7 Simple Steps to Slow Your Email List Churn Rate
Successful Email Marketing depends on many things, with the most important: having a list with the right audience. A member list with the right audience takes time to acquire, time that most businesses do not want to use, but find it’s a necessary evil. And just like a business that needs a constant flow of customers to keep growing, the same is true of email lists.
Growing your email list is an endless exercise. List members will naturally fall away over time. List attrition (list churn) happens for various reasons which may include but not limited to, an employment change with a new email address, your newsletter content is longer relevant or interesting to your subscriber or you’re sending too many emails. Consequently, you may feel you have no control over list churn, but you can control the rate of churn by being proactive and slow it down.
How can you be proactive? Focus on maintaining a growth rate higher than your churn rate
Examine your churn rate to find out why people are leaving. There are numerous ways to do this, for example, sending an exit email requesting a comment or offering an exit survey. When you analyze the reason for churn you may be able to predict who is at risk and take actions to prevent it.
Actively control your churn rate by:
Offering an easy list sign up form on your website and social media pages.
Use a double opted-in sign up method which requires the potential subscriber to acknowledge their subscription. The double opted-in creates a list of subscribers who are more engaged with your list because they are required to confirm their membership by taking that extra step.
Follow the confirmation with a Welcome Letter to explain the subject of your future emails. This will set the level of their expectation regarding the subject of your mailings.
Creating profile pages (or a preference center) to give list members control over their subscription.
With profile pages list members can update their email address to how often they want to receive emails.
Offering a change in email frequency is always a much better option than an unsubscribe.
Placing your subscribers into different categories of interest with segments.
For example, a pet store owner has an active list of customers. He discovers his newsletters are always opened by cat owners, but dog owners will only open his email when he’s promoting items for dogs. Dog owners never read or interact with emails when he’s promoting cat items. He created two segments, “cats” and “all”. With those segments he only sends cat offers to the cat list, which is relevant only to those customers. He sends dog offers to the entire lists. which notably are of interest to both cat and dog owners.
Segments are easy to do, in fact one list company mailinglistservices.com offers a segment wizard with unlimited segment creation.
Writing engaging content.
Send useful, valuable information. Be helpful, share a tip, a white paper or coupon: Your goal is to keep the email relevant to the subscriber’s interest. Personalization is important. Address your subscriber by their name, write an honest subject line, include a call-to-action, tell a story, be conversational. Do not be too wordy or add too many images.
Keep your list up to date.
Remove unsubscribes or (hard) bounced emails that are caused by an invalid email address or non-existent domain. Hard bounces are permanent and will continue to be a deliverability issue if not removed from your list. Place your inactive subscribers in their own segment for a reengagement campaign. Do sanity checks, for common errors such as an entry like @yahoo.net instead of @yahoo.com and correct the error accordingly.
Encouraging your readers to share your newsletter with their friends.
When your content is interesting to your subscriber, they will be more than happy to pass it along. Add social media sharing buttons on the bottom of your emails.
Keeping you audience engaged with your email.
This is accomplished with relevant content, and segmentation, and on occasion poll your audience for feedback.
In the end, to be proactive may mean losing more subscribers than you would have liked. When you remove those hard bounces and inactive subscribers, you may not be happy with the number that is left. The good news, the subscribers who are left are the center of your email marketing program. They want your newsletter and will pass on your information to others who in turn may become subscribers. These people are engaged and should not be leaving your list soon.
List Churn is natural, it happens to everyone. To keep it at bay follow these 7 simple steps for better email marketing results.
Dundee Internet Services, Inc.