How do we explain customer churn?  Without getting too specific, email marketing is a little bit like dating.

The emails you send to a subscriber are intended to build a strong bond and develop a relationship that lasts the test of time.

Get it right, and that bond will manifest itself in increased sales, more chance of recommendations and stronger brand recognition as a result.

Get it wrong, and what might have been a long-standing romance will turn into yet another failed customer relationship.

In this blog, we consider how to reduce customer churn by using brilliant email marketing.

1. Always use double opt-in

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fast approaching, email marketing practices will be placed under closer scrutiny than ever before.

One of the key areas of focus for the new regulation is consent; the way people say “yes, I’d like to be contacted by you, please” needs to be made abundantly clear and free of any ‘implied’ consent.

By using double opt-in for new subscribers (i.e. the process of confirming twice that they wish to be contacted), you’ll go a long way to ticking-off a major part of GDPR compliance, but you’ll also start the process of building that all important bond from the get-go.

Double opt-in shows you care about your subscribers.

And that’s a great way to introduce yourself.

2. Don’t just sell – educate

Sure, you want to use your email marketing strategy as a way to sell more products, but if that’s all it’s used for, you’ll turn off more customers than you keep.

Mix the salesy stuff with educational content; give away free advice; point them to your super-helpful blog.

Do all you can to prove that you’re not in this relationship purely for the sale.

3. Make your deals great – and personal

Any deal you send out via email obviously needs to be great in order to encourage people to click the ‘buy’ button, but there’s another trick you can employ to keep people engaged beyond the first sale.

Email personalisation has exploded in popularity over recent years because it represents one of the best ways to build an unbreakable relationship with customers.

If the deals and offers you send out are also aimed squarely at a subscriber’s likes or prior purchasing habits, they’re far more likely to engage.

Personalisation isn’t easy and takes time to get right, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent people from going elsewhere.

4. Figure the customer churn “why” out

Was it something you said?

Have your emails not been relevant enough?

Have circumstances their end simply changed?

What gives?

When someone opts out of your mailing list, give them the opportunity to explain why they did so. If you discover a commonality among leavers, you can work to rectify the mistakes you’re making.

5. Use re-engagement campaigns

With some leavers, you have a window of opportunity to grab them and bring them back into your world.

Picture people who haven’t engaged with your email for a long time with one foot out of the door and their palm resting on the handle. What could you say to them to tempt them back into the warmth of your email marketing campaigns?

Re-engagement campaigns are great ways to remind people of the stuff they’re missing out on. If they decide to leave, they’re no longer going to benefit from special, personalised offers, latest news on product updates or crucial industry insight that will help them run their business more effectively.

Don’t be afraid to make them feel bad, either. A fun play on words “what did we do to upset you?” will often draw out an honest response from anyone who is considering removing themselves from your list.

Wrapping up

It isn’t unusual to experience some form of customer churn. In fact, it’s healthy, and enables you to continually refresh your customer base by waving goodbye to those who are either unprofitable or no longer within your target market.

When churn starts to become a problem, however, you’ll need to rely on our advice above.