Why Do People Unsubscribe?
Whether you do email marketing,
publish an RSS feed, or both, you will inevitably
have customers that choose to unsubscribe from
your communications. However, you may be able
to limit the number of customers who do so. According
to a recent report by ExactTarget, there are a
variety of reasons why a person may unsubscribe.
By understanding why customers unsubscribe from
various communications, marketers can learn which
marketing mistakes to avoid and keep their subscribers.
They Receive Emails Too Often
The number one reason subscribers unsubscribe
to opt-in email lists is the frequency with which
they receive email; customers on an email list
that is contacted too often will typically feel
"spammed" and grow annoyed, and the list will
therefore garner a higher unsubscriber rate than
one that is contacted less often. The dilemma
responsible for this sort of unsubscription is
that marketers need to convey their message, but
their audiences will undoubtedly shrink if they
abuse their email lists. As is true with many
aspects of marketing, creating a balance in communications
with one's subscribers is vital.
They Become Bored
The second most common reason behind unsubscriptions
is that subscribers no longer find the content
to which they are subscribed compelling. In these
cases, subscribers have come to find the content
repetitive and boring. This problem can best be
prevented by getting to know one's subscribers.
The better a marketer knows their audience, the
easier it will be for them to retain their audience's
interest by catering the content they produce
to their subscribers' needs and desires.
They Are Confused about the Subscriptions
They Have Made Subscribers often report unsubscribing
because the content they were receiving was not
what they expected. The only way to minimize the
risk of this sort of unsubscription is to make
sure that it is clear to visitors what content
they will receive should they subscribe. In addition
to this potential confusion, many consumers also
report unsubscribing because they thought that
they were accepting a one-time offer. Make sure
the subscription process is clear to potential
subscribers so that they understand what subscribing
means and what they will receive.
Their Circumstances Have Changed
Of course, there will always be subscribers whose
circumstances or situations have changed so that
the content to which they are subscribed is no
longer pertinent or related to what they are doing.
There is very little marketers can do to prevent
They Forget About Their Subscriptions
A large portion of subscribers forget that they
have subscribed to a publication, newsletter,
or other form of communication, and may unsubscribe
from this content upon realizing that they are
subscribed to it. This cause of unsubscriptions
is once again dependent entirely on the customer;
there is little a marketer can do in the case
of subscribers who merely have faulty memories.
They Are Offended by the Content
They Have Received Occasionally, people make political
or religious references in communications with
their subscribers that may offend some of them.
When this occurs, those offended often unsubscribe
for personal reasons. Unless they are posted on
a personal blog or topical outlet, one should
refrain from discussing politics, religion, or
other controversial issues.
The Content They Receive Is Not
Some subscribers will unsubscribe if they find
that the content they receive is not topical.
If the newsletter covers a wide range of topics
or irrelevant and outdated topics, subscribers
may lose interest. Marketers can be sure to present
relevant, topical content when possible to avoid
unsubscriptions of this sort.
The drain of push marketing has
affected how receptive an audience may be. As
a result, subscribers are taking back their control
by unsubscribing. Respecting the wishes of your
subscribers is therefore critical to maintaining
a healthy brand with happy, loyal customers.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.