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Your subscribers don’t stay the same and neither should your emails

As much as we would all like to be back in the 90s, listening to the Spice Girls and Take That, things change and so do people’s interests.

This is also true for email. 6 years ago I may have signed up to receive emails for free drinks on student nights, but now my Wednesday nights are taken up watching The Great British Bake Off.

Your subscribers may have signed up to receive your emails years ago, but they may not have the same interests anymore. It’s really important to give your contacts the chance to tell you that things have changed so you can keep sending them targeted and relevant emails.

How do you keep up-to-date with your subscribers? Follow these simple tips:

Update your details at any time

Including an ‘Update your details’ form in the footer of your email means that contacts always have the opportunity to keep you updated with their preferences after the initial sign-up process.

Not only will this allow them to tell you what they want to receive from you, but it can also help you stay up to date with any data changes such as location, change of email address and change of status.

Here are two examples from Benefit, with the email footer and the form:


update details footer


update details form

Automated re-engagement campaigns

If your company, like many others, has a large number of contacts who have not opened or clicked on one of your emails in 3, 6 or even 12 months; then a great way to try and clean up this data is sending a re-engagement campaign.

Use an automation tool to make this even easier, but remember this: as they haven’t engaged with your regular emails in a while, a dramatic change in strategy is re-engagement emails. Whatever you do, make sure it stays within the brand voice and style.

Notice the humour in the following Joules re-engagement emails. Being a fashion brand dedicated to traditional British countryside style, the puns they use work like a charm.

joules re-engagement emails

In this series of re-engagement emails you can also include a preference centre where they can update the types of content they would like to receive. The easier you make it for your subscribers to take action, the more likely they are to do it. See how Forever 21 have added images to their category names so their subscribers can tell at a glance what they’re after.

forever 21 preference centre

Exit surveys to understand what’s gone wrong

It’s also important to understand why your contacts are unsubscribing so that you can use this information to improve your communications and prevent future unsubscribes. By being clear and transparent of your intentions like Photobucket have, you’re more likely to spark a reaction.

photobucket exit survey

Key takeaways

  • Don’t make the sign-up process the only time your subscribers can express their preferences
  • Include a form in your email footer so it’s always at hand when they want to update
  • Create a re-engagement series to restart the initial spark
  • Have an exit strategy in place to prevent future unsubscribes


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