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7 Proven Ways to Prevent your Email Subscribers from Clicking the Unsubscribe Button

Email marketers put a lot of efforts into creating email strategies, designing email templates and executing campaigns to promote their brands and drive sales. To know if the efforts are paying off, marketers need to track important metrics and continuously make changes in their strategies to achieve desirable goals. Email unsubscribe rate is one such important parameter which marketers must look into, to know whether the email campaigns are moving on the right track and driving results.

Unsubscribe rates tell you how often subscribers in your email list unsubscribe from your emails. A high unsubscribe rate hampers your email deliverability performance and can put your brand reputation at stake. According to a survey by Mailjet, a good unsubscribe rate lies in the range of 0-0.5%, depending on the industry.  An unsubscribe rate above 0.5% indicates that your subscribers do not find your emails useful.

The most common reasons why email users hit the unsubscribe button are:

  • You are sending too many emails
  • Your emails are irrelevant to them
  • They find your emails boring and repetitive
  • Your emails are too salesy
  • The subscriber never signed up to receive your emails or signed up by mistake

Here are the best practices to avoid email unsubscribers.


1. Set up a preference centre

When the subscriber opts in, send a subscription follow-up email that clearly mentions what your emails would cover. Also, set up a preference centre that would allow the users to update their preferences and interests. This would allow them to choose the kind of content and the frequency at which they would want to receive the emails. Check out this email from AutoTrader that asks the subscribers to tell what they’d like to hear about and confirm their subscription.

autotraderSource: Really Good Emails


2. Segment the subscribers

The key to boost email open rates and click rates is to divide your email list into smaller groups or segments and send targeted content to each group. The segments can be created by differentiating your users based on their demographics, interests and preferences, purchase history, online behavior, etc. Segmenting the users and sending targeted emails to each one of them improve the ROI and reduce the unsubscribe rate.


3. Send valuable content

The content of your email needs to be appropriate to keep your subscribers interested in your brand. Once your segments are in place, create highly targeted and relevant content for each segment. Instead of simply promoting your offers and products, provide value to your subscribers by sending them the topics they requested for while opting in.


4. Use clear and relevant subject lines

Your subscribers’ inboxes contain hundreds of unread emails due to uninteresting subject lines that failed to entice them. Click-worthy subject lines that clearly show what’s inside the email have proven to boost open rates. To ensure your subscribers instantly open your email by reading the subject line, keep it short, avoid using spammy words, and use a friendly and persuasive tone.


5. Personalize your emails based on the subscribers’ interests

Sending relevant and personalized emails to each user helps in improving customer engagement and email conversion rates. When the email copy is customized as per the subscribers’ interests and preferences, they are more likely to engage with it. Create email templates by using dynamic content to send different content to different segments of users and also personalize the subject lines to prevent the subscribers from losing interest in your emails.


6. A/B test the send time and frequency of your emails

Sending emails at the wrong time or sending too many emails can be a big turn off and your emails may end up in the spam folder. Make sure you test the email template for different time zones to know when the users are most likely to engage with your emails. Also, fine-tune the number of emails you send by either asking your subscribers outright at the preference centre or by monitoring their responses to your emails.


7. Take timely feedback from your customers

If your subscribers have not engaged with your emails for a while, try asking for feedback. Take a survey to understand what they like about your brand and emails and what they would like to receive more. Take a look at this email from Signature Hardware that offers the users a chance to win a gift for taking the survey.

emailSource: Really Good Emails


Wrap Up

Despite following these best practices, if your unsubscribe rate goes high, try alternate channels to reach your subscribers. Push notifications and social media are some of the most successful channels for marketing in the current digital world. Explore these options as well to get maximum results. Besides, make sure your emails are optimized for mobiles and smaller screens as a majority of your users might view them on their smartphones.


Author Bio: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.