Monday, June 20, 2011

Relevancy still a substantial reason why customers unsubscribe from email

It’s 7:15am. You had just woken up to that annoying buzzer not too long ago to find yourself on your iPhone or laptop checking your morning emails. You allocate maybe ten to fifteen minutes to check your morning 
emails before you get ready to start your day.

In your inbox you maybe find one personal email, a few e-bills and five or so promotional emails. You quickly get through the personal email, brush past the bills (because quite frankly, they’re bills) and finally spend about ten minutes on what your favorite companies may have to offer. You’re able to quickly brush past two of the promotional emails because the subject lines didn’t seem too enticing. You brush past a third because it came from a retailer who you might like but has built a certain “reputation” for itself for offering really bad promotions so you know it’s just not worth opening. This leaves you two emails; the first is an electronics online retailer which you find interest in because the subject line reads, “Save up to 50% on your favorite electronics!” You open this email to find that the email sells three different types of computer components that you don’t need or are way over your budget. On to the last email from a local deals website, you open it to find a good deal but for something you don’t care particularly about. Your morning routine was accomplished that day with the time better spent flossing and off you go to get ready for work.

Ask yourself, how often do you find yourself in that scenario? Maybe a bit too often?  On the other side as a marketer, are you finding low opens and low clicks? Ever ask yourself, “maybe I’m feeding my customers a bunch of offers or content that they don’t care much about?”

Different surveys have varying percentages for what percent of consumers unsubscribe due to content irrelevancy but according to a recent article published by, at least 25% of unsubscribes are 
due to irrelevant content, maybe much more.

If you don’t know, find out!
If you don’t know what your customer wants, now is a perfect time to find out! There are a number of ways you could do this; it may just be as easy as simply sending out an email and asking. Neither you nor your customer wants to waste time looking at things that have no value; that’s what window shopping at the mall is for.

A few simple methods of obtaining customer data:

-Send an email that specifically asks the customer what their preferences are – i.e. prices, categories of interest, products, etc…; you can sell this one by simply telling the customer that by answering a few quick questions, they can view content/prices that they would prefer to see.

-People love stuff, especially if it’s a bargain/free; by extending a good deal or something that is free in exchange for information is always a good way to obtain information.  Other good incentives are being entered in a contest, offering rebates/coupons*.
*Remember this during Black Friday/Cyber Monday

-In the customer’s shopping cart form, add a small survey as part of the purchasing procedure; be sure that if you do this, you make the questions simple and intuitive. 

-Finally, be sure to enhance your subscription form so that every new customer moving forward will supply you the necessary information you are looking for.

In order to dream big, think small.
Small businesses tend to fair better than large companies in email response rates because they tend to appeal to a very specific customer and offer a very specific product. While large companies would LOVE to just have one general product for every customer, the fact is that you can’t make everyone happy with one solution. Large companies have an advantage; due to larger budgets, big businesses are more capable of obtaining key information.

It is essential that as an email marketer, you obtain information about your customer’s wants, likes and limits before you try to sell to that customer. Invest in obtaining data about your customer as to what types of products they would like to see, what product-related news they would like to read, what promotions they would like to be sent and how much they would prefer to pay. The more information you obtain about your customer in addition to the more information you utilize to your advantage, the higher the chances that you will be more capable of creating a marketing program that will have higher rates of responses from your customer-base.

If you have an alternative method of obtaining specific customer data, feel free to share in the comments section of this post.

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