I’m always shocked by the non-profits that I work with who think that a supporter unsubscribing from their email list means that they want to leave. Often times it means that the supporter just doesn’t like the content that you are sending them. I was reminded of this when reading the article Retailers Magnify Opt-In, Opt-Out E-mail Sub Processes this morning.
Bonnie Malone, director of strategic services at Return Path, said consumers who “unsubscribe” don’t necessarily want to end the relationship with the company. “Marketers shouldn’t view the process as negative, but rather an opportunity to learn what subscribers want and how they perceive services,” she said.
How do you know why supporters are leaving? Ask them on the way out – on the unsuscribe page let them:
- Change their email address
- Change the content they are subscribed to
- Sign up for RSS feeds, podcast streams, etc.
- Ask them why they are leaving.
If you’re investing dollars into bringing supporters onto your email list, you should also invest the energy into retaining their interest. This means sending them personalized content that they are interested in, and asking them how you can improve the relationship before they head out the door. Can you imagine not stopping a good friend to ask them what is wrong as their are storming out of your party? Same applies to an email relationship – communicating with your supporters and asking them “what’s wrong” before they leave can save the relationship, and save your organization money in recruiting costs.