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How to Put Your Email Subscribers in Control and Keep Them Engaged

November 7, 2014
By Tom Burke

subscriber_in_control_email_marketingWhen it comes to email marketing, it’s not always about you. Sorry to bruise your ego, but it’s the truth. Your email marketing should always be about the needs and interests of your customers. Sometimes, catering to your customers means putting your email subscribers in control.

In this digital age, information is in constant flow from all directions and, without the ability to flip switches, it’s easy to become overloaded and overwhelmed. Luckily, from newsfeed settings to email opt-outs, we’re able to exercise our oft-craved control in more ways than ever before. We’re used to deciding what we want to see and when we want to see it, and we don’t take kindly to businesses choosing for us. So, it’s imperative your email marketing strategy echoes this trend. When it comes to your email marketing strategy, are you giving your customers the reins?

Here are three examples of companies who gave subscribers control, and succeeded.

#1: Return Path

OptOutExample_ReturnPath

Why we love it: This email does two things well. Firstly, it shows Return Path cares about my experience. Instead of forcing me to receive every single piece of information about their products and services, blog updates and industry news, Return Path gives me the option to select only the type of communications I care to read.

Secondly, this email makes it easy for me to update my preferences. There’s no scrolling or scanning required to find the link—it’s front and center. After I click on the link, it takes me to a landing page where I can either choose the types of messages I want to receive or unsubscribe to all communications.

#2: Innocent Drinks

OptOutExample_InnocentDrinks

Why we love it: This message is about as simple as it gets, but packs a powerful punch. Instead of the regular unsubscribe/don’t unsubscribe options, smoothie and juice company Innocent Drinks gives contacts the option to delay their decision. They realize giving customers the option to leave is more likely to give them a reason to stay. It’s the marketing equivalent to the statement “if you love something, set it free.” If your contacts receive this message and still stick around, then it’s meant to be.

#3: Fab.com

OptOutExample_Fab

Why we love it: This email is bold. Instead of waiting around for you to opt out of emails you haven’t opened, Fab takes it upon itself to opt out for you. However, the brand also gives you the opportunity to opt back in immediately. By showing it cares about not overloading customers’ inboxes, it actually becomes more likeable. However, it also impresses upon the customer if they don’t take action, they’ll lose these messages. Lastly, it reminds subscribers their “Sunday thru Thursday evening sales emails” exist, which may spark renewed interest in this communication and get customers reading emails.

While these brands did an outstanding job putting control back in the hands of their subscribers, the messaging you choose depends upon your audience. By allowing your contacts to decide which information they receive, they’ll be more likely to engage with your emails and come back for more.

Looking for more tips on building a strategy that resonates with your audience? Download our free guide Using Customer Data to Achieve Email Marketing Success.

Email Marketing Success

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