Updated: Oct 20, 2019
The unsubscribe rate is one of the key metrics in email marketing. It indicates the ratio of recipients who have unsubscribed from the newsletter after a mailing to the total number of emails sent. The deregistration takes place via the legally required unsubscribe link.
The unsubscribe rate serves as an indicator of the quality of the newsletter. If the unsubscribe rate increases after a mailing, the content was probably not suitable for the
target group or the sending schedule is too frequent.
The average unsubscribe rates range between 0.3 and 1%. If it is higher, it is advisable to analyze the reasons and take countermeasures.
Here are 8 tips for lowering the unsubscribe rate.
How to reduce the unsubscribe rate of your newsletter by 50%
The unsubscribe rate of a newsletter is a symbol of the quality of the content. Of course, if almost no one unsubcribes for years, the sender has probably been meeting the taste of the recipients. But if suddenly the unsubscribe rate increases massively, of course, this has its reason.
For newsletters, therefore, a concrete goal is to reduce the unsubscribe rate or keep it as low as possible . This article will give you some tips to help you - but also 3 things you should not do!
1. High quality content, little advertising
The most important factor in lowering the unsubscribe rate is the content of the newsletter. If you send interesting, valuable, useful content that adds real value to the audience, you generally have a lower unsubscribe rate than if you send too much business information. Too much advertising is a common reason for unsubscribe rates. Mix good content with advertising. Examples of good content:
• Technical articles
• Recent innovations in the industry
• Tips and Tricks
2. Ask unsubscriber for the reason
Who better to ask why the unsubscribe rate is rising than someone who is unsubscribing right now? So, on the page the user comes to or when they click the unsubscribe link, set up a query of the reasons for the optout. Optimal for this is a dropdown menu with frequent reasons, for example:
• no interest in the topic anymore
• too frequent newsletters
• Content uninteresting
• Topics too little tailored to my interests
3. Select correct delivery frequency
In addition to bad content, unsubscribing is often due to the fact that you simply bother users with mailings too often. Even someone who likes to read your emails and thinks they are good in principle, will unsubscribe when his inbox is overflowing. You therefore need to determine the optimal dispatch frequency. Generally, 1x / month is a good rule of thumb; however, this can vary greatly depending on the topic, target group and industry. Analyze your opening, subscribe and unsubscribe rates at different sending frequencies and ask your recipients specifically which frequency they find most comfortable.
4. The right recipients
The content is important - but even the best content will not work if the recipients are the wrong ones. The better you choose the recipients, the lower the unsubscribe rate. Especially if you buy addresses, you will suffer from high unsubscribe rates. However, if you set up your recipient via the double opt-in procedure with real added value, the unsubscribe rate will generally be lower.
5. Refer to the unsubscribe link
Include in the newsletter a note why the recipient is receiveing the newsletter at all. Especially if you rarely dispatch (less than every 4 weeks); recipients easily forget why they even get mail from you and in such cases the click on the unsubscribe link happens quickly. However, some people inform recipients in the email why they receive this e-mail. For example, something along the following lines:
You are receiving this newsletter because you registered on 12.05.2015 with the e-mail address email@example.com. This Newsletter provides you every 4 weeks with the latest information and tips about ABC.
6. advise against unsubscribe
It is also advisable to put a similar note around the unsubscribe link, something along the lines "You can unsubscribe, but you will miss out on the advantages ..."
Very good for reducing the unsubscribe rate also helps to personalize the mails. That starts with a personal address and goes up to individual content segmented by interests. Anything that gives the impression of a mass mail usually leads to lower unsubscribe rates.
8. Let frequency be selected
Companies that send out very frequent advertising know this: after a few weeks, many users will unsubscribe again because there are just too many emails. Clever companies offer preferred frequency options to recipients prior to the final unsubscribe confirmation. So for example instead of 3 times a week only once every 14 days. If the recipient decides to do so, he will be included in a separate list, which will then be emailed less frequently. So you can still retain some of those recipients, who wanted to unsubscribe, in the distribution list and they may stay for years.
You should not do that!
The above 8 tips will help you lower the unsubscribe rates. For what you absolutely should not do, read now.
1. Omit the unsubscribe link
One could come up with the idea to simply omit the unsubscribe link in the newsletters. So the unsubscribe rate could be reduced, right? Remember by doing this first of all you annoy the user which makes sure that your emails are just marked as spam (the beginning of the end for each newsletter distribution), and secondly you are violating the rules. It is legally required to integrate an unsubscribe link. You should also heed this ...
2. Do not accept unsubscribe
Technically, you could solve it so that they can unsubscribe, but still not be deleted from the mailing list. Do not play with fire here. If someone wants to unsubscribe from the newsletter, their e-mail must really be deleted, without any ifs or buts. Everything else is spam!
You could just ignore the unsubscribe rate. Simply disregard, will settle by itself. This is the wrong way, of course. Use the unsubscribe rate as a learning opportunity to create better and more successful newsletters. After all, sending mailings is not an end in itself, but should achieve a specific goal (selling, branding, customer retention, etc.). But as more and more people unsubscribe, your mailing list shrinks over time.
Also note that not all unsatisfied users will unsubscribe. Some will simply delete the mails or put them on the blocked or spam list. The unsubscribe rate is the visible warning signal for such a development. Take it seriously!