Letting Leads Go? I don’t think so!

So, you mastered the lead generation game and got your leads to opt in to your email marketing campaign. Huzzah! Now, they want out… We know. Breaking up sucks…especially if you’re on the receiving end. After all, you worked so hard to generate and nurture those leads with your email marketing campaign, it’s only natural that you would want to try to hold onto them just a bit longer, just in case one more email blast – or ten – would turn them from bystanders into buyers.

But, believe you me, making it next to impossible for your leads to call it quits by burying your unsubscribe option, forcing them to jump through numerous hoops, misdirection, or other sleight of hand tactics to keep them from leaving, isn’t the way to win them back. In fact, some of these ploys are actually illegal.

Whether your methods are illegal or not, harassing your leads into hanging around isn’t improving your email ROI or increasing brand loyalty, and it’s definitely not changing their minds. Time to turn off the crazy and make peace with saying goodbye. Time for letting leads go.

Breaking Up Shouldn’t Be Hard To Do

Contrary to the popular song title, if you’re the kind of business your customers want to be with, breaking up with you shouldn’t be hard to do. If you make it too hard for your leads to call an end to the relationship, not only will you discourage them from ever reconsidering your business in the future, you very well may drive them to take matters into their own hands and simply add your domain to their spam list. We’ve already discussed the potential damage from being flagged as spam across your entire email marketing efforts in an earlier installment. So, trust us and resist the temptation to let your remorse over leads love lost turn you into the Unrelenting Ex of email marketing that makes them want to get a restraining order.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Rather than fighting your leads’ decision to call it quits, consider this a valuable opportunity for a little self-education. If your business sends different emails targeted to various interest groups, it may be that your leads interests might be better served by a different publication. Advising them on your unsubscribe landing page of the other available interest-based publications offered by your business with an opportunity to specify the content they prefer to receive might just save the relationship. Or, it may be that your leads are simply dissatisfied with the frequency of your email campaign, but would be willing to stay on board if they could select an option which reduced how often your emails made it to their inboxes.

Alternatively, you might consider providing a selection of a few options which describe the reasons for their decision to unsubscribe to help fuel your analytics and improve your future email marketing efforts. Most leads are more than happy to help point out the error of your ways, given the chance. Just don’t make this part of the process a gate to an unsubscribe page (a no-no under the CAN-SPAM act).

Mind Your Manners: Be Polite and Don’t Forget to KISS

Above all, when parting ways with your leads be polite and keep it simple, stupid. Once that unsubscribe option has been selected, be sure to thank your leads for their time and interest and confirm that their request has been honored with either an e-mail or landing page. If you do use this as an opportunity for self-education, don’t forget to keep the process brief and easy. Remember that your leads likely arrived at this point out of frustration with some aspect of your email marketing campaign, so now is not the time to test their patience with an overly complex exit process. If they lack the patience to indulge even a simple request, they should still have the option to simply unsubscribe and be done. Your good manners might just earn you a second chance further down the road.

The bottom line is that leads that aren’t interested in what you have to offer are not good leads to begin with. In the meantime, there are plenty of other leads in the sea on whom your lead nurturing efforts would be better spent in the first place. So shake it off and get back in the game, tiger.


At HiveMind Studios, we understand what it takes to launch and run a successful email marketing campaign that nurtures your leads all the way down the sales funnel. To boost your lead conversion rates and avoid landing on your leads’ spam lists, request a free strategic email marketing review today.

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