribers to opt for “digest” might help your retention rates. Digest allows subscribers to get all their e-mails from one company in one email.
Everyone likes to get something for free. Periodically have contests to keep your customers reading. Link your website in the email and have readers enter with just a click. Let them know the winner will be announced in a future mailing, which will have them looking forward to the next email from you.
Ask Your Customers
Surveys and polls are a great way to find out what customers think. Be sure your unsubscribe page asks why they are unsubscribing and take the answers seriously. Most people won’t stop to take time to fill out a survey, so take the ones who do seriously.
Everyone gets direct marketing emails. Go through your inbox (and maybe even your bulk mail folders) and study the emails you’re receiving. Which ones would you open and why? What subject lines jump out at you? What makes you keep opening the ones you do like?
With customers becoming busier and email inboxes filling up, it’s hard to get through to today’s consumer. But email is still the best electronic marketing medium and, by following these few simple tips, you can use it to its fullest potential.