List churn is a fact of life when it comes to email marketing.
In fact, email address churn rates range between 20% and 30% a year. This means that you're losing 20% - 30% of your subscribers each and every year for one reason or another (i.e. no longer checking a particular email address, opting out, or simply ignoring your emails).
What is the impact of this?
1. Lower engagement rates as time goes on UNLESS you are regularly clearing out the unengaged users and replacing them with active subscribers.
2. Lower deliverability due to reason #1.
Here are a few ways to reduce address churn (in the cases where you have control)
1. Pay attention to source. When we consult with clients on their email program, one of the first things we look at is the source of the subscriber. You may need to look at different messaging - even for your broadcasts - based on the source of the subscriber.
2. Set (and live up to) Expectations. Don't offer them a free PDF and then slam them with emails every day for the next 365 days for affiliate offers. Tell them what you're gonna send them and honor it.
3. Deliver Relevant Content. We've all heard that it comes down to the right message at the right time to the right person. It's more and more important to segment your list and provide information they are interested in when they're interested. For instance, if subscriber A has never opened an email on "how to lose belly fat," then stop sending that subscriber those types of messages. PERIOD. Find out what they DO want and send those messages.
4. Use re-engagement/activation sequences. For subscribers that haven't been opening your emails, try to re-engage them. Ideally, you move into an activation campaign quickly (within a few messages of becoming disengaged).
5. Use a Manage Subscriptions Page that allows subscribers to update their preferences. We referenced a great example of an unsubscribe process some time ago. You can see the expanded article here: http://www.emaildelivered.com/unsubscribe-process
In a nutshell, list churn is part of the game... But there are ways that you can minimize list churn depending on the actual cause.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
For more information on how to prevent email list churn to boost your email marketing results visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/list-churn/ Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.
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