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May 6, 2014

Italy: E-mail marketing—Four Ways to Stop Users Unsubscribing from Mailing Lists

For companies, keeping users who sign up to their mailing lists is essential, because there is a very high risk they will unsubscribe: a survey conducted by SilverPop showed that offers relating to consumer products and services register the highest unsubscribe rates, at 27 percent and 25 percent respectively, with a particularly significant proportion in travel & leisure.

Users signing up to company and brand newsletters and mailing lists are interesting in getting discounts, product news and information. They may however find they are bombarded with too many messages, many of which have little relevance as they as the same for everyone, and as a result, they decide to unsubscribe from the mailing list.

Digital marketing company Webtrends recommends an approach to e-mail marketing designed to reduce the risk of cancellation. It focuses on contextual personalisation as a way of setting the message apart, based on the knowledge acquired on consumers that enables personalised messages to be delivered to them. Generally, companies consider one or two of the three key factors in engaging with customers online: who the customers are (demographic, gender, geographical region, reliability, existing customer or prospect), their past behaviour (browsing history, previous in-session actions and previous purchases) and what they are doing now (devices being used, geographical location, time of day, route taken on the website).

“Contextual personalisation allows brands to look at all three of these simultaneously by providing a deep analysis of customer behaviour and real-time data to deliver a relevant experience based on specific customer needs”, says Tom Waterfall, Director Optimisation Solutions, EMEA & APAC at Webtrends. “Using this detailed information, companies can respond accordingly to give consumers exactly what they want at exactly the right time. This could be instant targeted e-mails, online precision targeting or, increasingly, real-time multichannel experiences.”

Here is a list of Webtrends’ four tips to optimise contextual personalisation and launch e-mail marketing campaigns that carry relevant messages.

1. Consider multi-device accessibility 
48% of e-mails are opened on mobile devices. E-mail marketing campaigns must therefore be mobile-optimised in order to prevent users from unsubscribing because they can’t read non-optimised e-mails on smartphones.

2. The right time and day
Companies need to be aware of what time and on what day they send out promotional messages to stand out from competitors. They must therefore identify peak e-mail traffic times: a survey by Experian found that late nights and weekends are key times for e-mail marketing as there is less competition so open rates are higher.

3. Every message needs a purpose
Every message sent to the mailing list must have a well-defined purpose and be appopriately structured, whether this purpose is to engage, provide information on a new product or send customers a call-to-action.

4. Get feedback on what went wrong
If a consumer no longer wishes to receive information on from a brand and unsubscribes from the mailing list, a short exit survey can provide insight into the reasons behind this decision. Companies can use the feedback to improve their marketing initiatives, benefitting existing recipients as well as helping them to design more effective business strategies for the future. 

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