Believe it or not, people are not very good about leaving groups that they belong to–even when they’re very unhappy with the marketing outreach that comes with being part of those groups.

It’s so easy to click “unsubscribe,” yet people rarely take the time to remove themselves from pesky email lists. We all learned this the hard way when the pandemic hit in March. Everyone started receiving statement letters from the CEOs of every company they’ve ever patronized, day after day, ranging from the place they bought their camping equipment from nine years ago to the place they order hot wings from every Tuesday.

The same thing goes for snail mail; people are more likely to throw out Yummy Mommy magazines from the last tenant every week for 10 years than they are to simply call the company and ask them to take their address off the mailing list.

And yet, marketing companies still spend a lot of time fretting about how to retain their customers. Why?

Ostensibly, it’s because it’s so valuable to build long-term relationships with customers. This might convert a lead to a sale. Or, it might lead to a second or third purchase, instead of stopping at just one. Often, the customer will develop brand loyalty and continue to use your company over time (perhaps even for a lifetime). They might also recommend your company to friends and family when asked for a suggestion or referral. 

But first, you need to make sure there’s even a point to keeping the people on your current lists. Do you know that you have the right leads? Are they likely to complete the actions you’re hoping they will? Have you profiled your customers and outlined the typical customer journey? 

Should you be worried about your current list instead of trying to capture new customers or expand your brand to new audiences?

There are easy ways to start finding these answers. 

It starts with keeping your lists clean. What does that mean? It means periodically eliminating the email and physical mail addresses on your list that you’re contacting who never, ever engage with you. If you give someone plenty of opportunities and incentives to engage, and nothing is connecting with them, it’s highly unlikely that the person is suddenly going to start sending money your way. At some point, you’re wasting more energy than that lead is worth.

With a more focused list, you can concentrate on the people who are likely to make purchases (or at least engage meaningfully with your brand). 

You also want to carefully outline what you’re expecting from your audience. Just “staying” isn’t enough. Learn what a truly engaged persona looks like, based on their activities and engagement with your brand (for example, if they follow you on social media and subscribe to your newsletter) and dedicate more resources to the customers who match that profile. 

For people who aren’t acting the same way, guess what? They’re just not that into you. And you shouldn’t be fighting to keep them. 

Whether they eventually unsubscribe or you kick them off your list on your own, let go of the idea that losing users is necessarily a bad thing. It’s only bad to lose a certain type of loser, but first you need to know what they look like and how they behave. Figure out why someone like that might want to leave, and what it would take to change their mind. Then, you learn how to make the most of those relationships so that you can, in fact, keep them.

Learn more about creating personas, the customer journey, and how to run a successful reactivation campaign by reaching out to Mad 4 Marketing today!