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Term of the Week: List Churn

Otherwise known as ‘attrition’ and ‘churn rate’, list churn is a percentage of subscribers that leave a list over a given period.

There are two types of list churn:

  • Transparent: these are people you are no longer able to email due to unsubscribes, hard bounces or spam complaints
  • Opaque: this refers to people who aren’t seeing your emails, whether this is due to emails going to junk folders or to an email address that is rarely checked

Why does list churn matter?

List churn takes up about 30% of an average list every year. This means you must add the equivalent amount of data to your list to avoid its effects, otherwise you will be faced with an ever decreasing number of engaged contacts. This is a difficult task, as Ascend2’s growth survey shows – with 25% of companies having an attrition rate that is equal to or more than the rate of acquiring new subscribers.

How can I avoid it?

  • Give people the option of how often they receive emails using a ‘opt-down’ method or sending them to a preference centre; allowing a subscriber to change frequency, for example
  • Ensure your email content is engaging for your customers and continue to work on maintaining that standard
  • Use your list intelligently, break it down into more specific segments if this will allow you to send more relevant and specific campaigns.

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