Unpopular Opinion: Unsubscribes Can Be OK



Although it’s much more encouraging to see your email lists growing, it’s time to begin acknowledging email unsubscribes as a positive occurrence. This new marketing mentality, "less is more", is trending across all industries as companies are easing up on mass email campaigns to segment their audience using data. This is smart marketing.

Consumers rely on brands to deliver content that is relevant to their interests. Using web tracking, data integrations, and automation, there is no excuse for not knowing your subscribers.

Every email is a data-mining opportunity when you look at your audience’s behavior and interactions. By recording what they open, click, or ignore, you can better understand your audience’s interests through their actions. Subsequently, you use this quantifiable information for improving your email targeting.

So what does email unsubscribes have to do with email targeting? These folks are actually doing you a favor by trimming your list of the subscribers who weren’t the right fit. It’s always more worthwhile to spend your time nurturing your loyal audience than to waste effort on those who were never going to convert in the first place. Furthermore, those that unsubscribe save you from the potential damage to your sender reputation in the long run.

To end the relationship on a positive note, make sure those trying to leave have a relatively easy departure by making your unsubscribe button highly visible. People want to be in control of how often they hear from you, so offer a chance to "opt-down" instead of opt-out. By adding this option, you might save a few subscribers who would have opted out completely.

Finally, whether they are downsizing your correspondence or leaving your list completely, offer your social media channels as an alternative to staying in touch. Most users are unsubscribing to de-clutter their inbox, not to avoid your brand, so your social media networks might be a welcome solution for both parties.

Next time you see your list shrinking, think of it as an opportunity to better learn about your current subscribers. Additionally, ease the process for unsubscribers and they will potentially come back to you when the time is right.