Win Back Unsubscribers with Personalized Direct Mail

Win Back Unsubscribers with Personalized Direct MailPeople unsubscribe from email lists every day, for a variety of reasons.

However, you can’t help but think, if they were so interested in the content, why did they decide to unsubscribe?

Unsubscribers aren’t something to be taken personally. I know it can still feel demoralizing at times to see people leave your list.

After all, there is always money in the list.

The Problem

Why do people unsubscribe? If you’ve ever asked this question, the following stats and studies may offer some insights.

According to HubSpot, 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails.

According to Vero, 14% of consumers unsubscribe from emails because they are tired of the brand. Furthermore, 52.9% of consumers never “opt down” (i.e. change email frequency or type after they’ve unsubscribed).

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff of CIO identified the top seven reasons people unsubscribe from email lists:

  1. Either they never signed up to receive emails from you, or they forgot they signed up in the first place.
  2. They’re receiving too many emails.
  3. Your emails can’t be viewed on their device.
  4. Your emails are cluttered or appear too unprofessional.
  5. The content you’re sending is irrelevant.
  6. You’re pitching too often.
  7. Your content isn’t engaging.

Are you starting to see why people unsubscribe? One of the top reasons is because they’re receiving too much communication from you.

Another important factor is content relevance. If your subscribers don’t feel like they’re getting the right kind of information from you, or if it isn’t on-topic, they may choose to click that “unsubscribe” link in your emails.

How Can I Win Them Back?

Realistically, there’s no way to win everyone back. But with the right approach and messaging, it is possible to re-engage and rebuild a relationship with many of your former subscribers.

What’s the solution? The answer may surprise you. It’s personalized direct mail.

Generic direct mail may not have the intended effect. But if you send highly-targeted content to people you want to win back, you stand to gain some of your most loyal supporters. When you successfully appease an angry, frustrated, or dissatisfied customer, you inevitably turn them into your biggest fan.

Although email has been shown to be more effective than social media, direct mail tends to be more effective than even email.

According to Lob, about 20% of people open marketing emails that are sent to them, but 77% of people sort through their physical mail as soon as they receive it. Furthermore, 98% of Americans check their mail every day, and roughly 66% of people have bought something because of direct mail.

These are some incredible stats. It’s not hard to see why personalized direct mail could prove to be even more effective.

According to QuickPivot, 70% of Americans think mail is more personal than the internet. They add: “This presents an opportunity to strike a deeper chord with your target audience. A personalized direct mail piece has the potential to build a stronger relationship with your contacts and drive significantly improved results. By harnessing the power of your data, you can personalize your direct mail to better connect and communicate with your customers while also increasing your revenue.”

How to Re-engage Unsubscribers

Now you know direct mail works.

But what can you do to entice unsubscribers to get back on your list?

Here are several ideas you can use:

  • Give them the option of choosing how often they’d like to receive emails. As we’ve already seen, one of the main reasons people unsubscribe is because they feel they’re getting too many emails from you. Why not give them the option of choosing their preferred frequency, whether that’s once per week, or once per month?
  • Offer a discount on a popular product. It could also be a product they’ve previously viewed on your website. If they were interested in it, offering a discount might help close the sale.
  • Send them a gift or something for free. You could also send them a code to claim this gift on your website. It’s hard to stay angry with someone that’s giving you something of value.

You could also mix and match the above strategies to maximize results.

How to Execute Your Reengagement Campaign

Here the steps you need to take to initiate your personalized direct mail campaign.

1. Identify Your Unsubscribers

First, you need to identify who your unsubscribers are. You should easily be able to find this information within your email marketing software.

When viewing your lists, your subscribers should automatically be organized by categories like Subscribed, Unsubscribed, Cleaned, and so on.

The easiest way to export a list of your unsubscribers is to create a new segment. This is only necessary if your email marketing software doesn’t do this for you automatically.

2. Choose What Type of Mailing Piece You’re Going to Use for Your Campaign

Will you be sending a postcard or a letter? For most purposes, postcards work well, especially since some people may not take the time to open an envelope to see what’s inside.

Another important factor is the paper you print your message on. High-quality paper is best when you’re selling more expensive items, while it matters less for items that are more affordable.

These are just some general guidelines. Think carefully about what you hope to achieve with your campaign and the impression you want to make with your unsubscribers before choosing what medium to use.

3. Add Personalization to the Mailing Piece

Even direct mail that hasn’t been personalized can yield a high response rate. But the goal here is to add an element of personalization to your mailing pieces. That way, you’ll achieve a better result than you’d be able to otherwise.

The most obvious way to personalize is to add the person’s name to the direct mail piece. This increases the chances of the recipient will look at the piece instead of discarding it altogether. Don’t forget to use their name in the offer, and not just in the address block.

Here are some additional ways to personalize the offer:

  • By gender. It’s possible you have offers specific to men or women. If so, it may be worth creating two different versions of your direct mail piece. Consider color psychology as well as the copy and visuals you use in your marketing.
  • By their purchase history. If unsubscribers have bought or downloaded anything from you in the past, it won’t make sense to send them the same offer. But this can provide some valuable clues for upselling and cross-selling. Their purchase history or behavior could also be reflected in the copy you use, for instance, “we noticed you downloaded our free eBook…”
  • By location. At times, this information may come in handy as you may have location-specific offers.
  • Set up personalized landing pages. Your unsubscribers will likely appreciate the option of choosing how many emails they’d like to receive from you. Sending them to a personalized landing page is an excellent way to evoke curiosity and to engage them directly. You could offer a free report or eBook for signing up again (this should be something other than what they signed up for in the first place). Including the name of the person receiving the mail is a great way to get them to check out their landing page.

There are many other ways to personalize your mailing pieces. Again, consider your industry or niche, what your messaging is going to be, and what you ultimately want your unsubscribers to do, and build your campaign around these factors.

4. Design Your Mailing Piece

Once you know what medium you’re going to be using and how you’re going to personalize your direct mail pieces, you’re ready to begin the design process.

This includes Colors, visuals, images or graphics, photography, copy, and anything else you’re looking to include in your postcard or letter.

Your piece should include a clear call to action, so recipients know exactly what to do after receiving your piece to re-subscribe. Sending them to a personalized landing page is a great option because it plays on people’s natural curiosity.

5. Track the Results

Don’t forget to track the overall effectiveness of your campaign.

Whether you use a custom phone or fax number, mailbox, or landing page, find an easy way to measure how many people re-subscribe to your mailing list as result of your efforts.

Consider what every subscriber is worth to you regarding a dollar value. Look at the average lifetime value of a customer alongside the cost of running a campaign like this.

Depending on the exact nature of your business, this strategy may be more effective or less effective. Tracking the results will help you determine whether to run a campaign like this again.

Final Thoughts

Don’t underestimate the efficacy of direct mail. Some industries have yet to begin leveraging it, but those who are, are seeing incredible results.

It could become an important part of your marketing efforts moving forward.

Are you using direct mail in your marketing? Have you successfully re-engaged any of your unsubscribers?

Let us know in the comments below.

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