Updating Your Email Campaign? Tips To Avoid Subscriber Whiplash!

You want to keep your emails fresh. Follow the latest trends. Stand out in the inbox.

Freshening up your email campaign gives you the opportunity to try out new things — maybe a new call-to-action will increase conversions, or a new sidebar will bring more clicks to your website. A new look can also relieve subscriber fatigue. Looking at the same old thing all the time might get boring for your subscribers.

Whether you’re doing a full redesign, tweaking some minor design/layout elements, or even just altering the frequency of your emails, updating your campaign will mean making noticeable adjustments — so it’s important take a moment to consider how your subscribers will react.

Think about it: the email they’re expecting is not what’s in front of them anymore. So what can happen? Your subscribers might become annoyed, confused, and perhaps even suspicious. If they don’t think the email is coming from you anymore, they might think it’s junk — and that will certainly have a negative impact on your conversions!

With that in mind, here are some things you can do to make the transition from old to new as easy as possible.

Changes In Design

There are three main things you can do when changing the design of your email:

  1. Acknowledge you’re making a change. This simple gesture will let subscribers know why things look different, and it’ll give you a chance to get them excited about the changes.
  2. Ask for feedback. Email is great for conversation, so encourage subscribers to talk to you. They’ll appreciate that you care about their opinion.
  3. Provide alternative channels. In case subscribers have issues with the new design for any reason, it’s helpful to provide them with alternative ways to stay connected with your brand, such as your social media properties or blog. Linking to your official company properties also lends credibility to your emails, which can go a long way in preventing them from being mislabeled as junk mail.

To show you an example of a company that handled this well, take a look at this email from Union Transfer:


Notice how Union Transfer incorporates all three tips in their email.

There are some other ways you can ease into the transition as well. For example, you can:

  • Keep your logo the same, and ensure that it is featured prominently in the email.
  • Remind subscribers what it is you’re sending and how they signed up.
  • Make sure the “From” address remains the same.

Changes In Frequency

Changing up the frequency requires more caution, especially if you’re going to be sending more emails.

The key with frequency changes is to offer the subscriber preferences. Provide a way for subscribers to choose if they want to continue with the frequency they are currently receiving or switch to the new one. Most email marketing service providers have several options for creating some sort of preference center.

If you can’t offer preference options, make sure the option to unsubscribe is clearly visible.

ModCloth handled their recent frequency change very well:


Besides offering preference options, ModCloth also used this as an opportunity to mention other important information about their emails. For example, if subscribers hadn’t yet added ModCloth to their address book, doing so will ensure ModCloth emails never get marked as spam.

What Worked For You?

If you’ve done this before, please share what helped your subscribers transition from old to new.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Email Marketing | Email Marketing Column


About The Author: is Education Marketing Associate at AWeber, the leading email marketing service provider for small businesses, where she works with business owners to grow their marketing efforts. An experienced optimization consultant, Crystal has consulted with over 500 businesses to improve their email marketing efforts for optimal results, and regularly provides marketing training to AWeber customer solutions staff.

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