Your Email Program Has Been Ghosted

In a world where email is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels, marketers should make sure they pay attention to every metric they can to ensure they are creating content that engages their subscribers. What if I told you that there is a metric that isn’t so easy to see? It’s there, but not always as clear as the ones you are seeing in your everyday reports. Before I dig too far into this, let’s look at one metric that NO ONE wants to see but we monitor it very closely to make sure our email program is not turning away our subscribers. I’m talking about unsubscribes.

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all seen it. We all want to prevent it. Keeping an overall unsubscribe rate below 0.5% is the goal, right? If you have unsubscribes, you need to pay CLOSE attention and analyze why subscribers are hitting that button. Some companies use double opt-ins to make sure that the quality of their list is filled with actual subscribers that actually want their content. Most marketers try to make compelling content that keeps the subscribers engaged. We all try to ensure that we personalize and tailor our emails to the individual. With all the work you are putting into the email program you’ve kept the unsubscribe metric low, but don’t pat yourself on the back just yet.

We need to look at something else. The unsubscribe metric is becoming more outdated and is not a true measurement that indicates the percentage of users who have opted-out from your email program. We need to look at the new unsubscribe metric that isn’t initially on every out-of-the-box report. You need to look at the subscribers that have ghosted your email program.

I’m not talking about how your email program may be haunted, even though it could if you don’t pay attention. I’m talking about a new-age definition: to end a personal relationship with (someone) by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Simply put – disappeared. In today’s fast paced world, everyone wants everything 10 seconds ago. Most subscribers don’t even have the time to open your email, scroll to find your unsubscribe button and then click it. It is so much easier to leave you on unread and let your email just waste away in the inbox, piling up for months sometimes years. Eventually they’ll select all and delete. This doesn’t help you when you are looking at your reports.

The good news is that you can see this, but it’s going to take a little effort. There are some tools out there that can identify subscribers that haven’t engaged with your brand in a certain number of days. With some platforms, you may have to write some code to find this yourself. No matter what, you must be aware of this group of subscribers, but you don’t want to classify subscribers as inactive too early. However, you don’t want to go too long, either.

Unlike those subscribers that have unsubscribed, you still have a chance with this audience. Segment them out from your normal communications and create campaigns tailored to winning these subscribers back. Don’t push too hard or you’ll find that they may just find that unsubscribe button after all. Apex IT has experts standing by to help you identify these subscribers and create campaigns to engage them in a more meaningful way to remind them why they subscribed in the first place. Reach out us to get started today!

Article written by James Luck, Managing Director, Theorem, div. of Apex IT, [email protected]

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James Luck

James Luck is the Managing Director of Apex IT's marketing division, Apex Theorem. As a thought leader among those in the digital marketing industry, James provides advice and strategy around Digital Transformation and Marketing Technologies. James is certified in many ESPs and helps organizations enhance their marketing programs to be more engaging with their target audience using omni-channel tactics. Apex Theorem’s award-winning Marketing Acceleration Advisors create systematic, proprietary solutions that convert more leads, boost customer engagement and drive revenue by defining, implementing, and optimizing organizations’ digital transformation program. Utilizing his team's expertise in email marketing, web design, SEO, social media management, and more, James can provide comprehensive solutions that help companies succeed online.