There are two distinct ways to build a list for your business’ e-mail marketing campaign: the opt-in and the opt-out. You will also hear discussion of the “double opt-in” but for the purposes of this article let’s just focus on the first two. The opt-in campaign, very popular with both small and large businesses alike, builds a list by allowing individuals to sign up, check a box during a purchase, or otherwise agree to receive communications from a brand. The opt-out list, also called “negative consent”, relies on implicit consent received from individuals when they use your website or otherwise engage with your brand.
The beauty of the opt-out list is that it can grow very, very quickly. The major downside is that the unsolicited nature of the opt-out list can lead to a huge number of spam reports whenever you send an email.
However, regardless of the type of list your have compiled, the “opt-out email” is an underused and misunderstood tool. The actual opt-out process holds hidden potential for any e-mail campaign. Sending an unresponsive customer an opt-out message during an e-mail campaign, letting them know that they are being removed from the list, lets you take back control of your campaign. You also demonstrate that you have been paying attention to their participation and are responding in an appropriate way. By making the opt-out process simple and accessible you are highlighting to true goal of any e-mail campaign: engaging customers with relevant content.
By automatically opting-out unresponsive subscribers from your e-mail campaign you are actually streamlining communication with your company. Shockingly enough this final opt-out campaign can actually lead to customers being more responsive in the future, and here’s why:
The automatic opt-out shows that your company is listening. You are paying attention to customer interactions, monitoring their reactions and engagement, and responding in kind.
It will be memorable. No matter what this type of e-mail contains, when an e-mail campaign ends with an opt-out email it will be an unexpected event. By taking advantage of this surprise your brand’s e-mail campaign can leave a long-lasting impression.
Crafting an effective opt-out email is a delicate art, but a few simple considerations will go a long way to making your e-mail campaign memorable.
First, know your audience. Review your list, pore over analytics, determine who is and who is not opening your emails. Identify those subscribers that should continue to receive communications, and those that might benefit from an opt-out message.
Next, design a witty, intelligent and funny subject line. All too often the e-mail campaign is taken too seriously. If you are striving to be memorable, one of the easiest ways to do that is to be funny. The opt-out message is an excellent opportunity to hone your comedic craft. After all, the groundwork is already laid for you: “We’ve stopped sending you e-mail, you’re welcome!”
Then, decide on a delivery method. Standard e-mail campaign sense applies here. Humor is good and engaging, photos are visually stimulating, videos can capture and hold attention. There really is no wrong answer here, but you must know and understand what your audience will respond to. But that’s really the basis of any e-mail campaign, so hopefully you already have a pretty good idea of what will be successful!
Last, analyze your decisions and repeat what works. You know your business, and you hopefully know your subscribers. Try a variety of approaches that you think might work, review the outcomes, and repeat the successful approaches in your next e-mail campaign.
The opt-out email is a novel strategy in a world where inboxes are full of the same mundane e-mail campaigns that people have seen for years. By being bold, knowing your customer, and trying something new perhaps your opt-out email will stand above the fray and bring a wayward subscriber back into the fold.