“I don’t like companies that bombard me with marketing. If I want to know about something, I’ll just look at their website.”

This is from a friend of mine, let’s call her Jane “Marketer’s Nightmare” Smith. She’s an extreme case of communications-phobe; she hates giving out her email and quickly unsubscribes (or worse, blocks) any newsletter that starts getting on her nerves. But, she’s an excellent customer: willing to pay for quality and extremely loyal. She just hates marketing – she’s an unmarketable.

So what does a valuable yet newsletter hating customer subscribe to? Well unsurprisingly, not much. The James Halliday Wine Companion newsletter was alright until it started sending too frequently (blocked). It turns out the one that has hung in there is Australian organic grocer Ceres’ weekly send.

“I like it because it’s the owner’s random weekly thoughts, it doesn’t feel like marketing.”

So Ceres lives to send another day.

Jane is an extreme case – people like this would make up a small sliver of your target market. However, if you can successfully speak to them, this can be an extremely valuable group. Luckily the tips that make your company more appealing to them will provide a better customer experience for all.

1. Have subscription options
If possible, it’s always good to have subscription preferences so customers can choose what they would like to receive. Temple & Webster (and indeed many of these flash sale sites) provide a good example:
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Not only do they provide many subscription offerings, but they also have a “Snooze” feature for when it’s all just getting a bit too much (or people go on holiday).Temple & Webster offer options by content. Other options available include frequency (how often a customer receives sends), channel (e.g. SMS, email) and format (text vs. html, although this would be a lower priority than the first two options).

2. Reward good behaviourIn this case, the good behaviour being still subscribing. The loyal unmarketables will likely fall into your definition of customer “stars” (e.g. customers who have spent X amount during Y date range), so having a surprise and delight agenda should help make them feel loved (without feeling smothered).

3. Respect unsubscribes
If using standalone unsubscribe pages rather than a preference centre, be very clear on what people are opting out of, and respect this. It’s also worth having an “Unsubscribe from all communication” option. If an unmarketable receives another newsletter after they thought they opted out, you’ll likely get blocked, or worse: receive a complaint via an email client.

At the very least, keep people like Jane in mind when working on your marketing communications. Some customers don’t need to receive a hard sell – they like your brand enough already.