The primary reasons for unsubscribing continue to be frequency and relevancy (too much of the former and not enough of the latter).
While the holiday season is often a time of overindulgence, January typically represents a return to practicality and sensibility (or at least an attempt to do so). This is perhaps best represented by those of us who seek to counter the excesses of November and December with new gym memberships, juice fasts and stricter diet regimens.
The renewed focus on discipline and moderation often goes well beyond health and wellness, with applications to other areas of life that have become unbalanced. Case in point: the inbox. What better way to offset the surge in volume that many email subscribers experienced as part of the frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and post-Christmas sale campaigns than unsubscribing? Far easier than shedding those extra holiday pounds, opting-out is the quickest way to trim the digital fat.
According to MarketingSherpa's 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, the combined average annual unsubscribe rate as estimated by B2B and B2C marketers is 3 percent. At this time of year, marketers can experience a significant increase, with opt-out rates doubling or even tripling. This is often directly related to the aggressive tactics implemented during the holiday season and gives the phrase "no pain, no gain" an entirely different meaning. After all, it's subscribers who are feeling the pain.
The primary reasons for unsubscribing continue to be frequency and relevancy (too much of the former and not enough of the latter). More than ever, it's important to take steps to mitigate an increase in unsubscribe requests, as well as effectively manage the opt-out process so that subscribers aren't left feeling frustrated with your brand, as well as your email program. Here are some tips for doing both.
Unsubscribe Prevention Tips:
Just as important as the "do's" are the "don'ts," so plan on avoiding these tactics:
Unsubscribe Process Tips:
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As vice president of professional services at email intelligence company Return Path, Margaret Farmakis oversees teams of specialists helping global brands improve the deliverability, response, revenue, and ROI of their email marketing programs. Prior to her six years at Return Path, Margaret spent 10 years producing and managing multi-channel integrated direct marketing programs for Fortune 100 companies, focusing on the financial services and technology sectors.
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