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New Feature: Unsubscribe Survey

Monday, April 09, 2007

There are two aspects to improving your circulation: adding new subscribers and, often neglected, reducing the number of subscribers who leave. But how do you do that? In order to reduce subscriber attrition you need to know just one key item: why they're leaving.

FeedBlitz can now tell you why. The unsubscribe process now contains options for your readers to tell you why they're checking out. The survey is optional - the default is basically "not telling" - but for those that do change that option there's good information to be gleaned that you can take action on.

Firstly, if you are getting the subscribe / unsubscribe email notifications (the default), the reason for leaving is now in the email message (so it makes sense to open these notifications now if you weren't before).

We also have a new unsubscribe report to aggregate all your unsubscribe survey results. To access your unsubscribe survey results go to www.feedblitz.com/f?lists and invoke your syndication's popup menu. There's a new option here: the unsubscribe survey.

It generates a report that might look something like this one:

You can also get to these analytics by drilling down on the "unsubscribed" values in the subscription activity report.

Looking at the data, if you see "unknowns" they likely predate the survey's implementation across the board. Of the meaningful results, which is what you'll see going forward, there are a few that you really need to watch.

Updates Too Frequent

You may be aggravating some of your readers by causing daily emails. If you see many of these, don't stop posting: instead, consider offering a weekly alternative by cloning your syndication and setting up weekly delivery.

Updates Not Timely

Your readers want your content more often! Post more frequently or consider offering a daily version if you're only running weekly or occasional "on demand" updates.

Offensive Content

Say something too controversial? Use an inappropriate or off-color adjective? A rash of these may indicate your content is straying too far off-topic or your tone needs changing.

ISP Requested Removal

The user hit the "this is spam" button on their mail client. We get these reports from major ISPs and unsubscribe the relevant user. If you see many of these the cause may be the same as "offensive content" above, or may indicate a list quality problem. Take appropriate action quickly.

Subscribing Using a Different Method

Hey, you didn't lose this one after all! They're just getting your content a different way.

So take a moment to check out your unsubscribe reports. It's actionable data that you can quickly use to retain your subscribers and increase their value to you.

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