Are you a frequent or an infrequent e-mailer?
A challenge that some of our infrequently e-mailing clients bring to us is that they often see a spike in spam reports and opt-outs when they do get around to sending an e-mail. To be clear, by infrequent e-mailers, I’m referring to a campaign every 2-3 months.
Now, the opt-outs are just an opt-out and they’re to be expected, these are savvy e-mail marketers and they know better than to take opt-outs personally, but they were troubled by the spam reports. Most of these complaints were probably spurred by the simple fact that it had been a while since the subscribers had gotten a message and they had perhaps forgotten that they had signed up in the first place.
What we suggested was a two-fold approach. First, make sure to attach an auto-responder to all their sign-up forms and to make sure that the auto-responder has information about message frequency (more info on auto-responders here). Why? Well let’s say that you email every quarter. If a subscriber signs up two days after you sent your last campaign they’ve got a nearly three month wait for the next message. In the meantime they’re likely to forget that they even signed up. An auto-responder will get to them right away and can explain to them exactly what to expect from you.
Second, if it’s been 6 months to a year since your last mailing, use a re-engagement campaign to actively weed out the subscribers who are no longer interested or who have abandoned their email address. We’ve mocked-up a re-engagement message and included it below. Notice that it’s simple and offers a clear method to unsubscribe as well as a brief description of the typical message frequency and type. The goal is to get anyone who isn’t interested to click the unsubscribe link now rather than reporting your regular campaign as spam. Additionally, we suggested that after the campaign clients use List Sweeper to remove any pending hard-bounces and ‘Mailbox Full’ type soft-bounces.