How to reduce unsubscribes and Spam complaints during your next launch
Experience is our best teacher.
It used to drive me crazy when my clients would get upset over losing 3 to 10 subscribers, per email, during a new launch.
From my (detached) perspective, I looked at it as a good thing. That’s one less person that you’re paying to talk to. That’s one less person and one less unresponsive subscriber.
I didn’t realize how much it stings. Even though we’re taught not to take it personally. It’s easy to see that unsubscribe notification as a big old neon sign saying, “I don’t like you.” (Que the knife to the gut and twist.)
I thought, ‘I’m supposed to be growing my list - not losing subscribers.’
#1: Give them the option to ‘update your preferences.’
Let your subscribers decide when they want to receive emails from you. They can either pick an option based on the frequency (weekly or twice a week). You can also choose from the various lists you offer.
Pro tip: Not all email service providers offer this option. I believe Aweber and Mailchimp still do.
#2: Let them say NO
Create a separate email list or separate tag that allows your subscribers to raise their hands and say I don’t want to learn more about your promotion/product/program.
I’ve been able to achieve this for clients in various email tools including, Aweber, Get Response, ConvertKit (aff link), Infusionsoft, Active Campaign and Mailchimp.
#3: Add an unsubscribe list at or near the top of your newsletters and broadcasts
Adding an unsubscribe link above your header image or before your intro paragraph may scare you.
After all, "won't that encourage them to subscribe?"
No. It does; however, make it easier for your subscribers to leave your list. Some people opt for the spam button rather than scrolling down to the bottom of the page to subscribe, not knowing that spam complaints can hurt your business and your ability to reach your ideal clients’ inbox.
Adding an unsubscribe link at the top of your emails helps deter this behavior by giving people who aren't your ideal client an easy out. Though it might seem like you're losing a subscriber or your list is shrinking, I want to encourage you to reframe your thinking. Rather than losing out, I want you to look on the brighter side to see that you're actually gaining a more responsive list of potential buyers (who want to hear from you).
#4: Don't automatically roll them over to your main list
Let’s say you offer a special opt-in during your pre-launch period, like a challenge or a giveaway. After this list building activity is over, take a moment to nurture these new subscribers. Then, ask them to join your main newsletter list (make sure you give them an ethical bribe or a new lead magnet) and provide an explicit opt-in offer to get their permission to enter your inbox weekly.
Be clear and tell people exactly what they’ll receive. If you’re planning on sending out a weekly newsletter and promotional emails, just say that (I’m all for authentic and simple marketing).