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As a real estate professional, chances are you have an email list of some sort. Whether it be for direct communication or just an autoresponder campaign, the ability for someone to voluntarily give you their email address these days is incredibly significant. They expect you will provide them valuable content, and as unfortunate as it sounds, that is entirely up to the recipient to determine.
It is a fact of life that people will opt-out of your email list. If you are one of those people who intentionally make opting-out a tedious task, then you may be in for a very unpleasant surprise. Take it from the retailers…
According to a study from Smith-Harmon and parent Responsys, there as been an increase of people flagging messages as “spam” compared to just unsubscribing from them. One of the main reasons of this comes from the amount of clicks it takes to unsubscribe. While in 2008, the average opt-out process took two clicks, nearly four in ten email campaigns now take three or more clicks to opt-out.
There are significant differences between having someone unsubscribe from your email campaign versus having them flagg it as spam. When someone unsubscribes, they are pretty much saying “the content in this email campaign is no longer relevant to me, and I wish to no longer receive it”. On the other hand, when someone marks your email campaign as spam, it is like they are saying “the owner of this email campaign is abusing my email address and sending me unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately”.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the recipient believes your email campaign is spam. What’s important is they are actually flagging your email campaign as spam versus unsubscribing from it. The reason why people are given the option of flagging emails as spam is because if enough people flag them, the ISP will blacklist your email campaign, thus preventing recipients from ever receiving your emails. It could even get to the point where you are fined and even get jail time.
In understanding this, it is important that you optimize your opt-out process. The most obvious way to optimize your opt-out process is to make it as easy and with the fewest clicks as possible. But it shouldn’t end there.
You obviously don’t want recipients to opt-out of your communication with them, so why not modify it? Here are some options you should give your recipients to either keep them informed or on your email list:
- Give them the option of reducing the frequency they receive emails from you
- Give them the option to change their email address
- Give them the option to change their language preference
- Give them alternative ways to stay informed, such as through a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, or an RSS Feed
The above are some ways to help you retain a connection with your recipients. Unfortunately, some people are simply going to want to cut off communication with you altogether. If this is the case, not only should you make opting out as simple as possible, but you should also say “Goodbye” or “Thank You” to all recipients to opt-out.
By optimizing your opt-out process in these manners, not only are you more likely to stay out of trouble or being blacklisted, but you may even get new prospects through the opted-out recipients. The end goal is to treat everyone with respect, don’t force anything upon them, and express your thanks for showing interest in your email campaign. You just never know what kind of benefits it can have in the long-run.