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Understanding How and Why People Unsubscribe from Text Messages

Unsubsribes happen, but the key to a successful campaign is understanding why. Learn how to manage your opt outs and keep subscribers happy.

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While we don’t like to focus on the negatives, we also can’t ignore them. The truth is, unsubscribes happen. For a variety of reasons your customers and clients decide to opt out of receiving texts from you.

This is something that should be expected! Just because a few people opted out doesn’t mean your campaign wasn’t a success. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to discover why you’re not connecting with your audience and improve your strategy going forward.

To help you understand how to see this glass half full, we’ll take a look at the most common reasons people unsubscribe from texts as well as what to do when it happens. But first, we’ll explore exactly what goes in to opting out and when it can become problematic for your business.

What Does it Mean to Unsubscribe From Text Messages?

Compliance is a big deal with SMS marketing. In particular, its quite important to abide by the terms of the TCPA, including providing clear and conspicuous disclosure of your offering and obtaining express written consent to text your customers. Unsolicited messages are not tolerated and are ultimately punishable by hefty fines.

You can read all about text messaging regulations as well as explore 5 steps for sending compliant text messages here.

Even though someone consents to receive text messages from you, it doesn’t mean they’re required to keep receiving your messages forever. As a text marketer, you should also give subscribers an easy and accessible way to opt-out, or stop receiving messages.

How Do You Unsubscribe From Text Messages?

At SimpleTexting, we try to make compliance as easy as possible. That’s why we automatically generate a compliance confirmation message when a user opts in to receive your messages, as well as a message confirming unsubscription. That message is always triggered when someone texts you the magic four letter word: STOP.

You are now opted out from JoesJuice and will receive no further messages.

When Does Unsubscribing Become Problematic?

Obviously you’d like for all of your campaigns to retain 100%. But sometimes that’s not the reality. Especially if you’re sending messages to hundreds of people at once.

There’s no magic number that you can hit where we would say, “Woah baby, that’s a perfectly average amount of unsubscribes.” Every industry, business, and message is different. We can say, if you followed proper opt in etiquette, you should normally see below a 1% opt out rate with each campaign.

There are however, situations that might cause that number to spike. Most of these situations are isolated incidents, but they’re things to look out for. For example, if you’re running a text to win contest some people might opt in and then opt out after the contest. Or, occasionally when you import a list of contacts for the first time, you can see more unsubscribes with that very first campaign.

The best practice in situations like this is to stay vigilant. If the increased rate of opt outs can be tied to one of the above situations or another isolated instance, you don’t have to take much action. However, if you notice these rates steadily climbing or maintaining at a higher level, you may want to reach out to your audience.

If there is an existing relationship between an unsubscribed customer and your brand, you may want to consider giving them a call or email to see why they left the list and find out if you could do anything differently.

The Top Three Reasons Customers Unsubscribe From Your Texts, And What to Do About it

If you’re noticing higher than normal opt out rates, there could be some logical reasons. We’ve observed a few trends that tend to result in customers shutting you out. Luckily, there are some preventative measures that you can take to help curb the effects from some of these common pain points.

Problem: Subscribers no longer find what you’re sending them to be valuable.

Solution: The best thing to do to ensure you’re sending the right messages is to ask! Sporadically polling your subscribers is a good way to audit what you’re sending them. Find out what they like and dislike and adjust your messaging going forward. If you send messages with links, make sure you’re using our URL shortener. That way you can track the custom URLs and see who is opening them. That can be a more informal way to check in and see if your audience is connecting with your content.

Problem: People feel like they’re getting too many messages.

Solution: First and foremost you want to make sure you’re not sending more messages than you promised. If you promised subscribers you would send 3 messages a month and you’re sending closer to 7, you’re violating their expectations (and TCPA guidelines). If you’re staying within or close to your promise, you might need to think about changing things up. Consider sending additional information out in links or infographics attached to an MMS message to keep your frequency down without losing quality.

Problem: They’re no longer invested in your brand.

Solution: This situation can be tricky. Depending on your industry some people just aren’t meant to be lifelong customers. However, there are some things you can do to ensure your customers feel valued and therefore slightly more invested in you. To do this, make sure your messages are being personalized with custom fields. You also might want to segment your audience based on their interests and purchase history so they’re receiving offers relevant to them. Additionally, it would benefit you to pepper in some one-on-one business texting messages in addition to your mass texts. Connecting with your audience on a personal level goes a long way and can help break up the monotony of promotional material. If your business feels more personal, you’ll find customers respond with a higher degree of investment.

If you still have questions about unsubscribing don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our support team is here seven days a week with bags full of tips and tricks to help you connect with your audience.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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