Numbers are, typically, the best indicator of an email marketing campaign’s success. How many people opened up the message? How many click-throughs did you get? Was there a spike in sales? When success is so heavily dependent on high numbers, mounting a campaign solely to allow your subscribers to opt-out might sound insane. After all, the last thing you want to show your client or boss is a plummet in subscriber numbers. But, honestly, an opt-out campaign is one of the best things you can do to increase the quality and impact of your marketing messages for three, main reasons.
1) It increases analytical precision
When you send out a marketing email, you assume that a portion of your subscribers are not going to open it. Click-through rates are notoriously low for most email marketing campaigns – a couple of percentage points could mean the difference between success and failure. However, if your subscriber list is bloated with the emails of people who have absolutely no interest in the campaign or the business mounting it, your emails sent to read ratio is going to be abysmal. Some people may be deleting every, single email you send them, regardless of content. Now, they may have gotten on your list after buying something small from the company or, at one point, expressing interest in the business, but maybe now they just don’t care. A targeted opt-out campaign helps clean your list and purge it of ambivalent subscribers. You send out fewer total messages, but a higher percentage of messages sent will be read, and your CTR may even improve as a result.
2) You avoid being perceived as annoying
The entire point of an email marketing campaign is to inform subscribers and attract them to the site, with the ultimate goal of turning them into buyers. But if you are sending email to people who have absolutely no interest in hearing about news, sales, or developments with the business that sent the message, you are essentially sending them spam. And if they see message after message after message from the same company clogging their inbox, chances are they are going to avoid any sort of contact with that business. You want to inform, not annoy, but that can be a fine line to tread, especially if subscribers are no longer interested in receiving emails. An opt-out campaign is a gesture showing that you realize people may no longer be interested, and are giving them the chance to easily get off of your list without having to find the tiny, little ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the email.
3) It could actually re-invigorate engagement
Now, along with those subscribers that are no longer interested in your email, you are going to have a few who may have simply begun tuning out your messages. They see the email, maybe they even open it, but after so long on the list they just don’t pay attention. An opt-out campaign, especially if you frame it correctly and use the right subject and headings, is an eye-catcher. Honestly, how many companies are willing to put the effort into a marketing campaign that might lower their total subscribers? This type of campaign might be just the thing to remind your less-engaged subscribers that they are on a marketing list, and that they should check out the site sending the email.
An opt-out campaign might sound a bit scary – heck, it might sound like a complete waste of time. But the novelty of these types of campaigns can work to your advantage. It is simply harder to ignore an email that plainly asks, ‘would you like to be removed from our subscriber list,’ and nothing else. Of course you can, and should, gussy it up a bit – inject a bit of humor and have some fun with the actual text of the message. In the end you may lose some subscribers, but those will be subscribers that, in all likelihood, were not engaging with your email campaign anyway. And, after the purge is complete, the remaining subscribers are very likely the ones that are truly interested in the business, and are thus actually influenced by email marketing.