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Three Simple Reasons That Cause Unsubscribes

Disappointed in your rate of email unsubscribes? Make sure to attend to three simple reasons that may be draining your audience.
1) The email list is under-segmented. In other words, you are sending emails that are not targeted precisely enough. Recipients don’t find your emails relevant to their needs or interests. Tip: Instead, use whatever data you have about recipients to break your list into tailored content clusters reflecting who they are (gender, age, location) and what they want (where they are in the customer lifecycle, past buying behavior, reason for opting in, etc.). In general, behavioral segmentation is more powerful than demographic.
2) You’re not testing enough. Don’t just roll the dice and hope for the best. Tip: Use A/B tests for subject lines, calls to action in the body, and landing pages. Send each permutation to about 1% of your list. Any permutation that triggers unsubscribe rates over 0.5% should not be sent to your full list (note that your own threshold may vary based on past performance and your industry). Instead, take a step back and analyze. Tease out your hypotheses on why the weak performers caused users to take undesired action and unsubscribe.
3) Your landing pages aren’t delivering on the promise of your emails. Users will defect and unsubscribe if you teach them that clicking a link in your email takes them to some generic place on your site. Tip: Design your email campaigns like a pyramid. The subject line, first paragraph, and call to action should be immediately visible on the landing page, which offers further detail and deeper incitement to engage, to convert, or otherwise follow through on campaign goals. Careful handoffs make subscribers feel at home, so they stick with you, and solidify their relationship with you.
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