Recently, a report on online customer behavior ran through business and marketing blogs like wildfire. This dismal information tracked user reasons for unsubscribing to email blasts, unfriending businesses on Facebook and unfollowing products on Twitter.
To some businesses, this report is disheartening; in a sense, shaming us for what we all deemed as "best online practices." Clearly, some changes need to be made.
Instead, take this incredibly valuable information, direct from your customers, and change your business' behavior.
Listen to what your customers are saying, and you will, not doubt, keep them, rather than scaring them into Internet oblivion.
In this three-part blog series, we will help identify the top customer complaints and the immediate fixes starting with email blasts. We will finish off the series by identifying the common customer complaints for Facebook and Twitter.
Complaint: Too Many Emails!
The number one reason why customers are unsubscribing to your email blasts is the frequency, regardless of the content.
Simply put, you are sending out emails way to often.
But, really, how often is too often?
Unfortunately the data didn't specify what the exact amount of emails equals irritating, look to your company's data first.
Have you recently changed frequency, say from weekly to daily? Did you have a sudden increase of unsubscribes? That's your first clue.
If you have a promotion or sale going on, how often do you send out email reminders? Daily? Hourly?
The Fix #1: Set a schedule for email blasts and stick to it.
The Fix #2: Many email marketing platforms allow subscribers to choose how often they would like to receive emails, whether it's daily or weekly. Further, many platforms allow users to choose what type of emails they would like to receive, like promotions or sales. Ensure that you have that option available to your subscribers, and let them know that.
The Fix #3: Test! Test! Test! If you do make a change in frequency, track it. If there is a sudden lurch in unsubscribes, then you've made a mistake.
Complaint: Your Content is Repetitive!
Many customers opt out of email blasts simply because the same information is available on your website, Facebook and Twitter feeds. What's the point, then, in even having an email marketing system when you've already duplicated everything everywhere else? Consistency matters, however, being too consistent in your message is a surefire way annoy your customers.
The Fix #1: Reward your subscribers with information only available through email blasts, such as deals or promotions. Give them a reason to stick around.
The Fix #2: Diversify your online presence without sacrificing content.
Complaint: Your Content is Irrelevant to Me!
Besides having stale and boring content, many customers complain that the emails have little relevance.
Consider developing different types of email blasts, like promotion-only, news-driven or informational. Say, if you're a florist, perhaps design an email blast that lists your on-going sales, one about green flowering practices and another one about at-home plant tips. Customers can choose which type of email they're most interested in rather having you decide for them.
Further, some customers sign-up for your email blast so they can have access to a one-time-only deal only available through your newsletter, and after they got whatever you're promoting, they immediately unsubscribe.
The Fix #1: Set-up different types of content-driven emails and allow your customers to customize which blasts they'd like to receive.
The Fix #2: Don't cheat your customer. Luring someone to sign-up for your email blast just so they can get their hands on something you're offering is ineffective. Sure, you got a sale, but not a repeat customer. Watch for more tips on email marketing, Twitter, SMS and other online strategies in future blogs.
Coming soon: Part 2: The Real Reasons Your Customers Are Leaving - Facebook.