5 Tips to Keep Your Unsubscribe Rate as Low as Possible

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It happens. Sometimes people unsubscribe from your messages. The good news is there's plenty you can do to make sure you keep as many contacts as possible.

Would you like to increase profits by 70%? You probably just said “duh” or “what’s the catch” in your head. Well, it’s totally possible and there is no catch.

There’s a secret weapon you can use, it’s called customer retention. According to the Harvard Business Review, if you reduce your company’s churn rate by as little as 5%, it’s possible to increase profits by 25% to 95%.

To get customers to stick around, you need to communicate with them regularly. So how do you keep them from texting that dreaded four-letter word: STOP?

Follow these six tips and you’re sure t see a drop in the number of people who opt-out.

But first you may be wondering, what is a good unsubscribe rate? This varies by industry, but as a rule of thumb it should be less than 3% per campaign. Anything more and you may not be following compliance rules.

And with that, let’s jump in.

1. Always Provide an Option to Not Subscribe

Never force people to sign up for your messages. Not only is this bad practice, it’s against regulatory guidelines. For example, a site should never say “enter your number to continue.”

If you collect numbers using a web form, include a checkbox that visitors must click to confirm they want to receive SMS message. Always have this box unchecked by default.

Example of a good web form

2. Tell People What They’re Signing Up For

Imagine this scenario. You’re placing an order online and are asked for your number. You enter it, expecting to be contacted if there are any issues. Then, you suddenly get a promotional coupon from the company. You’d probably unsubscribe, right?

That’s why it’s important to make it as clear as possible to people that they’re signing up for a marketing list before they enter their number on your website, text in your keyword, or fill out your paper form.

Here’s a good example of a CTA. Notice the way it states very clearly what you’ll get when you sign up.

Example of a clear call to action

In short, no one should be surprised when they receive a promotional text from you.

3. Send a Welcome Message to New Subscribers

You can use autoresponders to set up an automated message that sends immediately after someone subscribes. Use this as another opportunity to set expectations. Tell your contacts what they’ll be receiving and get them excited to be a member of your list.

Today 11:35 AM
Thanks for joining the Silly Socks VIP list! Anytime we release a new design, you’ll be the first to know. Plus, twice a month we’ll send you an exclusive coupon code.

4. Make Your Texts Sound Personal

Before you send a campaign, ask yourself, “Would I talk this to a friend?” If the answer is no, you should probably tweak your message.

For example, would you reply to a text that says, “FLASH SALE: 20% off massages at Serenity Spa. Must call us today to make an appointment.” Pretty spammy, right? But imagine if it sounded more like this:

Today 11:35 AM
Hi Erika 👋 Our reflexology experts have availability this week. Would you like to book an appointment for a massage? I can offer 20% off if you book today

Bet that massage sounds a lot more appealing. The text still includes a discount. It still has a sense of urgency, too. But notice the way it includes the customer’s first name. This is easy to do using our custom fields feature.

Also, take note of the fact that it includes a question and includes the pronoun “I”. These two subtle techniques can go a long way in increasing response rate, and reducing unsubscribes. You wouldn’t want to reply STOP to someone who politely asked if you’d like to take advantage of a limited-time offer.

5. Segment Your Audience

Let’s take some wisdom from the world of email marketing. A survey of 1,358 US adults found that the third most common reason people unsubscribe from messages is that they feel the content was irrelevant to them.

Chat: why subscribers mark emails as spam
Source: Technology Advice Industry Report

One solution is to segment your audience. This allows you to deliver content that’s more customized, relevant, and helpful to your subscribers.

Here’s one way of doing it. We’ll pretend we run a bookstore called the Author’s Attic. We’ll ask people to text “Authors” to 555888 to sign up for our text club.

To segment our list, we can create a custom field and call it “interest.”

Screenshot showing custom fields

Next, we can set up data collection using the keyword. Here’s a step-by-step article on how to do it. Basically, when someone texts in “Authors” they’ll receive a question:

Today 10:15 AM
Authors
Thanks for joining the Author’s Attic Bookstore text club. Are you interested in DISCOUNTS, NEW RELEASES, EVENTS, or ALL?
EVENTS

And now all we have to do is create four segments based on these options. To create a segment, go to the Subscribers panel, click “New segment,” and set up the conditions.

Screenshot showing segment conditions

If we have an upcoming event, for example, we can send it out to just the people who replied “All” and “Events”

Screenshot showing message being sent to two segments

With your list organized into segments, customers only get texts they care about. As a result, they are far less likely to unsubscribe. The better the segments, the lower the unsubscribe rates!

Grow Your List, Care For Your Contacts

It’s important to spend time growing your list of subscribers. There are plenty of opt-in methods your organization can take advantage of. But it’s equally (if not more) important to keep your current contacts engaged and excited to get your texts. Try these six techniques and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear about it.

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