Published on August 16th, 2005 | by Janine Popick3
Acceptable Bounce and Unsubscribe Rates
Understanding the bounce and unsubscribe rates of your list is as important as understanding the click and open rates. Bounces and unsubscribes are a natural part of email marketing and will occur even with the cleanest and most targeted lists. That said, for every bounce or unsubscribe you receive, that is one less person reading your newsletter. As a savvy marketer it’s important to understand what steps can be taken to reduce these percentages for future campaigns.
Understanding Your Bounced Email
Bounces can occur for a variety of reasons: people move, change jobs, change their ISPs, etc. and they don’t always remember to update their account information with their newsletter providers.
The frequency in which you mail can also have an impact on the number of bounces you receive. An average bounce back rate for a list that is mailed regularly (at least once per month) can range from 2% – 5%. An average bounce back rate to a list that is mailed less regularly can range from 5% – 13%. In addition, we’ve seen bounce back rates for first-time mailing lists as high as 20 – 30%.
Here are a few tips to keep your bounce rate low:
at least once per month – this helps to solidify your relationship with
your subscriber base, especially the ones who’ve just recently signed
• Provide offers or newsletters that your recipients will miss if they change email accounts.
• Offer your recipients a way to update their email address and other account details somewhere on your website.
• If you do get a bounced email, call or mail your customer a postcard to let them know their email bounced and you’d like to get an updated one.
Evaluating Unsubscribe Rates
No matter how enticing your offers are, or how targeted your lists, you will still have subscribers who choose to opt-out of your mailing list. Don’t be offended, it happens to everyone. The key is keeping your unsubscribe rates as low as possible for the mailings that you send out. This is often where email content is most important because a bored or confused recipient is one step away from opting-out.
A “good” average unsubscribe rate for a list that you communicate with regularly can be somewhere between .2% and .75%. If you haven’t communicated regularly to your list, your relationship with your recipients may become fuzzy, at least from their perspective. To avoid this scenario, send newsletters or offers at least monthly to keep your company fresh in their minds. If you tend to mail less than once per month you can expect to have unsubscribe rates between 2% – 5%.
Here are a few tips to keep your unsubscribe rates low:
and foremost, only send your emails to recipients who have agreed to
receive offers from your organization. This is a no-brainer!
• Send offers or newsletters at least once per month so your recipients are used to receiving your email and you don’t lose touch.
• Only email the content your recipients requested. Over-mailing your customers can result in list fatigue, which can in turn lead to an increased unsubscribe rate.
• Most importantly, provide value in your messages. Be the trusted authority on a certain subject, continually offer great deals to your customers, and announce exciting news or updated product information.
Maintaining a high level of email delivery is something all marketers strive for, it’s what we strive for ourselves, and we see this as a two-pronged approach. First, the data collection methods must follow “best practices” to ensure that all subscribers have provided their consent to be contacted via email. Secondly, companies need to align themselves with Email Service Providers who are experts in the fields of ISP Relations and Delivery Monitoring.
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