Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The skinny on updating your details…

My challenge - I want to keep getting your emails, but I need to change my email address.

What does it mean to a business to provide a quick and easy process for a customer to "update their details' online? A great big chunk of people that unsubscribe do so because content in the email is irrelevant (roughly 49%), but outside of this, a common reason is quite simply that someone on your database moves job or swaps their free mail provider from one to another.

As part of my leaving CheetahMail and moving on to Skinny Marketing, I had to unsubscribe from over 40 email lists, from Just Jeans to Media Post and Click Z out of the States. Now admittedly, because I am in the industry, I am subscribed to an inordinate amount of email programs but for the purpose of this exercise, enough to provide me with an adequate sample to "test".

The result was that only 5 of over 40 gave me the option to update my email address in place of unsubscribe. Typically speaking, more often than not, I had to unsubscribe with no options and then set about finding the option to resubscribe, which proved impossible to those companies who only subscribe people who have actually converted following an online sale or full registration. The new version of SmartMail kindly offers me a survey to give a reason for my unsubscribe which includes (change of email address) but does not then provide me with a way with which to do it. Others like MailChimp reconfirm that I have been removed but ask me twice if I am absolutely positive of my opting out but again, does not offer an option to update my details or change my email address.

There is quite simply, nothing more useless than begging me to stay but not supplying me with a quick and easy method with which to do it.

This is a low cost solution that is easily able to be carried online, but as you can see, not many businesses offer it. When taking into account the cost of acquiring a new customer or subscriber, it may be advisable to carry out a quick experiment of how easy it is to offer your customers the ability to change their email address vs opting out and back in again, or similar. It may be one small thing that reduces your data churn rate and enhances your subscribers experience in this process. Either way, I guarantee, the outcome will be positive.