Year Round Spring Cleaning
The truth of the matter is that, however it is done, you need to clean up bad emails to keep your list clean of inaccurate addresses, inactive accounts, and other unproductive contacts. Emails such as these can harm your efforts by increasing your bounceback rates, lowering your open rates, and posing the threat of spam complaints. If your metrics in this regard are bad enough, it can hurt your reputation with email service providers and can even result in getting you blacklisted.
By choosing to unsubscribe, contacts that might otherwise cause some of the problems listed above are no longer in a position to do so. At the same time, you should be proactive when it comes to removing inactives from your list. Make sure to track engagement levels and send out re-activation emails to inactives on your list periodically. Those who don’t respond can be removed from your list.
Unsubscribes Provide Valuable Feedback
By voting with their feet, so to speak, unsubscribes provide you with the ability to gauge how your email marketing strategy is working. Are you sending too many emails? Are your emails too “hard sell?” Have you enabled email address validation? If you experience a high level of unsubscribes after a campaign it may be a sign that you need to go back to the drawing board and recalibrate your approach.
Use Unsubscribe Data to Improve Your Campaigns
After digging down into the data, you can use the information provided by unsubscribes to revamp your email marketing approach. Typically, unsubscribes come from excessive email frequency, data that is not relevant or personalized enough, and from prospects that aren’t interested in your products or whose address wasn’t checked by an email verification tool. Use an unsubscribe questionnaire to gather this data and find exactly which factors were responsible for a contact unsubscribing. You can also offer contacts a chance to change their email preferences by allowing them to receive less frequent or more targeted emails if they prefer.
If you track the purchasing habits of your unsubscribes, you will typically find that these are not your most active buyers, so losing them generally shouldn’t impede and may even improve your email marketing efforts by allowing you to focus on those consumers who are most likely to respond positively to your campaigns.