How can B2B email campaigns keep their database plump and receptive and reduce unsubscribes? Here are 10 ways:
1. Make it clear what the user is opting into
There’s a balance between maximising ease of email sign-up and the user options for subscription.
Giving the user tick boxes to choose from e.g. newsletters or monthly updates, could potentially decrease conversion of your signup field, even if it stands to increase subsequent engagement of subscribers.
What is paramount is that users know they are indeed signing up to receive B2B email campaigns, and understand what these emails will include.
Testing email frequency is important, and indeed it will be one of the main factors influencing unsubscribe rate.
However, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to frequency - implications of engagement levels can be difficult to tease out.
For example, users sporadically interact with some B2B services and companies but that doesn’t mean these companies won't benefit from a branding perspective by emailing every week. Customers, too, may be happy to keep these companies front-of-mind, in preparation for a big annual purchase, or simply on the off chance that an enticing promotion is offered.
In one of Parry Malm’s fantastic email articles for Econsultancy, he discloses positive results for the so-called re-send method, used by MusicRadar.
Re-sending a newsletter daily for seven days to non-openers was shown to be advantageous, giving a 255% uplift against control, with greater than 99.9% confidence.
Re-sends in this experiment were also more successful than re-activations (using different creative to encourage a recipient to re-engage) in this experiment.;
2. Get feedback from unsubscribes
A rather obvious one, this, but there are different ways in which you can do it. It’s common practice to offer users a list of reasons for unsubscribe and necessitate that one is chosen in order to complete.
3. Allow for a change of heart
Immediately after a subscriber hits unsubscribe, they’re allowed to recant.
I’d love to see data showing how often the 'no' option is chosen. My hunch is not very often, but it’s an interesting tactic, making sure that no recipients unsubscribe in error.
4. Take a break or promise to take it easy
Unsubscribes may not want a complete cessation of messaging. If they’re unsure whether a regular email is of use to them, they make take the opportunity to enjoy a break for a week or two.
Also offer the option of changing email frequency, which is best practice for email preferences.
Tying email timing and content to the customer lifecycle / sales cycle allows brands to deliver more relevant messaging that can help to increase engagement and reduce unsubscribes. This can include:
- A programme of welcome emails
- Notification of products back in stock
- New stores opening near you
- Incentivising product reviews
- Basket abandonment emails
- 'Recently browsed' emails
- Loyalty rewards
6. Recognise unsubscribe trends and re-engage
Set criteria for what an inactive subscriber is and move these recipients to a re-engagement segment.
The soon-to-unsubscribe might be characterised by a drop-off in opens and clicks at certain points in the customer lifecycle.
Looking at hurdle rates can help e.g. 30% of purchasers have clicked or opened within the last six months.
For example, if an estate agent wanted to send out some content/research about UK house prices, it would get more engagement if it tailored and targeted this content to specific regions in the UK.
A B2B company may want to segment an audience into purchasers, decision makers, CEOs etc. knowing that each audience desires different information.
Ultimately, a marketing department should be able to use knowledge of its products, content and audience to ramp up customer interest.
8. Test subject lines
Optimising open rates by testing subject lines doesn't mean unsubscribes will dwindle. Just because more recipients are opening your messages, doesn't mean they're any more relevant.
However, it's clear that the more intriguing subject lines are, the more an impression of value is conveyed. This may be enough to placate some users.
People May be attracted to 'sale', 'save', '% off' and 'free delivery' in subject lines but test for your personas.
9. Establish communication elsewhere
Lastly, it's important to note that relevance doesn't have to be created solely within the email channel itself.
Communicating with a customer offline or through other online channels can add context to email communications.
Partly, this is rationale for automation, but it's also a reminder that a phone call or direct mail can be your most powerful engagement tactic.
For more on how email marketing has changed follow the link below>>>