Email Unsubscribe Rates: Why Should You Care?

You know the phrase “you win some, you lose some.” This concept is applicable to your email subscribers; it’s inevitable that over time some people will choose to opt out of receiving emails from your brand.

But even with this in mind, it’s important for marketers to be aware of ongoing unsubscribe rates and analyze them in order to understand what they could reveal about your campaign strategy. Continue reading to learn more.

What is an email unsubscribe rate?

An email’s unsubscribe rate indicates how many of your existing subscribers select to stop receiving your emails out of how many received the email. There is no “target” rate, but you can expect to lose one or two people with each email send.

While a small number of opt-outs is normal-if not ideal for keeping a clean list of engaged and active subscribers-you want pay attention if it starts to creep up and gradually increase over time. Losing too many people from your list lowers engagement and conversion numbers.

High unsubscribe rates aren’t only noticed by you; email servers take note as well. If people are unsubscribing from your list in large quantities, it’s a signal to these servers and monitoring systems that you might be spam (even if you aren’t).

What do high and low unsubscribe rates mean?

Low unsubscribe rates are a sign that your emails are delivering the content that not only you promised in prompting people to sign up, but that also satisfies your audience. You’ll want to continue testing different email variables to increase open and click rates, but don’t reinvent the wheel completely if you want to keep recipients happy.

If you notice a high unsubscribe rate for a single email, assess how this email differs from others and what may have turned people off. Was it the timing; the content; the tone of voice? Do some testing to determine what elements are causing people to leave and what changes result in lower unsubscribes.

On the other hand, if you notice consistently high rates, it could be a sign of a much bigger issue. It could be that you are no longer providing information in your emails your audience once expected, or that you never were. You may be miscommunicating the purpose of your emails in relevant landing pages or signup calls-to-action. Investigate and resolve this as quickly as possible, again doing some testing to discover what might have led to the surge in unsubscribes and what works to bring the number down.

What can be done to reduce unsubscribes?

Keep unsubscribe rates low by following some of these best practices:

  • Stick to your initial promise and mission so there aren’t any unwanted surprises.
  • Use segmentation and personalization so every subscriber only receives content relevant to their interests.
  • Use zero-party data to offer exclusive-and customized!-discounts and product recommendations.
  • Ask! Reach out to your subscribers with a survey to see if they are satisfied with your emails or if there’s something missing.

Want to optimize your emails and reduce unsubscribes? Maropost for Marketing’s email capabilities allow marketers to use a customer-focused, data-driven strategy to reach and retain subscribers.

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