Why do People Unsubscribe from Email Campaigns and what can you do about it?

email unsubscribe

Email campaigns are a digital marketer’s best friend. It might be one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but its effectiveness is unbeatable. Such campaigns as we all know are conducted so that you can establish a direct line of communication with your subscriber. It helps you to form a relationship with your subscriber and when such a subscriber decides to unsubscribe, it is like breaking up.

Break ups are hard. So, are moments like this when you discover that people are unsubscribing from your email campaign. The worst part is that sometimes you have no clue as to why they are unsubscribing. One of the neatest ways to know why people are unsubscribing is to set up an exit interview and understand the reasons why they might be leaving.

Why do People Unsubscribe?

According to a study conducted by Epsilon on email usage trends, these were the top reasons for unsubscribing:

  • Irrelevant Content: 64%
  • Frequency of mails are too high: 60%
  • Email address has been shared or sold to a database: 40%
  • Didn’t remember signing up: 33%
  • Privacy: 33%

The reasons stated above are pretty legitimate and happens to us more often than we know. However, let’s look at why people are unsubscribing in the first place in more detail:

1. Never signed up/ didn’t realize they Signed upThis happens only when you have a poor email list. Either you are trying desperately to add as many subscribers as you can or bought a cheap database off somewhere. Most people including you hate unsolicited mail. There’s no faster way to get people off your mailing list than this. Most of these “subscribers” didn’t really subscribe and don’t remember doing it in the first place. Sometimes people don’t even know what they are signing up for.

2. Frequency of mails are highPeople often unsubscribe because the marketer cannot determine the correct frequency. Most subscribers complain that marketers mail them too frequently and ends up cluttering their mailbox. Easier way would be to ask your subscriber yourself, how often they want an email from you.

3. Email cannot be viewedSometimes your email might look good to you but when you are sending it out to your audience, it might not look appealing. Many subscribers use mobile platforms to view emails and if your email contains a valuable offer that ends up below a picture that hasn’t been rendered correctly, your effort will be in vain. Make sure that your email is mobile optimized and looks professional and simple. Sending a cluttered email will confuse subscribers and often people won’t be able to view it properly.

4. Irrelevant and Boring ContentThis is one of the most important reason why people unsubscribe. If you refer to cause number 1, you will understand that sending your emails to the wrong audience. You have to keep in mind what your subscriber wants, unless and until you cater to your subscribers’ tastes and preferences, you will keep losing them. You have to personalize content and provide relevant content as per your audience. Getting feedback from your subscribers is also a brilliant way to understand what kind of content they want. Sometimes subscribers are often bored by the content that you are providing even if that is relevant. You have to provide content that is unique. The least you can do is to serve your content in a unique manner to avoid the setting in of boredom.

5. Always SellingSubscribers tend to unsubscribe from emails if you are always sending them emails that are selling a product or a service. Sales emails are okay from time to time but sending a barrage of such emails all the time ends up in unsubscribing. Follow the rule of 80/20, where you still to tips, strategies and news in 80% of your mails and the other 20% will be meant for sales.

How to Reduce Unsubscribes?

1. SegmentationEmail segmentation is essential for your subscribers. Segmentation will help you deliver relevant, personalized content to the subscribers that matter the most. The more relevant your email, better your subscription rate.

2. Map Your ContentMapping your content is extremely important once you have a large number of subscribers in different parts of the buy cycle. You will have to make sure that every subscriber gets content relevant to their position so that you can nurture them accordingly.

3. Customised Email FrequencyOne thing that you should learn from other marketers’ mistakes is to perfect the email frequency. Let your subscribers decide how often they want emails from you so that you can provide customised emails for every subscriber. You get to retain subscribers over time as a result.

4. Offer Different Communication MethodsIf your subscriber wants to unsubscribe, offer them another method of communication so that you can still keep them in the loop. It can be anything from SMS, RSS, social media networks, blogs and the places where your company has a presence.

5. Emailing ScheduleYou need to set a schedule which your subscribers need to understand. Set their expectations as to when they will receive an email from you, so that they are not taken by surprise.

6. ExclusivityYou have to leverage exclusivity and keep subscribers from unsubscribing. You need to provide them exclusive offers from time to time so that subscribers have a reason to stay subscribed.

8. Take FeedbackThe last but not the least is the importance of taking feedback from your subscribers. Listen to what they have to say because that will help you craft your email campaigns accordingly, helping you reduce unsubscribes in the long term.

How do you deal with unsubscribes? Let us know in the comments below!

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