Stat Central: Coming and Going

Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our Stat Central series. We’ve covered a lot of ground already, but now we’re ready to cap it off with two of the most important numbers in that stat line, subscribes and unsubscribes.

There are two principle ways to look at the subscribe and unsubscribe numbers: short term and long term. I know I’m hammering home the obvious here, but we see such sharp reactions to short term analyses that it warrants a little attention. Every so often, a user will see a sharp rise in the number of unsubscribes after an email newsletter send and then they panic. Assuming they’ve done something to alienate their reader base, the user then tries to change their entire approach at the drop of a hat.

Now, that’s not always the wrong decision, but it shouldn’t be your first course of action. If you notice a sudden subscriber loss, it’s time to do a little research – and this is where the short term view turns into a long term look at your email marketing campaign.

First, head back and take a look at your last 5 to 10 email newsletters. Take note of copy length, content relevancy, image usage (visual impact) and sending frequency. Read your newsletters start to finish and really take a look at the whole picture. Were you bored? Were you intrigued? Is there a natural flow?

Now, consider those same questions from the reader’s standpoint. Remember, your subscribers don’t have as strong an emotional investment in your business as you do, so take a hard look at what’s really interesting to your client base. Is your content still intriguing? Would it make you want to keep reading if you weren’t directly involved in this business?

If you’re starting to think that maybe (just maybe) your newsletter content isn’t quite the gripping material that it could be, try simply scaling back your articles and building in a few newsletter exclusives, like incentives, deals or event info. By making the content a little more benefit-centric, you’ll give your readers more reason to keep opening. You can even try polling your clients using MNB’s integrated Survey Gizmo tool or your own social media presence.

This is all information we’ve covered in other MNB blog posts, but the big idea here is “don’t panic.” If you see a surprising drop in subscribers, don’t rush into a full overhaul of your newsletters or your email campaign – it could simply be a sign that some of your readers might have been looking for something else. Take a look at your sending history, and really look at how that content would strike the general reading public. Try gently shifting your focus to consumer benefits and try to get that subscribe number back up!