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10 Reasons Customers Unsubscribe From Email Campaigns

This is a guest post by Savannah Marie, a writer and online marketing enthusiast. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which focuses on online marketing, social media, and business. 

Your email inbox is still considered hallowed ground; it’s a place where you must be invited, which can pose a challenge for marketers that social media may not. Subscribing to an email campaign is a show of trust from customers. Once you’ve been invited into the inbox, there’s a good chance you’ll remain there for a while.

With that said, the unsubscribe button is just a click away. By recognizing a few of the most common missteps made in email campaigns, you can help to ensure that your customers are customers for life.


1. You Send Too Many Emails

There’s a good chance that if you’re contacting your customers multiple times per day, you’re not going to see many of them stick around for very long. Keeping our inboxes under control can feel like a full time job as it is, so flooding your customers’ inboxes with emails isn’t going to do you any favors.


2. You Don’t Send Enough Emails

 Of course, there’s another side to every coin. If you write to your customers so seldom that they’ve forgotten they ever subscribed to your newsletter, the unsubscribe button is going to start looking pretty enticing.


3. Your Emails Aren’t Compatible

 The most frequently performed activity on smartphones is checking email. In fact, it edges out general web browsing by about 5%. This fact makes it particularly irksome for smartphone users when email campaigns aren’t optimized for mobile devices.


4. Signing up Is a Pain

 Sometimes, an email campaign can fizzle out before it even begins. Say your email campaign is to promote vacationing in Ocean City. You’ve worked hard to make sure the campaign is chalk full of discounts, incentives and interesting insider information. There’s just one catch, it’s a pain to sign up for. Boring or unusable sign-up forms can be a huge barrier to people who may otherwise have been interested in what you’re selling. It’s important to get creative with the sign-up process. There’s already enough paperwork in our lives without email sign-up forms that look as though they may have been designed by the same visionaries at the IRS who came up with the tax return paperwork.


5. Your Images Are Broken

 Email campaigns have become ever more elaborate over the years. It used to be that customers would have a choice at signup as to whether they’d like plain text or HTML content. That option, for the most part, seems to have been reduced to a tiny line of text at the bottom of marketing emails. Customers now expect media-rich emails when they open their inbox. If your images fail to load however, you’re not going to impress anyone.


6. You’re Pushy

 There’s no real way to disguise the fact that email campaigns are designed to do one thing: sell something. Even so, you don’t have to be so transparent about it all the time. You’ll need to romance your readers a little bit from time to time. Don’t try to part them from their cash with every email. Intersperse your more glaringly promotional emails with more enjoyable and informative content.


7. Your Campaign is Boring

 It doesn’t take very long for the average consumer to decide if an email is worth their time or not. That means you have a very small window in which to make your pitch. If your content is dry and boring or it doesn’t differentiate from the other 900 marketing emails they’re going to receive that week, they’re going to unsubscribe. You need to give your audience the impression that you’re interested in something other than their wallets.


8. You’ve Pulled a Bait-and-Switch

 Part of this problem might come down to your confusing sign-up page. Nevertheless, some of it might actually be attributable to deceit. Customers are understandingly hesitant to give out their email addresses. Don’t squander the trust they have by assuring them that they’ll hear from you once or twice and then spam their inbox every day.


9. You’re a Stranger

 While email is only slightly less impersonal than your average text message, readers still want to come away with the impression that a real human being is reaching out to them. Think of your marketing emails as a sort of friendly letter. Bring them up to speed about things happening within the company and then emphasize the things that you are excited to share with them.


10. You’re Dishonest

 There’s no more effective way to alienate your audience than to mislead them. Chances are, that most of us have clicked on a link in an email boasting of outrageous discounts or subscriber exclusives. Yet, only to find that the claims were exaggerated. Respect your readers enough to avoid misleading them and you could very well have made a customer for life.

 Take these tips into consideration next time you send an email. They might even help you gain more subscribers. 

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