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Losing subscribers? How to make them stick around

When your database is losing subscribers, it means that your growth rate slows and your brand could be losing valuable potential business. In order to keep the number of people unsubscribing from your list fewer than the number of subscribers gained, it is important to see how you can improve your subscribers' experience with your email marketing campaigns. Here are a few ideas on how to make sure you retain your subscribers.
1) Set expectations

It's important to clearly explain to your would-be subscribers what they can expect when they join your list. Will you be sending them newsletters, promotional mails, special offers or all of the above? At this point you can also mention the frequency at which you will be contacting you new subscribers or even better -offer them an option to control the frequency at which to receive your mailers. When subscribers feel in control of the material that they are receiving they are far more likely to respond in a positive way and to take heed of the messages that your brand is communicating.

2) Monitor subscriber behaviour

Once you set up a relationship with your subscribers it is important to keep in step with their movements, needs and reactions. 'Ignoring' your subscribers by simply blasting them with marketing rather than engaging them in two-way communication is a sure-fire way to lose subscribers and alienate your customers. Make sure to set up analytics to help you measure your database's reaction to your mailers -this means keeping track of your open rates and click through rates. Another excellent way to gauge customer engagement is by asking them for feedback via surveys. Once you are certain about your customer's wants and have a clearer idea of which tactics have better success rates, you can go ahead and factor these elements into your upcoming campaigns.

3) Create brand loyalty

When a consumer subscribes to a brand's email newsletter or marketing messages, they are essentially allowing themselves to be identified as loyal followers of that brand. But that loyalty is not necessarily set in stone -it is something that has to be created and maintained through your communication with your subscribers. Association plays a key role here: your aim should be to always associate your brand with positive messages that are centred on providing the best services and products to our consumers.

4) Maintain familiarity

Although your brand should of course try to improve your services and 'look' when it is identified as something that may be problematic - it is also to remember that consumers respond to brand consistency, especially when it comes to email marketing. By making dramatic or erratic changes to the look, feel and tone of your emails, you actively run the risk of alienating your subscribers which could lead to them unsubscribing.

With the new rules of online and email marketing now firmly in place - unsubscribes are a reality that all brands with a mailing list will have to face. But, by listening to and engaging with your subscribers you will be able to promote brand loyalty that will keep your fans by your side for years to come.

7 Aug 2012 09:35

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