Email has been described as primarily a retention medium. Most email marketing activity, not to mention budget, should be focused on retention. Research has shown that a small reduction in customer loss can result in a disproportionate increase in profitability.
Retention requires precise targeting of customers. This enables timely and effective communication aimed at keeping subscribers. It would appear that whilst the rate is increasing, the majority of permission-based email marketing has limited or no differentiated identity or targeting. It is as if companies do not recognise the value of their email lists. This gives you the chance to steal a march.
Effective retention requires accurate and relevant information. Thankfully this is easy enough to come by. Email marketing software provides all you need and more. All you have to do is make sense of it.
Subscribers to email lists will have a lifecycle, a norm that can be used to predict behaviour. It will vary from company to company and even internally from product to product. Each email marketing campaign will provide more detail enabling you to forecast what a customer will do with a high degree of accuracy.
Knowing the probable the future only gives you an advantage until it actually happens. You need to do something with the information. Let us look at unsubscribing.
The supply of office materials historically generates little loyalty, price being the major decider. Targeted incentives as a reward to current customers, that little sweetener, will keep them coming back for more. However, few successful businesses kept that way by cutting profits to the bone. You have a living to make.
An event-based approach means you can use incentives at critical times. Your software will tell you the time a customer is likely to tick the unsubscribe box. Perhaps it is after a period of time or maybe when they have not bought anything for a certain period. It will probably take more than one trigger to sound the warning bell.
An offer which they would be silly to refuse, and at the right time, could be enough to stay their mouse pointer. If they remain on your email list you always have a chance.