5 effective ways to reduce email unsubscribe rate

Let’s be honest.

After hours of writing guest posts and spending thousands on advertising, seeing your email subscribers clicking “unsubscribe” button hurts big time.

But it doesn’t stop at making you feel miserable. High unsubscribe rate is harsh on your wallet as well.

According to InsightSquared, acquiring a new customer costs 5-25 times of retaining an existing one. That means, for each unsubscribes, your cost per lead goes up.

Long story short, content marketers lose good night sleep thanks to thinning email list.

Want to know how to stop this downhill momentum? Let’s dive in.

Unsubscribe rate: When to worry

Like it or not, unsubscribe is a natural part of your email marketing. Irrespective of the quality of content and marketing strategy, a section of your existing list will always leave. However, you should pay attention when that opt out rate is exceeding average unsubscribe rate of your industry.

But, what is the average unsubscribe rate. ?

According to Signupto , in 2016 average unsubscribe rate is 0.52% . In Some industries like recruitment/HR and Legal, unsubscribe rate is higher ( which is self-explanatory) and industries like Govt agencies and Nonprofits stay on the lower end of the spectrum.

If you are losing significantly more contacts than your industry average, it is time to reassess your strategies. Please note, a high opt-out rate is not always a bad thing. In some cases, unsubscribe rate inflates as uninterested contacts move out which is a good thing.

However, if your potential buyers are turning their back to you , then following steps will assist to fix things.

5 ways to stop your subscribers from abandoning

  1. Don’t let anyone in who isn’t interested: Lot of content marketers focus on the number so much that it clouds the ultimate goal. They set up lucrative offers and smile ear-to-ear when number of subscribers goes up.However, they don’t check if those new sign ups are good leads or just have their eyes set on freebies/ offer. I knew a guy who used to sign up for getting new deals on web hostings. Once he got the offer , he instantly clicked “unsubscribe”.There are many who are like him and when they leave, it reflects on the dashboard.So, be smart and try not use incentives that can attract people whom you don’t want to stick around. In this way, you will keep your email list junk free and serve people with whom you want to do business in future.
  2. Segment your subscribers: Not all your readers have similar interests. And if you bombard them with irrelevant content/email , they might feel compelled to eject. In fact, according to Technology Advice irrelevant emails are the third biggest reason for flagging them as ‘spam’.

    Segmenting the readers into multiple groups is an effective solution of this problem. Split them based on their interests and provide information and services they want. And happy customers often engage much more and risk of unsubscribing goes down.Doggyloot, a e-commerce site for dog owners did email segmentation very effectively. By separating their customers into several groups, they pushed their open rate to 28.1% and click through rate to an astounding 750%.

  3. Set the mailing frequency right: No one likes to get choked down with emails, even if you offering right kind of information. High emailing frequency drives your subscribers away.On the other hand, they love it when you let them set the pace. They are more likely to open emails and stay engaged if you let them decide how often they want to get your mail.You might also offer them “email breaks”, a short time span when your contact may take a break from your mails. It might sound counter-intuitive but taking a break instead of fighting for subscribers’ attention, stand you out in a positive way.

    Brands like Kognan.com do it right by offering complete flexibility to the subscribers.

  4. Proofread and avoid grammatical mistakes: Bad grammar is bad for your business. In 2013, Global-lingo found 74% visitors notice a grammatical error on website and 59% refuse to buy from any site with obvious spelling mistake.

    Same goes for your emails too. If your subscribers often get slapped with emails riddled with obvious grammatical errors, they would not remain subscribers for long.

    Grammatical error indicates sheer lack of attention to details and it harms the credibility.

    Of course, subscribers aren’t english teachers and they won’t mind if you miss an Oxford comma (and copywriting requires breaking one or two rules sometimes). However, there is no excuse of writing “stare” in place of “stair”.

    Hire a proofreader and get your email checked for any grammatical and spelling mistake.

  5. Avoid any kind of provocative and/or misleading subject line: Some brands take experimentation with subject lines little too far. In order to get the attention, they resort to some questionable subject lines which include:

    Using provocative copy: These subjects often looks like “ Do you hate me?” , “ Open it” etc. Because of their strong nature, these subject lines also get opened more. And right after opening , reader just click “unsubscribe”.

    Moral of the story, provocation should be avoided in both real life and email marketing.
    Using words that trigger spam filter: Words like “Free”, “Discount”, “now” can trigger spam filter. Even a very persuasive email can end up in spam folder.What is a point of a great email if your readers miss it completely?
    Using fake reply indicators: Using “re:” or “fwd” , unless you are replying in real, creates mistrusts. And once trust is broken it’s hard to regain.
    An effective, honest subject line is not about throwing copywriting principles out of the window. It’s about communicating with clarity and let your brand do the rest of the work.

Conclusion: Losing subscribers is a part of email marketing. However, if unsubscribe rate really bothers you , offer your readers flexibility and give them the information they seek. Grammar and written persuasion also play major roles so pay attention to details.

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