It’s a new year and closets, kitchen drawers and inboxes everywhere should beware. Why? Because now’s when I most feel the URGE TO PURGE.
And I’m not the only one.
While waiting for our flight back to New York over the holidays, my husband started scrolling through his emails. He was scrolling, clicking, grinning, and scrolling, clicking, grinning some more. Turns out, he was unsubscribing.
The email marketer in me wanted to scream ‘Noooooooo! Don’t do it! Don’t you want to stay on top of all the latest news, offers and more?’ But the subscriber in me understood the rush my husband surely felt every time he clicked that tiny ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of another unread email, knowing he would never see another email from that sender again.
Don’t want any of your subscribers to opt out? Consider uncluttering guru Marie Kondo’s advice to her clients: “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.”
Now read that again and ask yourself, “If my customers opened my most recent emails, would they feel joy?” Or would they not be able to hit ‘Delete’ or heaven forbid, ‘Unsubscribe’ fast enough?
I didn’t want to do it, but with 160,000+ unread emails waiting in my inbox, I just had to. I began to unsubscribe.
Here are the five reasons I might have unsubscribed to your emails:
1. Your Email Looked Dated
When was the last time you gave your emails a new look? If it was before the turn of the decade, it’s time for a redesign. Customers won’t take you seriously – and certainly won’t feel confident giving you their credit card information – if your emails look like no one’s touched them since we were all trying to figure out the many mysteries of Lost.
2. Your Emails Aren't Mobile Aware or Responsive
Speaking of the turn of the decade, did you know, that back in 2010, only 13% of email opens occurred on a mobile device? Today, a whopping 66% of all email in the US is opened or read on a smartphone or tablet. It’s long past time to make sure your subscribers can easily read your emails on their favorite device, whether it’s an iPhone, Android or tablet. You can no longer get away with emails designed solely for desktop.
3. You Email Me More Than My Crazy Uncle Joe
Alright, so I don’t have a crazy uncle Joe. But if you’re emailing me three times a day, every day, your emails start to resemble the string of forwards and chain letters I used to receive daily back in 1998. If a customer hasn’t purchased anything from you in a while, dial back the amount of emails you send them or suppress their email address altogether until you can figure out what will make them want to click again.
4. There’s Always a Sale
You’re probably just trying to get me to shop. But when everything is “Up to 30% off for a Limited Time Only!!!” every other day, the urgency wears off and I'll probably delay making a purchase. In fact, I’ll just wait until tomorrow’s sale, or the sale the day after that. Or next week’s sale. Or next month’s... Do you see where I’m going? (Probably not to the checkout.)
5. They All Looked the Same
Like any good relationship, you have to keep things fresh. If every email you send looks identical, things can get old real fast. Try to develop at least 3-4 design templates you can rotate between to keep customers interested. For example, a template for sale messages, one for new arrivals and another for more engaging, inspirational content.
There you have it. Hopefully your emails aren’t guilty of any of these, and instead they bring your customers a Marie Kondo-approved “spark of joy."
What are the main reasons you’ll be unsubscribing this year? Share with us in the comments.
And of course none of this is even relevant if your email never arrives in the first place. Email deliverability is paramount for any campaign. But the rules and regulations are constantly changing. Download Email Deliverability: Guide for Modern Marketers to ensure your emails actually get to their intended target.