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The surprising power of opt-out email campaigns

The surprising power of opt-out email campaigns Adam DeGraide

When inboxes are inundated with special deals and free offers, it can be a struggle to catch your audience's eye. But one of the greatest opportunities to stand out may occur when least expected: during the opt-out phase of your email marketing campaign.

With so many marketers vying for opt-ins, the thought of creating a campaign geared toward opt-out subscribers might seem like a death trap. In reality, it can be a key opportunity to reengage customers. Sending an opt-out email letting your customers know they're being removed from the list takes control away from the subscriber; he or she doesn't have a choice in the matter.

Think about it. It's always better to make the opt-out process easy and accessible. After all, the goal of any marketing campaign should be to engage subscribers with content relevant to them.

By opting out subscribers after they're disengaged for a period of time, you're making communication with your brand actually easier. And that final opt-out campaign can make them more engaged with your brand. Here's why.

Opt-out campaigns show your company is paying attention. They signal that not only are you truly listening to customers, but you're also responding.

They set you apart. Subscribers might be receiving emails from dozens of other similar brands. You stand out by using an opt-out email, and you might just bring a smile to a consumer's face. Bonus points if you can make them laugh, which is arguably the most memorable response of all.

You'll make an impression. Regardless of what your copywriters come up with, the act of sending this type of email alone will make you memorable.

Once you decide to create an opt-out campaign, its actual creation can be more delicate -- at first -- than it might appear.

Identify your audience

Go through your list, and identify who's currently not opening your emails. Analyze that information to target future emails to the right prospects.

Craft the subject line

This is one of my favorite parts of the email opt-out campaign because you can get creative. The subject line is the first thing people will see, so standing out is vital. The nice thing is you've already got a great message to work with: "We did you a favor! No more email!"

Nothing can quite compete with design store Fab's opt-out subject line: "Stop. Getting. So. Much. Email." Smile -- you're designed to. It's on-point with the message and the brand, and it incorporates the perfect mix of simple copy and imagery.

Determine delivery

Your delivery method should be based on your target audience. What will resonate most?

In many cases, humor is a good choice. Consider a funny video with messaging similar to: "We know you're upset. With so many emails in your inbox, how could you not be? The last thing we want to be is a nuisance."

Video can be extremely effective -- it allows the visual social consumer to take a break from his busy day and watch something entertaining. HubSpot opted for a humorous video in its email opt-out campaign for unreachable or unengaged leads, resulting in an impressive click-through rate of 16.4 percent.

Test your approaches

Each brand is different and offers a different benefit to customers, which means what works for one company won't work for everyone. Test different approaches to your campaign. Create comps and gather a small focus group or conduct a survey. Test a video versus imagery and text. Try a humorous approach versus a straight-laced one and -- most importantly -- test your subject lines!

Take a chance on customers who have become disengaged. Maybe yours will be the subject line that stands out in the clutter -- and that one email could be the beginning of a beautiful re-engagement.

Adam DeGraide is the CEO and founder of Astonish.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Adam DeGraide is the CEO and founder of Astonish, which was recently ranked 267th on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. DeGraide and his team are the driving forces behind a vision to help the insurance industry...

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