The wrong way to let subscribers opt-out from your email list

This got me going… and I had to share.

I follow a friend of mine on Twitter named Scott Stratten. You can follow him on Twitter at @unmarketing or on his website at UnMarketing.com.

If you don’t know Scott, he tweets about social media and marketing with a very unorthodox mindset – which I appreciate and respect. His Twitter handle of “unmarketing” says it all. Similar to my authentic Internet marketing approach, Scott looks for the real, genuine and authentic way to market a business online using email marketing, Internet marketing and social media.

Scott recently tweeted something about the process of unsubscribing from someone’s email list (see below). Ironically, the timing couldn’t have been better (I’ll share more on that in the p.s. at the end.)

Can you relate? I sure can… And, I had to share by retweeting it on Twitter. As did 40+ other people that supported his tweet about the occasional and unfortunate process of unsubscribing from someone’s email list when it’s done in a non-ethical, non-intuitive and non-authentic way.

It got me fired up to share some of the reasons why this is just so wrong. Interestingly, I just looked at the other @replies to Scott’s original tweet to see other examples (including mine) as to why this not the right way to go about having people opt-out from your list.

Listen, someone at some point may decide to leave your list. And, as I shared in an earlier post about why that’s a good thing – you don’t want to make them feel bad or irritate them by making the process more difficult or cumbersome than it really is. A simple one-click unsubscribe will do.

So, in the interest of showing “how to do it right.” Here are some  examples of what NOT to do when people choose to unsubscribe from your list.

Forcing subscribers to login into their “profile” to access “subscriber options.”

I mean give me a break. I optin to your list for a free report or to join your newsletter – I don’t need a profile where I have to login to opt-out if I choose to do so. Simply point me to an unsubscribe page where I can remove myself easily and let’s move on. Chances are if I am wanting to unsubscribe, I’m not getting value – so why would I even know or remember my profile information to login in the first place?! I am in favor to login if I actually have multiple subscriptions or options – but most people don’t when they join a simple email newsletter.

Sending a confirmation email after I unsubscribe.

I mean is it just me or does this seem 100% counterintuitive? I just opted out of your list because I don’t want to receive anymore emails and you send me ANOTHER email? When does No actually mean No to you people? When I hit unsubscribe that means “don’t email me again, please.” Else, I’m reporting email spam on you.

Forcing the subscriber to re-enter my email address. For real? Of course you have my email address because I am receiving emails from you – so why do I have to re-enter it? Seriously.

Actually “unsubscribing” and still getting emails. Yes, this does happen. I happen to be on an email list where I have opted out several times (and they use all these sneaky tactics above) and I STILL receive their frickin emails. I’m at the point now I had to setup a rule in my email program to auto-delete their emails when they get delivered. I’m sure subscribers like me don’t skew their email metrics at all… right…

Designing your unsubscribe page like a website from hell. I’ve visited a web page to opt-out and it literally looked like a scrabble board – letters and forms and buttons and images all over the place. I don’t mean to toot my own horn – but I get websites – and am pretty crafty about working my way through some pretty horribly designed pages to figure out what to do. But some of these opt- out pages – totally stumped me. Kudos to them for making it hard for me – and keeping a pissed off subscriber. Big win, huh?

These are all measly attempts to keep subscribers – which is pathetic and pitiful. I feel sorry for people that do any of these – or shame if you do all of them. If you’re actually successful on keeping subscribers because the opt-out process is so darn difficult – do you actually think these people will want to receive (let alone open and read) your emails? No!

If anything, you’re setting yourself up for failure – because they most likely will report spam on you for not being able to opt-out.

Here’s the deal – if you’re doing any of these – please stop. Perhaps you don’t even know what your opt-out process is about. Well, test it!

If your email marketing platform doesn’t allow you to customize any of these options or remove them entirely – think about moving to a different provider that makes it easy for people to opt-out. Not only are you hurting your business by pissing off subscribers – you’re rubbing people the wrong way and that’s just morally wrong. They may come back later – but not if you piss them off while they’re leaving now.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

p.s. Why was the timing of this perfect as I mentioned earlier? As this tweet conversation was going on – I was having my own “opt out from hell” experience trying to unsubscribe from a list as they pitched me some offer repeatedly for days. Their weapon of choice to keep me subscribed? The famed “login to your profile to access your subscriber options.” Buggers…

Pay Attention To Every Detail When You Market Online

In online marketing, every detail matters. I mean EVERY detail. It matters in order to get a response. If you don’t want a response with your online marketing – it’s like not wanting to build your list; or not wanting to build a relationship with your list; or not wanting to convert prospects into paying clients; or not wanting to earn money. Get the point? Bottom line – design and detail is needed to ensure your online marketing generates a response. It’s critical if you want to authentically and effectively market your business online and make money with your website.

And I’m not just talking about websites – but we’ll focus on that area for now. We could talk about online design for social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) but, 90% of the time your website is the primary “landing spot” where traffic comes to see the following:

  • Who you are
  • What you to do or have to offer
  • Why you do it for them
  • ·How you would do that for them

Your online design needs to capitalize on all aspects of generating a response from your visitor to either compel them to opt-in or buy a program or product you’re offering. Here are the key areas to consider:

Page layout. It has to make sense. Think about “common sense” for a minute about what is the most important thing you want website visitors to see – and do – and cater to that. For example, at www.ClientAttraction.com we have NO wasted space – really anywhere. Every little area of the screen (particularly above the fold where 90% of people view at first glance) is strategically filled with some item or call-to-action that compels the visitor to get a response and take some action.

Colors are huge. What colors and branding fits with you and your image? If you have logos or color specific references elsewhere (business cards, letterhead, etc.) – than leverage your colors and incorporate it throughout your site. Don’t just choose other random colors just because you saw it elsewhere – it has to fit with you.

Images and buttons. What looks good on a website? What do you respond to in terms of images and graphic design? For example, there is a reason why a clearly labeled button that says “Add to Cart” is more engaging and compelling to a potential buyer than simple plain text “Buy my product here.”

Here’s a trick – don’t reinvent the wheel. See what else is out there and what’s working and just “model” that. If you see some design elements online and you’re responding to it – chances are it’s a good design strategy and they’ve thought about the detail – so see how you can incorporate that into your website design.

Now, here’s the good thing. You don’t have to have a good eye for design or detail – particularly in the area of websites – but be sure to find someone who is. You can easily focus on the big picture of what you want accomplished with your website and have someone with the skills and expertise to make it happen. But, you have to give them direction! You can’t expect someone to build exactly what it is you want – if you’ve not clearly defined for them exactly what you want!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
What can you improve in terms of the design and detail for your website? What is something that needs a bit of work to either uplevel what is there or streamline the design to get more of a response. Do a thorough review or have some of your team members and / or clients review and give you constructive feedback on what is still needed. Focus on the three areas I mention above (website layout, colors, images/buttons) first and see what can be improved to get a better response. Interested in finding out more about online design and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include: Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.

Generate More Profits (and serve your clients) with an Authentic Upsell

According to the online site dictionary.com, the word “upsell” is defined as the following:

“To try to persuade a customer to buy a more expensive item or to buy a related additional product at a discount.”

But, I have a new term to consider: authentic upsell.

Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? Is there even such a thing? Yes!

When done from integrity and a place of authenticity when you value your prospect and even more so – value the products or services you provide.

We’re exposed to upsells all the time – and the idea used to gross me out. I made a decision to buy – and I’ve not even RECEIVED what I purchased – and yet you’re asking me to buy even more?! But, then I realized two things.

1. We live in a world of upsells. You go through an upsell process all the time the second you step into a grocery store or department store or sit down at your favorite restaurant. And think about how online shopping works – it’s upsell all over the place. And we respond to it! You just never noticed it… which leads me to the second realization I had about upsells.

2. When an upsell is done from a place of integrity and authenticity (authentic upsell) – it doesn’t “feel” like an upsell at all. It’s natural. It makes sense. You welcome the idea and are generally receptive to it because the offer doesn’t seem to be “inauthentic” or “incongruent.”

The idea is this. You know better then your buyer or client what they need (and want) most. It might be perhaps offering additional services or products on top of what they have already purchased. And, consider this. Once they’ve made the decision to buy – they are in a completely different mindset from BEFORE they bought. They are more receptive to additional or complimentary offers – but only if they are done out of integrity and authentically.

The catch is this – the upsell has to make sense. You don’t want to bundle in a product or service that is completely NOT related to what they just purchased. Be sensitive to their feelings and make sure they are starting off on the right foot. But, be open and real with them about offering something in addition to what they just purchased that will add even MORE value to what they’re about to receive.

So, how can you apply this to your business? Don’t worry – you don’t need a high-technical system or process in place to make it happen. And, even if you don’t sell your products or services online – you can implement a semi-manual system for now to further enhance the buying process (and your revenue!)

It can be as simple as displaying the upsell offer on the thank you page online AFTER they buy; or including it in the email auto-responder after they have made their purchase. Even if it’s not online – it could be as simple as emailing them afterwards inviting them to supplement what they’re about to receive.

The key is this – it’s gotta be real and not salesly. We all can pick up on that (including your new client or buyer.) So, be respectful and transparent about what you’re offering –and if it’s from a perspective of authenticity – you’ll not only do great things for the revenues of your business – but also for your clients.

Until Next Time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Don’t Let Your Prospects Abandon You

This is a very simple lesson in increasing your conversion for online sales. Who doesn’t want that? It’s a very simple process I learned a few years ago to dramatically help increase the likelihood that your prospect will actually finish what they have committed to buy – so you get more product sales and revenues as a result.

The issue at hand? Cart abandonment. What is that you may ask? Well, we’re probably all guilty of it in one way or the other. Ever gone to a website and proceeded to add items to your shopping cart only to arrive at the checkout area where you submit your credit card and billing information and you decide to change your mind? Doubts about the products you’re buying in any way shape or form may have changed your mind – but ultimately you decided AGAINST moving ahead with the purchase and backed out. That my friends, is cart abandonment.

Our role as online marketers is trying to minimize cart abandonment as much as possible for our prospects on our website and sales pages.

Instead of driving prospects to a long order form where you ask for ALL of the billing and order information at once, break it up into multiple steps.

Step 1: Ask for name and email. That’s it. It’s less intimidating and overwhelming for the prospect since they don’t have to enter all their information at once. For one, it takes less time for them to fill out and less information to enter, so almost all of them will do it. They don’t have the time to think twice about their buying decision and doubt their choice or reconsider if buying is ACTUALLY what they ultimately want.For two, the actual process of having a prospect grab their wallet to physically get their credit card and then enter it online is a lot to ask. They may not bother and decide to not proceed with buying.

Step 2: After they enter their name and email, on the next page you can ask them to fill out the additional information that is needed to complete the order such as billing and credit card information.

Now, you might be wondering why bother with this two step process and not just ask for it all at once? In some cases the more steps you ask a prospect to go through, the less likely they are to complete the sale. Yes, but do you have any idea how many prospects don’t even get to step 1 because they’ve already decided not to continue buying? I’ve heard percentages as high as 75% Ouch! That’s a lot of missed sale opportunities.

Just understanding how many prospects complete step 1 and don’t finish step 2 is huge for understanding how many missed sales opportunities are happening. Plus, with all the leads filling out step 1 and not completing step 2, you have an amazing opportunity to follow up with those prospects via email or phone to encourage them to finish the buying process. You can email them the next day re-confirming their decision to buy and encourage them to do so. Heck, if you’re offering a product with a high price point (say more than $97) it might be worth spending 15 minutes on the phone with the prospect to actually close the sale. And, with some of the feedback you get on the email and phone from the prospect about why they did NOT finish the buying process – you can understand what is missing in your sales processing to make it more compelling and engaging for them to finish the sale. That analysis is priceless!

The follow up process can be a simple 2-3 email campaign following up on those leads in an auto-responder process and perhaps inviting them to a phone conversation with you. You can even automate it using a standard auto-responder campaign in your email marketing system.

One last tip to help increase buying during the sales process: Use a very simple status bar on your order forms as they move from one step to the next. This will inform them how far along in the process they are so they know (percentage wise) how much of the process is left for them to complete. If they get to step 2 and realize the status indicates they are 75% complete, they are more likely to finish the sales process and complete the transaction so they can ultimately get what you are selling them – and more revenue for you!

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Your Assignment:
Review the current online process you have in place for allowing prospects to purchase your programs and services online. Consider including a 1 step process to capture name and email FIRST – before moving them onto the step 2 where you ask for all the other billing information. Track the results and see how many prospects never actually finished the buying process and you can follow up with them offline to close the sale. Interested in finding out more about shopping cart strategies and other authentic Internet marketing strategies to help grow your online business? The Authentic List Building Coaching program can show you exactly how you can authentically add up to 1,000 new qualified prospects to your business each month. People who really “get” your message and are eager and ready to become your client or buy your products. And, you could do this authentically, quickly and consistently, without being spammy or icky, but just by being you. How would that make a difference in your life? I created this one-of-a-kind program to personally walk you through the same secrets we used (and continue to use daily) to add over 1,000 highly targeted and qualified leads to our list each month for the last 12 months. To see the presentation I created for you about authentic list building principles [IMPORTANT VIDEO], go here.

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Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include: Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.