An email database is like any other customer database that your company uses, and should be regularly pruned, weeded and spruced up to ensure that the customer contact information it holds is current. When embarking on a permissive email marketing campaign, or introducing a regular newsletter service to your customers, it’s important to remember to monitor your unsubscribe rate closely as it can provide you with guidance on tailoring the content of your messages to increase and/or maintain subscription levels, as well as determine the frequency you should be sending your emails.

Creating a user-friendly, as well as just plain friendly, experience for your customers from your marketing emails should start with their decision to subscribe. Remember to treat your subscribers like individuals rather than numbers, create a welcome message for new subscribers and encourage interaction. Anything you can do to generate collaboration and communication between you and your subscribers can only equal more deliveries and reduce unsubscribe requests.

Use a subscriber preference centre to allow your customers to pick and choose what marketing messages they receive, giving them the choice to unsubscribe from certain emails but not loose touch with your company completely. It will also enable your customers change email address quickly and easily should they ever need to without them having to unsubscribe one address to subscribe with another, potentially making it time consuming for your customers and result in just an unsubscription.

Targeting your messages and content with relevant and interesting information, offers and articles will keep your subscribers reading and clicking. If you’re using a subscriber preference centre you can ask your customers to select their interests in order to properly target them with relevant emails. Check that all the links in your message land on the correct pages, making your customers search your website for information mis-linked in your email communications may not only result in an unsubscribe request but could also mean loss of respect and credibility for your brand if consistently repeated.

If the content is relevant but your unsubscribe rates are rising, look at the frequency of your emails. Anything greater than one email every 10-15 days, depending on your type of business, may be too many for your subscribers to cope with and they’re using the unsubscribe link like a stop button. Reducing the frequency can help you maintain and build subscription numbers, again this is where a subscriber preference centre can help by asking customers to check their frequency preference.

Asking customers why they unsubscribe is another great way to determine what, if anything, you’re doing wrong. Rather than email a customer who’s requested to unsubscribe with your questions, create an unsubscribe page that contains a quick multiple choice questionnaire with the option to leave additional feedback to help you get a better understanding.

Finally, try repeating your brand name in the subject box as well as in the from field of the email. Branding your emails this way can help your messages stand out from the crowd. If your subscribers can clearly see who your emails are from they’re less likely to unsubscribe, particularly if you follow the above tips to produce a targeted, relevant and friendly communication service