The Power of Preferences:  Keep Subscribers by Giving them Options

We’ve discussed some of the advantages of sending out an introductory newsletter and the kinds of dynamic, engaging content it can contain.  Now let’s talk about another topic you’re going to want to broach with your new readers - their subscription options. Here’s the thing:  no matter how amazing and interesting each and every one of your email newsletters are, there may be a time in a reader’s life when that much awesomeness in their inbox is just overwhelming.  In fact, it could be so much more than they want or have time to deal with that this theoretical reader decides to unsubscribe. 

One of two things happens when your reader clicks “unsubscribe.” One, they say “yes, I really mean it, please don’t send me anything more,” or they click “unsubscribe” and see the option to instead update their preferences and they follow that link. If the preference page gives them an option to sign up for fewer newsletters - receiving only certain newsletters, or monthly emails, rather than weekly summaries - you just might get to keep your overwhelmed readers onboard. 

The big idea.  Instead of unsubscribing, readers who are getting too many unwanted emails in their inboxes can alter their preferences to receive fewer emails, or only newsletters they want to read.

Where they get that idea. You have to put this idea into the minds of your readers.  When they sign up, tell them that if they ever want to change their subscription they can always click on the “preferences” button at the bottom of the newsletter.  Some will remember this and exercise this option.  Others may not remember the option until after they click “unsubscribe” and see the reminder, but that is why this option exists - to help guide subscribers who are looking to make a change but who don’t necessarily want to unsubscribe.

How to reinforce the idea. Use your stealth ninja-marketing skills (Need more Ninja skills?  Try a webinar or two) to remind people about their options by letting them know about your other subscription choices. Guiding them to the sign-up page to select categories will make it plenty obvious that they can leave categories as well as join them - no need for you to go around offering outs to your readers. Just let them know they can exercise their preferences.

The success of this venture obviously depends on whether or not you’ve set up your categories so that your readers have options.  If you do this, and you make it known to readers that they can edit their email preferences based on their interests and needs, you are doing right by all involved.