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How to keep your email list from shrinking

You may be losing people who unsubscribe from your email list who don’t really want to.

They may like your messages, but you’re sending the wrong stuff or mailing too often.

imageHow to fix it: Add choices to your unsubscribe page.

Ask unsubscribers if they want to get off the list completely, fewer emails, or different content. See this great example from Nordstrom (click for a close-up).

Important: Always make sure that they can still unsubscribe simply and clearly, with no tricks or obstacles. Nothing will burn a customer faster than making it hard to get off a list.

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  1. DJ Waldow December 5, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Andy –

    Great call! In the email marketing vernacular, we call this “opting down.” It can be an incredibly effective technique for – as you say – keeping “your email list from shrinking.” That being said, if your email marketing campaigns are not timely, targeted, relevant and permission-based, the reader is likely to just delete or mark the message as spam. Why? It’s just easier.

    Just ask my wife!

    Thanks for talking about email marketing on your blog. Love it. Look forward to chatting face to face again in the near future.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  2. Tom McKay December 5, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    Great idea, Andy. How do we add those choices to our “unsubscribe” page? (I use AWeber, fwiw.)

  3. Collette Schultz December 6, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    So curious what you use for maintaining your email list? Aweber, Bench Mark or Constant Contact etc.,

  4. DJ Waldow December 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    @Tom: Many ESPs (Email Service Providers) have a build-in feature for opt-down. Even if your ESP doesn’t have this specific feature, there are ways to make it happen. I can’t speak specifically for Aweber, but you may want to check with Justin Premick (@justinpremick or @aweber if you are on Twitter). Tell Justin I said hello! He’s a good friend and colleague in the industry. Smart dude, too.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  5. Andy Sernovitz December 7, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    We use Exact Target currently. We were using Vertical Response and SubscriberMail. All great systems.

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