No matter how good your content is, your email campaign will always have unsubscriptions.
However, if you find that the unsubscribe rate for your mailing list is abnormally high, it’s time to act, because something is not working in your strategy.
Why is the churn rate an important metric?
The unsubscribing rate, also known as the churn rate, refers to the percentage of subscribers (customers / recipients) that decide to unsubscribe from your list after receiving a marketing email. If your mailing list contains 1,000 recipients and 10 of them click on the unsubscribe link, your churn rate is 1%.
The unsubscribe rate should always be calculated for each email marketing campaign after sending the email.
The unsubscribe rate is an important indicator in email marketing. Having a very high unsubscribe rate means something is wrong, and you should diagnose your email campaigning method accordingly.
Seeking to reduce this rate is one of the primary objectives of any emailing campaign. There are several techniques to reduce this rate and increase the retention of its subscribers. The most effective techniques are based on getting a better understanding of your customers’ wants and needs.
Here are 8 effective tips to retain your subscribers.
Reduce your churn rate in 8 easy steps
1. Create better segments in your list
The bigger your subscriber list grows, the more diversity in profiles you’ll find.
The performance of your marketing campaign is largely based on the quality and accuracy of your targeting. This is why it is important to ensure that you are segmenting your email list well. Doing so enables you to send relevant information and personalized content adapted to your mailing list.
To be successful, you need to send content and offers that are most likely to be inline with the interests of your recipients. This requires understanding the people who are in your mailing list.
Use all the information (socio-demographic and behavioral data, centers of interest, etc.) you have on your subscribers to build your segments and create email campaigns that your recipients will appreciate.
The more specific your segments, the more likely your messages will be well-received by your recipients.
2. Send emails regularly
The worst thing you could do is let your subscribers forget you exist! It’s crucial to contact your subscribers regularly, without leaving too much time between your emails.
Don’t let your subscribers be surprised by your message. Sending messages regularly ensures that your emails won’t be considered spam by your subscribers because they forgot they subscribed to your email list.
3. Adjust the frequency of your emails
If your subscribers feel they are receiving too many emails from you, they will eventually unsubscribe.
Leaving a certain amount of freedom of choice to your subscribers is essential to any emailing marketing strategy.
What is the right frequency for them? Once a month? Once a week? If your email software allows it, allow your subscribers to choose the frequency at which they wish to receive the newsletter.
Include this option in the subscribe settings, accessible from any of your messages, as well as on the unsubscribe request page, to retain potential unsubscribers who may just prefer to opt for a less frequent schedule.
4. Try out different frequency of emails
Not all contacts will let you know their ideal reception frequency. Some software won’t allow you to change this setting either. In either case, it’s important to test several of them to see which one best suits your subscribers.
Be proactive; test your sending frequency on several samples of recipients who have been silent for a certain period to determine which frequency will best positively impact the unsubscribe rate for the month.
5. Offer exclusive content
The best way to keep your subscribers is to deliver them newsletters with high added-value.
Make your subscribers feel unique.
Whether it’s content, discounts or special offers, give them something exclusive that they won’t find elsewhere. Make it known that unsubscribing from your emails would mean never receiving exclusive discounts again.
6. Make sure your emails look good
If the content of the message is essential in your email marketing strategy, structure and appearance are also very important.
Nothing is more annoying than receiving an email that you can’t read properly.
The visual rendering of your messages plays a much more important role than you might imagine on the success of your campaigns.
Here is the ultimate list of things to check before sending your emails:
- Take the time to check how your email looks on every screen size. Use a responsive template to make your email readable on mobile.
- Check that there are no errors in your HTML code (use a template offered by your emailing software if you do not know how to design emails in HTML).
- Have your email proofread by a third party to correct any spelling mistakes that you may have missed to improve your message.
- Optimize your images (dimensions and size) so that they display quickly and think of the alt text in case their email client blocks their display.
- Check that all of your links are redirecting your recipients to the correct page and not to an error page.
7. Ask your unsubscribers why they are leaving
Why do your subscribers unsubscribe? If you can understand that, then you can prevent them from ever wanting to do it in the first place.
Asking your subscriber directly is one of the most effective ways to get to know your list.
When it comes to unsubscriptions, include a questionnaire in the unsubscribe form.
The answers to the questionnaire will help you identify sources of dissatisfaction that lead people to unsubscribe. Use them to improve your campaigns and increase your subscriber retention rate.
The bottom line is, we all have a lot to learn from our customers and subscribers. Listening to them is the best way to enable yourself to offer them what they need and want, ensuring that your customers remain satisfied.
8. The one thing not to do
Do not try to hide the unsubscribe links in your emails. This could easily annoy your recipients and transform what would have been an unsubscription and a filled-out questionnaire into a spam report. Not only did you lose a set of eyes reading your emails, but you lost insight into why.
What is a good churn rate?
You now know what to do to reduce your churn rate. But what is actually a good rate? What kind of results can you expect from these changes?
The average email churn rate is around 0.13% according to the 2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study led by IBM.
A good churn rate is anything lower than 0.02%. That’s what you should target.
The worst rates were around 0.44% and above. If your churn rate is above 0.44%, you need to begin re-working your emailing strategy. Hopefully you don’t need to do that, but if you do, our tips should provide you with the strategies necessary to achieve a stellar churn rate.
Working on retaining subscribers is one of the most profitable things you can do in email marketing.
So what is your churn rate? Did any of our tips help improve it? Let us know your results!