As you begin or continue an automated email marketing strategy, the fear of unsubscribe rates can be intimidating. Here’s the good news; when it comes to unsubscribes, it's inevitable. At some point in time, some people will ultimately unsubscribe from your emails and IT IS OKAY. At least for now.
It is painful as an email marketer to see that someone reading your email scrolled through your content and decided it wasn’t for them. UNSUBSCRIBE. It seems so harsh, doesn’t it? This shouldn’t be taken personally - at least not yet. However, this doesn't mean that your unsubscribe rate doesn't matter.
The overall goal of most email marketing strategies is to generate leads and identify qualified leads. If the recipient of your email is uninterested in your content, they most likely weren’t going to convert. At least, not via email.
On average, the unsubscribe rate for emails across a variety of industries is 0.26% according to this Mailchimp article. In my previous article discussing important email marketing statistics from 2020, the importance of the unsubscribe rate is to determine how relevant the email is to your customer. Analyzing your unsubscribe rate can also tell you most directly that something in your strategy isn't working and changes need to be made, but should be used in conjunction with other important email statistics.
Let’s discuss today the main reasons why recipients unsubscribe from your emails, and methods in which you can measure & analyze your email performance to curb this number.
1. Sending too many emails
Although marketing email sends and open rates have steadily increased since Covid began, there’s still such a thing as too much. When determining your strategy, think about how you can consolidate your information into a newsletter to cut back on your marketing efforts. No one wants to be the spam in your clients’ inbox. Ensure that what you’re sending to the recipient is relevant and helpful.
2. The email looks like spam
Make sure that you take the time to format an email that helps you achieve a goal as a company. How do you want to funnel your clients? This goal should be top-of-mind when designing your content and user experience.
To echo a common sentiment across this blog, content should be relevant and helpful to the recipient. This isn't always fool-proof. Data is complex, and you can only segment your lists depending on what type of information you currently have on each client. Do you have the data to segment an email list based off of interest, location, or industry?
What is segmentation? According to Campaign Monitor, segmentation is the division of an email list into smaller segments based on set criteria. Segmentation is a tactic used to ensure relevancy to your audience based on location, interests, purchase history, client activity, and more.
Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue. (HubSpot.com).
4. Privacy concerns
Doesn’t include when you’ve done business with someone and they have your email address. We’re talking about obviously purchased lists. This is unethical marketing. For the customer’s perspective: this is different from receiving emails from a company you’ve done business with that you’ve given your email address at some point - this is referencing the spam-like emails that make zero sense with a company you’ve never heard of.
Having an Unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails is a legal requirement of all marketers. Learn more about GDPR here.
5. Didn’t recall signing up
This is a likely occurrence if the recipient has zero idea how they’ve ended up on your email list. Make sure you’re funneling your customers logically. This, again, means ensuring relevance + resourcefulness of your content.
To avoid your recipients feeling like this, provide a statement at the bottom of your email that makes it easy for your recipients to manage their preferences + also explains why they’re receiving the email.
To curb your unsubscribe rate:
Create an exit survey to gather more information on why a recipient unsubscribed from your emails. Clear communication is key - make sure that your readers understand what they’re unsubscribing from.
Lastly, always expect a certain amount of people to unsubscribe from your emails. Similar to social media trends, where you see a fluctuation in followers daily. This is ok! The whole purpose of email marketing is to generate and nurture your leads, with the goal to funnel + convert them.