I firmly believe that virtually every website should publish a newsletter (eZine). There is still no better way to increase sales and keep visitors coming back for more. We often focus on getting more subscribers to our newsletters and eZines, which is certainly important. Just as critical, however, is hanging onto those subscribers.
How to Reduce Newsletter Unsubscribe Rates
1. Write for your Subscribers, not Yourself
Include helpful information, as opposed to glorified marketing copy. It’s OK to sell, as long as you offer a publication that is of some benefit to the subscriber. Rather than forcing yourself on them, allow them to discover your products and services as something of value.
2. Be Mobile-Friendly
With well over 26,000,000 mobile subscribers in Canada at the end of March, 2012, there’s a very good chance your newsletter will be viewed on a mobile device. Recent data from BlueHornet’s Consumer Views of Email Marketing 2013 report indicates that 30.2% of subscribers will unsubscribe if they open a newsletter that doesn’t display properly on their mobile device. Most popular eMail marketing software has mobile-friendly templates, including Constant Contact or Aweber. If you can’t be mobile friendly, at least offer a text subscription option so you’re not forcing HTML onto mobile subscribers.
3. Display Option
In each eZine, include a link to an online copy of your newsletter for readers to click if the email isn’t displaying properly.
Opt for an attractive, functional design that’s easy to read. Use clear, dark fonts on a light background so it doesn’t strain the reader’s eyes. Short paragraphs, selective bolding or coloured headers, bullet points, white space, and background colour blocking will retain the reader’s attention and ensure they read the entire newsletter. Use a reputable do-it-yourself newsletter publisher or a professional service to design and publish the newsletter for you.
Don’t harass subscribers with too many emails. Too many marketing emails are the equivalent of an annoying sales clerk that won’t leave you alone in a store.
6. Discounts and Coupons
Virtually every statistical report ranks discounts and coupons as a primary reason people subscribe to newsletters.
7. Contests and Freebies
Contests and freebies never decline in popularity. Subscribers don’t want to miss winner announcements or the next freebie, so they stay on your mailing list. It’s easier to be creative with this idea on business-to-consumer lists, but it also works for business subscribers if you offer your own products and services, business books, reports and whitepapers.
8. Remind Subscribers that you’re Canadian
Patriotic loyalty will only get you so far, but with limited Canadian options it may encourage subscribers to keep you close at hand.
9. Offer Multiple Subscription Options
If it’s feasible for your company, offer daily, weekly or monthly updates. You can also have more than one newsletter, each focusing on a different topic. Include an “update subscription options” link in each newsletter.
10. Monitor your Statistics
It can be tough to anticipate how subscribers will react to your newsletter content. If you make changes one at a time, your unsubscribe statistics can bring the message through loud and clear.
Do you publish a Canadian newsletter? Please tell us about it in the comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.