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11 Most Effective Ways to Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate

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If you are reading this guide, I assume that you either have a rising unsubscribe rate or want to make sure you never get to that stage.

In either case, this guide will help you.

How?

We have got 11 effective tips that will make your subscribers happy and keep them engaged with your emails.

Table of contents

How to calculate the unsubscribe rate?

Before we give you the tactics, let’s look at the unsubscribe rate formula.

Unsubscribe rate = Number of users unsubscribed/Number of emails delivered X 100

For example, if 5000 emails are delivered, and 100 subscribers have unsubscribed or opted out of your emails, then your unsubscribe rate will be 2%. It means 2% of your subscribers don’t want to hear from you.

Is that a good or bad unsubscribe rate?

Unfortunately, that is difficult to say as it depends on various factors - your industry, email list size, email marketing campaign, email types, etc.

But, we have a few standard unsubscribe rate benchmarks for you.

What is a good unsubscribe rate?

Here what’s the research says about a good email unsubscribe rate:

  • Campaign Monitor: the average email unsubscribe rate is 0.17%.
  • Mailchimp: the industry average email unsubscribe rate is 0.26%.
  • GetResponse has got some great insights about average unsubscribe rate:
  • Based on the country, and industry: 0.12%.
  • Based on email type: Newsletter - 0.11% , Triggered emails - 0.43% , Autoresponders - 0.21%, Welcome emails - 1.19%.

So, you see, there is not a fixed unsubscribe benchmark or “good unsubscribe rate.”

Related guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Email Autoresponder

But, if you have a high email unsubscribes than these benchmarks, you can follow these tips to reduce it.

11 proven ways to reduce the unsubscribe rate

Despite a good or bad unsubscribe rate, it is always better to remain on the safe side. The fewer unsubscribed, the better for your organization.

Here we will give you 11 ways that you can use to reduce unsubscribes:

1. Use a combination of opt-in and double opt-in

How would you feel if someone entered your house without your permission? You probably won’t like it. Your home is your personal space, and similarly, the user’s inbox is very personal to them.

So, you should ask their permission before entering that space, or otherwise, remember that big unsubscribe link that users will click!

How do you do that?

Use opt-in and double opt-in to confirm that users want to hear from you.

2. Suppress inactive or unengaged users

If you are still sending emails to unengaged or inactive users, you should take a step back. Why?

Because those users probably don’t want to hear from you, sending them an email is like pushing them towards that unsubscribe link. To avoid this, suppress these email addresses and never send them emails again.

Don’t know how to create a suppression list of inactive users? Read our guide on How to create a suppression list.

3. Don’t use a purchased email list to send emails.

A purchased email list is likely to hurt your email marketing performance in many ways and users’ unsubscribing from your emails is one of that damage. Because users on a purchased email list don’t know you, and who likes to hear from a random brand they never heard of?

Besides, you can come across as an annoying brand as emails will not be relevant to the users. It will impact your email open rates, and email deliverability. So, avoid sending emails to the purchased email address.

4. Clean your email list consistently

Collecting the email address to build an exhaustive email list isn’t enough. You must clean it consistently by suppressing inactive users, getting more users onboard, and updating or correcting existing email addresses.

Read about - How to Verify and Clean Email Lists.

5. Segment your email list

Segmenting your email list will help you send relevant content to users interested in those emails.

For example, it is better to tell users that you launched a new product update who are engaged with your product instead of broadcasting it to every user. This way, you will get higher engagement and lesser unsubscribes.

You can read our guide on how to carry out audience segmentation to know in detail.

6. Personalize to send relevant and valuable emails

Personalization is like the cherry on the top of segmentation. Segmenting users and then targeting them with personalized emails is a strategy that is becoming a must-have in your marketing plan.

You can personalize subject lines, email copy, email call-to-action, and so on. Read more here - An Ultimate Guide to Creating Personalized Emails.

When you send targeted emails, offer quality content, users engage more, and it helps build trust. Such engagement and trust help in reducing the unsubscribes.

7. Allow users to manage and update their preferences

Giving users an option to manage or update their preferences is an effective way to reduce email unsubscribes.

How?

For instance, Mailmodo offers users to adjust what kind of email they want to receive from them. As a result, it gives brands better insight into what users want and helps them send the most relevant emails.

Preference center

Also read: How to Create Powerful Preference Center to Retain Your Subscribers.

8. Make sure your emails are responsive

Your email lists consist of users who use different devices - mobiles, desktops, and tablets, to access and read your emails. A responsive email design enhances user experience and also increases engagement.

To make email responsive, you must first know which devices subscribers use and run a/b tests to ensure that emails are delivered in the way you intended.

9. Don’t forget about the email accessibility

According to the WHO, over one billion people live with some form of disability. It means they can’t access your emails like other users. And if those emails are not designed for them, they will get annoyed and unsubscribe.

So, you must ensure that you are creating emails that are accessible to every user despite their disabilities.

Here are a few tips to make emails accessible:

  • Use legible typography.
  • Add descriptive alt text in case images don’t render correctly.
  • Color contrast should be at least 4.5:1 so that users with visual impairments can read and understand.
  • Use role=" presentation" attribute on all table elements.

You can read our guide for an in-depth understanding of how to ensure email accessibility.

10. Optimize email frequency and timing via email cadence

One of the top reasons for users’ unsubscription is getting too frequent emails that seem irrelevant to them. So, to avoid that, you must honor the user’s preferences.

If they signed up for your weekly newsletter, send them only that email. If they signed up for a promotional email every alternate day, make sure you send them only those emails.

Besides, sending emails at the right time will also help you target users when they are actively checking their inbox.

To find that out, you can read our guide on the best time to send emails.

11. Ask users for feedback via surveys and polls.

Another way is to ask your users for feedback via surveys and polls. It will give you unfiltered insights into what they think about your organization, emails, and how you can improve your future campaigns.

For example, you can create polls and interactive AMP surveys to get a higher response from your users. Then you can use this data to create targeted and relevant content for your users.

Way forward

Keeping your audience engaged is a tough task, and you can’t keep each of them happy every time. That’s one thing we want you to understand.

Second, users are still unsubscribing even after your hard work and efforts. So, it’s good to let them go! Because reaching out to them with email campaigns they clearly no longer want to receive is likely to put you into a spam folder, affecting your domain reputation. So, it’s a wise choice to keep those users happy who are interested in your brand by sending relevant email campaigns.

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