As an email marketer, there’s no worse feeling than witnessing an uptick in your unsubscription rate.
Watching the unsubscribes flood in, it’s hard to not take it personally.
The unfortunate truth is that yes, you do hold some of the blame. If your unsubscribe rate is above average (under 1% is the industry norm), you’re definitely being dumped for a reason.
We’re going to look at 3 common reasons why unsubscription rates increase, and ways to improve on the situation to stop the leak.
1. You email them too often.
No one likes being badgered, and especially not by someone they’re not familiar with.
A mistake email marketers often make, in trying to encourage engagement and build up relationships with their audience, is sending emails too often.
It’s of course invaluable to become familiar to your recipients, but there’s a lot more to building up a relationship than constantly sending one sided communications.
You may find, after a series of emails sent in frequent succession, that you experience a mass unsubscription. This mainly has to do with people trying to keep on top of their inboxes. If they come to the conclusion that your brand is a big source of noise, then they’re going to opt-out to save themselves further inbox management stress.
What to improve:
Try to send emails no more than once a week to your audience.
If you absolutely need to run communications more frequently, consider targeting your audience across multiple channels – so they don’t feel bombarded in their inboxes.
Segmenting your audience more thoroughly can also help you reduce your send frequency. This way, despite your sending multiple communications often, your recipients are well segmented enough that they only receive the communications relevant to them – and thus don’t feel their inboxes are being cluttered unnecessarily.
2. You email them generic content they don’t care about.
As we’ve just covered above, a big part of reducing the appearance of your send frequency is to properly segment your audience. This plays a big part in the endurance of your subscriber-brand relationship.
Recipients are more likely to unsubscribe from content if they deem it as invaluable and irrelevant.
You may also find that there’s a correlation between how personalised your email is, and how many unsubscribes occur. After all, personalisation is found to increase the efficiency of marketing spending by up to 30%.
Your subscribers want to feel that a) the email is intended for them specifically, and b) that it offers them relevant value.
What to improve:
Segment your lists better. As we’ve already mentioned, segmenting your mail lists more thoroughly will not only help combat unsubscriptions from send frequency, but will also help you send more relevant content to your recipients.
You can segment your mailing lists by allowing potential subscribers to choose what types of communications they want to receive from you at the time of subscription.
Personalise your email content. Insert personalisations into your email to make the email appear more targeted, and less mass-produced. Even a simple acknowledgement of the recipients name can turn a mass communication into a one-on-one experience.
Personalisation is no joke – a study from Experian Marketing Services claims “personalized emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates”.
3. You come across as SPAM-my
The final, and perhaps most important reason you might be getting a high volume of unsubscriptions, is that your subscribers consider you as SPAM.
There’s a number of reasons for this. First of all, your recipients may not recognise your brand – and may not remember opting in for these communications from you.
This can be solved by ensuring your subscription process is clear, and giving your subscribers the chance to segment themselves by selecting the types of communications they want to opt in for. This means that when you do arrive in their inbox, they recognise your brand, and recognise the communications as something they explicitly gave consent for to receive.
Secondly, your email content is too ad-oriented. If the only communications you’re sending to your recipients read as advertisements, then chances are your subscribers are going to consider your emails as SPAM.
The average office worker already receives 76 emails a day, 19 of which are illegitimate (junk email). Junk email are often purely promotional to drive product or service sales, and if your email reads as an ad, it’ll fall into that same category to most discerning recipients.
You can solve this issue by making sure you have a clear communications strategy in place, which doesn’t just involve sending promotional emails every now and then, but instead involves a holistic customer journey which encourages engagement, and participation. Your emails need to have strong value propositions in order to avoid being marked as SPAM.
Lastly, you’re using classic SPAM words. We’ve already talked about the words and phrases that trigger SPAM filters, but even if your emails aren’t filtered out – using SPAM like words will raise a red flag for your recipients.
All you have to do to combat this issue is avoid using SPAM like copy. It’s also worth properly critiquing the design of your emails, in order to make sure that your email templates look professional and trustworthy.
Decrease Your Unsubscribe Rate With Better Opt-in Processes, Content Strategies, and Personalisation.
The beauty of a high unsubscribe rate is that it acts as the perfect red flag.
If you’re losing subscribers at an above average rate, then consider those unsubscribers your personal wake up call.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board, and to properly analyse your subscriber journey. From the process of subscription, to how your recipients are communicated with via email, every step needs to be properly assessed.
Consider the solutions above as a way for you to rebuild your subscriber journey, in order to better nurture your relationships with your audience, and better reach your brand’s marketing goals.
If you keep getting dumped, it’s not them – it’s you. And that’s great, because your email marketing strategy is something you can change and improve with any of the above solutions.