You work hard to build a list of qualified subscribers to your email marketing list. You need to work equally hard to keep them. List hygiene is just as important as dental hygiene: if you don’t do it, your list will fail you.

After each campaign we carefully review not only the results of the campaign (clicks throughs, opens and conversions) but we need to take time to look at the opt outs and undeliverables. This week eMarketer.com shared the results of another great study citing the reasons that most people opt out of a permission-based list:

Emarketer Reasons Internet Users Unsubscribe

It shouldn’t surprise you to find that irrelevant content and frequency were the top responses. If you send off-topic messages, you’re confusing your audinece. They subscribed or granted permission because they wanted to hear about whatever your primary area of expertise may be. If you get off topic you confuse and offend them. Sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised.

Frequency is the baseball bat that I’m constantly waiving over client’s heads. We need to respect the permission granted and deliver timely, relevant content as often as the recipient needs to hear from us. How often us that? Depends on what you are selling. Starbucks & McDonald’s could deliver several times a week but I don’t want to hear from my Realtor nearly that often. Think carefully about the frequency with which you deliver and make sure you’re not just shoveling !#$%  to keep your name in front of them else they put you out with the trash.