goodbyeHow do you feel when someone unsubscribes from your mailing list? Sad? Disappointed? Frustrated? Rather than viewing unsubscribes as something negative, they can provide you with a lot of useful opportunities.

As well as giving you a chance to assess what works (and what doesn’t) with your marketing output, unsubscribes can give you a chance to re-engage with the customers who are really interested in what you’re offering. A simple ‘goodbye’ email will alert your customers who have unsubscribed in error, or give you one last chance persuade a disengaged subscriber to stay with you.

The Benefits

Goodbye emails don’t seem to be particularly widely used. This could be because many people don’t want to ‘bother’ their customers after they’ve unsubscribed. However, one further email is unlikely to mark you out as a spammer and, if it helps you retain even one subscriber, it will have been beneficial.

The word ‘goodbye’ can often trigger an emotional response in people. A goodbye email will give your subscriber a chance to assess why they signed up for your messages in the first place and remind them of the benefits that your mailing list offers. And as goodbye emails are relatively few and far between, they are likely to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes, potentially resulting in a very high open rate.

Even if a customer doesn’t respond to your goodbye email, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It will simply show you that they weren’t a good fit for your output. You can remove them from your list and focus your attention on customers who are genuinely interested in what you are offering.

What Should Your Goodbye Email Contain?

The most important thing to bear in mind is that, because a goodbye email is different to your regular email newsletters, it should look different to your regular email newsletters. Keep text and graphics to a minimum, instead focusing on the message at hand.

Take a look at this example from Monster Pet Supplies:

Monster Goodbye

The entire email gets the message across simply and succinctly. Although it contains their company branding, it is not graphic-heavy; a contrast to most companies’ email newsletters. It’s also made very clear how the customer can resubscribe. However, there are a number of ways this email could be improved.

The goodbye email offers the ideal opportunity to remind your subscribers of the benefits of remaining on your mailing list. Include some of your new products or latest offers; show your customers what they’ll be missing out on if they choose to unsubscribe.

A customer might have unsubscribed from your list because you were emailing them too regularly, or your emails weren’t relevant. Your goodbye email can be used to give your subscriber the opportunity to change their subscription preferences. Include a link to a page like this (from Pinterest):

Email Preferences

By giving them the chance to specify exactly what they want to receive (and how often), your customer may change their mind about unsubscribing.

Although it may not win back all your subscribers, the goodbye email can be a great way to identify who is (and isn’t) interested in what you’re offering. Give people a chance to rethink their unsubscribe decision, and you could turn that ‘goodbye’ into a ‘hello’!