4 Tips To Prevent Unsubscribes and Fight Email List Attrition

Four Tips To Fight Email List Attrition

The struggle is real: You’ve built your email list, you have great content, but how do you get it to your recipients in a way that keeps them interested enough to continue opening your emails and not unsubscribe from your list? We’ve got some suggestions to keep your subscribers coming back for more.

Four Tips to Fight Email List Attrition

1. Welcome

When someone decides to sign up for your email program, it’s a vote of confidence in your product or publication. They’ve shown a willingness to engage with your emails, so reward that confidence with a warm (and instant) welcome message! Consider making this first email a trigger so that they’ll know how pleased you are to have them right away. This will help the user to feel welcomed, and it will help you too: the sooner an email is sent after a user takes a particular site action, the more likely they are to engage with the email.

You can use this message to set the tone (and some expectations) for the messaging series, as well as give your recipients a taste of how your brand looks and sounds. The welcome email serves as your first impression on your new subscriber; make it a good one, and you’ve taken the first step in a long email relationship with your readers.

2. Cadence And Frequency

Are your subscribers night owls or early risers (look at your reporting to see Click-Throughs Over Time to find out when you’re getting the most interaction)? Are they more likely to open before or after work (do some send time testing to see which gets you higher numbers)? Do they like getting a message every day, or are you seeing your unsubscribes steadily climbing?

Every email list’s subscribers behave differently, so knowing the unique characteristics of your audience is crucial to keeping them happy. Get to know your own email audience a bit better by conducting some testing to determine what feels right in terms of when and how often you’re touching your recipients’ inboxes. Their behavior will tell you what they want from your emails, and you can target your messaging accordingly.

3. Set Expectations

How many times have you signed up for something (a newsletter, a fitness inspiration series, a recipe club) and felt abandoned? You thought you’d get an email a day, or at least once a weekly digest. But instead your inbox is as empty as a bucket with a hole in it! Or maybe you’ve experienced the opposite. You thought it might be nice to get the best of the best from your favorite publisher, but now they’re emailing you morning, noon, and night. In both instances, the sender did not set clear expectations.

Be sure to let your recipients know if you plan on mailing them every day, or once in a blue moon. You can provide this information as they sign up, or stick it in the welcome email (you’re sending one of those, right?). Alternately, you can let your readers decide for themselves what kind of email they want to receive by setting up a preference center where they can manage their newsletter subscriptions and email frequency. Making your readers aware of the email they’ll receive will reduce complaints and unsubscribes, as well as create a happier relationship with your customers.

4. Consistency in Design

Your emails should look (and sound) like they come from the same place every time. Make each mailing feel like an extension of your brand. Use your brand colors, fonts (as long as they’re email safe — using webfonts in emails can be tricky!), and logos. Tie your messaging in with the look of your website or print materials, while leaving yourself room to play with the fun stuff you only get in email (like subject line, preheader, and even the friendly from).

Most of all, don’t forget how big mobile is these days! After all, 54% of all email opens will happen on a mobile device. Always be sure your layout, images, font, and CTA will look good on the small screen, too. You can use responsive email design to make your emails adapt to the size of the screen and hide the less important parts of your email (such as menus or extraneous graphics) to account for smallers screens. More than 70% of people will delete an email that doesn’t look good on mobile; surely some of them will take the extra step and unsubscribe. Why not try and keep them around by implementing mobile-optimized email?

While the old adage is true that you’ll never be able to please all of the people all of the time, these simple tips will help you manage your recipients’ experience. And happier subscribers mean better numbers, stronger relationships with your email audience, and a healthier email program overall.

Request your List Growth Strategy session now!

Shelly Alvarez

Director of Client Services, PostUp