Concerned about your email unsubscribe rates?

Email marketers expect a certain level of depreciation in their database, but at what stage should you take a step back and do something about your dwindling list?

In this blog we are going to take you through the world of email unsubscribes. It’s not as daunting as it sounds and there are many simple things you can do to ensure you are minimising the likelihood of your subscribers clicking on the dreaded unsubscribe link. We’ll look at reasons why people unsubscribe and the best way to manage this to dramatically reduce your unsubscribe rate.

Why Do People Unsubscribe?

There could be a variety of reasons why people choose to opt out of receiving further campaigns from you.  We can narrow it down to 3 main ones:


If your content is no longer relevant to the reader, they may no longer be interested in reading it. For instance, if your product is seasonal  or occasion based then it is unlikely that people will want to read about it all year round and will only be interested when the time is right for them – which isn’t 2-3 times a week.  Likewise, if you’re emailing a customer about shoes because they bought a coat from you last year, they may not rush to read what you have to say.


Another reason could be the frequency you are sending your emails. You should evaluate how often you are sending to the same lists. Is the frequency dictated by when you want to promote something or by how often your subscribers want to receive something? There is a fine line between bombarding their inbox or leaving it too scarce for their tastes and either side of this line can result in an unsubscribe.


Mobile Optimisation
Yes, we know we talk about his a lot, but it really is a huge factor. Almost half of emails are read on mobile devices and if the email doesn’t display properly, or even load up quickly enough, then this could trigger an unsubscribe. Makes sense when you think about it.


So if you are guilty of any of the above (or all three), hopefully you will start to think about how you can improve your strategy to reduce your unsubscribe rate. Addressing at lest one of these will have an immediate impact on your unsubscribe rate, addressing all three will be even better!


Managing Unsubscribes & Tips for Unsubscribe Pages

It’s important to note that you should expect a certain level of unsubscribes. Some of the best email marketing campaigns will result in unsubscribes so you shouldn’t take it too personally. However, if you are increasingly seeing a high unsubscribe rate then you should take action. So here are some pointers…


The Law
Best to start with the compulsory stuff and remind you of legal compliance. You will need to follow these four rules:


Segment Your List
The best way to deliver the most relevant and customised content to your subscribers is to segment your data. The more specific you can make it, the more relevant and engaging your content will be.


Test Your Email Frequency
Getting feedback can be difficult and not all of your subscribers will let you know how often they like to receive emails. So you should conduct your own tests to find out which frequency works best for you, the results may amaze you. Also bear in mind that different segments will have different frequency preferences.


Let People Opt-Out the Easy Way
Many businesses think that hiding the unsubscribe button in the hardest and most difficult place to find will reduce the likelihood of unsubscribes. This is not the case and could actually result in more people reporting you as spam instead, which is worse for your business as it will negatively affect your sender reputation with ISPs and could result in deliverability issues. Keep unsubscribe links clear and make it as simple as possible with a one-click button.


Be Consistent
Sending your emails on a regular schedule sets the expectation with readers on how often and when they can expect to see you in their inbox. It also means you are less likely to catch them unawares – which can trigger an unsubscribe if they are not in the right mood.


Offer Preferences
You legally have to offer a one-click unsubscribe, but you can also offer a link for people to manage their preferences and select what types of emails they wish to receive (i.e. product choice, communication choice, promotion choice, frequency of communication). By doing this you are giving people the option to ‘opt-down’ rather than completely opt-out. All of this can be done using Campaign Master’s Subscription Forms Module.


Get Some Feedback
Whether you like it or not, you will get unsubscribes. So try to utilise what you can and create a small survey (couple of multiple choice questions) at the point of unsubscribing to find out why people are opting out. This could be invaluable for your future email marketing strategy and change the way you communicate going forward, in turn reducing your unsubscribes further. This can be managed with our Collection Forms Module.


Further Reading:

Managing email marketing unsubscribes – Part 1

Campaign Master Subscription Forms Module

Campaign Master Collection Forms Module

Creating Forms & Surveys

How to increase email relevancy with segmentation

Mobile optimised email marketing