How To Reduce Unsubscribe Rate - A Beginner's Guide

How To Reduce Unsubscribe Rate – A Beginner’s Guide [2024]

Email marketing success is crucial for any online business. It is important to regularly monitor your email marketing metrics to improve your efforts and get more results.

One of the crucial metrics to work on is the unsubscribe rate. Whenever you send emails, if you see more people unsubscribing, then you should be concerned and work on improving your emails.

Today, we will look at how you can reduce your unsubscribe rate using effective strategies. An improved unsubscribe rate will mean more potential leads and higher conversion rates.

So let’s begin.

What Is Unsubscribe Rate?

The unsubscribe rate is the average percentage of people who unsubscribe from your email list after sending your email campaigns. It’s a clear indication of how many people were dissatisfied with your emails and decided to stop receiving emails from you completely.

For example, suppose you sent an email to 1000 subscribers. After the campaign, you noticed that about 20 people decided to unsubscribe. So, in this campaign, the unsubscribe rate is 2%.

Email Unsubscribe Rate

Generally, a rate above 0.5% is alarming as that would mean you have managed to annoy some of your leads with your emails.

Why Does Unsubscribe Rate Matter?

While it sounds less concerning, it’s actually a very important metric that you should work on improving. Here’s why:

  1. May Effect Your Online Reputation
    A regular high unsubscribe rate means your subscribers are unhappy with you for some reason. If no actions are taken, it will affect your authority and trust.
  2. Dependent On Content Relevance
    High unsubscribe rates mean that you are probably not sending relevant or useful content to your subscribers. It could also mean you are sending your content to the wrong customer base.
  3. Signifies Campaign Effectiveness
    It is one of the metrics that define how effective your campaign was. If the unsubscribe rate is high, it generally means your campaign was not well planned for your leads.
  4. Can Effect Long-term Audience Health
    Consistently high rates lead to lower number of subscribers. If you are not sending emails to the wrong audience, then this means you are losing opportunities due to poor content delivery.

Factors Influencing Unsubscribe Rates

In order to improve your unsubscribe rate, you need to learn about the various factors that influence unsubscribe rate.

i. Content Quality and Relevance

Your content relevance has a direct impact on the unsubscribe rate.

For example, suppose you collected a few leads by giving away marketing workbooks. This means, your leads are interested in marketing.

Now, if you send these people a newsletter on software development, it will most likely be irrelevant to them. Regularly sending such irrelevant content will eventually result in them unsubscribing from your email list.

Besides, the content quality is also a big factor. If you are sending content that is not helpful and inefficient, then it may increase the unsubscribe rate.

ii. Frequency of Emails/SMS

Finding the right balance in the frequency of your emails is a crucial task that significantly impacts the email unsubscribe rate.

A study by Constant Contact discovered that a staggering 45% of subscribers unsubscribed due to receiving too many emails.

It shows the balance between staying in touch and overwhelming your audience.

  • We recommend not sending more than one email in a week unless necessary. Even if you have to send more, try not to cross two.
  • And definitely do not send more than one email in a single day.

iii. Personalization and Segmentation

If you segment your leads based on behavior, purchase history, or location it will allow you to personalize your emails. And personalized emails have a positive effect on your email performance, meaning, a reduced unsubscribe rate.

Connecting with your audience on a personal level will always make them feel important and consider not opting out even if they don’t find it useful.

iv. Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

You will hear it time and time again in any marketing guide.

A clear call to action is crucial for any type of marketing campaign.

In your emails, a lack of proper call to action will leave your prospects confused and lost.

Using proper CTAs will keep the recipients engaged and reduce the chance of unsubscribing.

v. Optimal Timing for Sending

Timing is an important factor when you send your customers any type of email. If you send out news about a fantastic sale at midnight when everyone’s tucked into bed, no matter how amazing your deal is, the timing might make it miss the spotlight.

To hit the right note, you need to know when your audience is most active.

Here’s the trick we suggest you follow:

If you’re targeting businesses then mid-week mornings might be the sweet spot when professionals are busy checking their emails. On the flip side, if you’re talking to regular customers, evenings when they are winding down could be the right time.

Adjusting your email timing to match your audience’s availability ensures your message arrives just when they’re ready to pay attention, i.e., they are open to getting emails from you and other marketers.

This will, in turn, reduce the chance of unsubscribing.

vi. Overcoming Technical Issues

Technical glitches such as broken links, lack of responsiveness, or formatting errors can frustrate subscribers, leading to opt-outs.

Make sure to send out test emails to your own inbox and check if the email is working as expected. Check the links and check on multiple devices to ensure responsiveness.

Also, notice if the texts and design seem too cluttered. You want your subscribers to get your message clearly rather than having to clamber for it.

Besides, you may also avoid running cheesy promotional campaigns without warming up your leads. If a person doesn’t remember you and sees a discount offer out of the blue, it will most likely annoy him that excite.

Strategies to Reduce Unsubscribe Rates

Now that we have explored the factors influencing the email unsubscribe rate, let’s look forward to actionable strategies to keep your subscribers engaged and minimize those alarming rates.

1. Crafting Compelling Subject Lines

Subject lines should be intriguing and informative, prompting subscribers to open and engage with the email content.

Say for example you are a customer and you get two emails. One says, ‘Special Offers Inside,’ and the other shouts, ‘Exclusive Deals Just for You, [the Subscriber’s Name]!’ The second one will connect with more people due to the personalized approach, triggering more email opens compared to the first one.

Use subject lines to make people curious, offer something much more interesting, or stir some feelings. Try some techniques from here.

A well-written subject line will help excite the customer right from the start, reducing the chances of opting out.

2. Delivering Value in Every Interaction

Yes, email marketing is intended to help you grow your business. But, it will only work if the prospects feel valued.

It is important that your emails provide or offer some value to the customer. The recipient should feel that you have reached out because you care and want to deliver value for the prospect.

The best way to handle this is by taking a benefit-focused approach with your email copy where you highlight the key benefits your prospects will get if they take your offer.

Plus, before sending your promotional emails, you should always nurture your leads by sending out useful content from time to time. It will help you build authority so that your recipients will not get annoyed when you send promotional emails later.

Giving value builds a nice relationship. People get good stuff in email, and in return, they stay interested and loyal. So this is super important to maintain.

3. Segmenting Your Audience Effectively

Smart segmentation based on preferences, behavior, demographics, or past interactions allows you to prepare targeted and personalized emails.

Let us look at a simple example. Suppose you run a clothing store and you segment your leads into Men and Women. This means you can then send specific recommendations to Men with men’s clothing, and to Women with female fashion items. People will find these more relevant and look forward to your emails in the future as well.

This is a sign of loyalty which is a great advantage in helping to reduce unsubscribe rates.

4. A/B Testing for Optimization

Experimenting always helps. You may run A/B split tests for your email campaigns to find out the best approach for a reduced unsubscribe rate.

Use different approaches as a different variation of an email and send them to a certain chunk of your leads. Then see which approach results in the lowest unsubsribe rate. Use that one for the rest of your leads.

Of course, this will work for all the metrics, not just the unsubscribe rate. Eventually, you need to find the winning email tactic that gives optimal results for all the core email metrics.

5. Utilizing Feedback Loops

Feedback loops are a great way to understand subscriber sentiments and preferences.

You may actively seek and analyze feedback through surveys, polls, or direct inquiries and gain valuable insights on their core pain points or favorite topics. These will allow you to plan emails that relate to these topics, and in the process allow you to connect with your subscribers more effectively.

On top of that, you may also improve flaws in your product or service that they are unhappy about, which will make them feel valued.

Asking for feedback itself will act as a sign that you care about your subscribers.

Overall, these will result in your subscribers trusting you more and appreciating your emails more often, reducing the chance of unsubscribing.

6. Implementing Preference Centers

Let your subscribers set up their own preferences with their subscriptions.

You may ask them to choose the content category they will be more interested in, how frequently they are willing to get emails from you, opt into specific promotions, etc.

Based on their preferences, you may set up automated emails with relevant content. This will ensure they won’t unsubscribe from emails due to irrelevant topics or annoyance.

**You may easily set up email automation for WooCommerce using Mail Mint. Check it out here.

7. Maintaining Consistent Branding

Consistency in branding across all emails is vital for building familiarity and trust with subscribers.

From visuals to tone of voice, maintaining a cohesive brand identity fosters recognition and reinforces the brand’s values.

Subscribers are more likely to stay engaged when they recognize and resonate with a brand’s consistent messaging and aesthetics.

8. Providing Clear and Easy Unsubscribe Options

Make it simple for someone to unsubscribe. Surprised?

While counterintuitive, providing clear and easy unsubscribe options comes with two crucial benefits.

  • First, if the prospect wants to stop receiving marketing emails and can’t get the option to unsubscribe, it will result in a negative sentiment toward the brand. Many subscribers won’t hesitate to voice their poor experience over social media.

    So, keeping the unsubscribing process easy will ensure, that even if they are not part of your email marketing scope, they will have a good impression of your brand and may consider taking your product or service regardless.
  • Second, if a person is not willing to receive your emails, he will eventually start ignoring your emails or mark it as spam. Thus, that’s one lead who’s wasting your time and effort. It’s better if he rather unsubscribes, keeping your email list clear of non-potential leads.

Together, these will ensure in the long run that your email list won’t have people who are likely to unsubscribe, getting higher results off your campaigns and a reduced unsubscribe rate.

Implementing Effective Communication Practices

Now, let us look at a few effective ways to enhance email communication for maximum results.

i. Creating Engaging Content

Your content is the key to engagement and the more you can make the content engaging, the higher the chance your subscribers will want to continue receiving emails from you.

Say, for example, if you own a fitness brand, your subscribers will find emails about workout routines or diet plans very interesting. If you are able to keep them engaged for a significant amount of time, chances are, they will choose to take your services in the near future when the opportunity arises.

Most importantly, they will not unsubscribe from emails that you send.

However, don’t send redundant content. Make sure every email feels like a new piece of interesting content.

  • Mix things up. Cover various topics and use different types of content such as images, videos, gifs, etc.
  • Ensure you are talking in a tone that your target audience will be able to feel connected to. Using bold professional emails will work more for corporate businesses compared to fitness enthusiasts, who would rather want a casual motivational tone.
  • Use persuasive copy to convey real value and helpfulness.

The idea is to build a relationship, not a business agreement.

ii. Personalizing Messages

Always personalize your emails as much as possible.

  • Use the customer’s name to address them initially.
  • Keep the email copy focused on their potential benefits rather than glorifying your product. The reader should be the center of attention.
  • Use second-person addressing throughout the email to give a one-to-one communication experience.
  • If possible, refer to their past purchase history, browsing history, or even locality to make it more personal.

Personalization will make the customer feel more close to your brand.

iii. Ensure Mobile Responsiveness

You want to reach as many people as possible with your emails. Most people nowadays tend to check their emails via phones.

Hence, making your email mobile responsive is crucial. You don’t want your email format to break while they check the email. It will reduce your credibility and raise quality concerns in the subscriber’s mind.

So, always use an email marketing tool that will let you optimize your emails for all devices.

iv. Monitoring and Analyzing Metrics

Always monitor the core email marketing metrics and optimize your emails accordingly.

For example, if you notice a low open rate, work on improving the subject line. If you notice a low CTR but a high open rate, work on improving the email copy and CTA.

For a high unsubscribe rate, also check the open rate and CTR. If both the open rate and CTR are high but the unsubscribe rate is also high, it means the content is not relevant or less appealing. But if the unsubscribe rate is high with low CTR, it means the copy was either misleading, irrelevant or of poor quality.

As you can see, you can easily deduce your areas to improve by tracking email analytics on a regular basis.


The journey to mastering email marketing begins with understanding and effectively managing your unsubscribe rates.

Remember, it’s not just about reducing opt-outs; it’s about building lasting connections.

So go ahead and start working on reducing your unsubscribe rate.

== Frequently Asked Questions ==

1. What’s an acceptable unsubscribe rate?

In general, staying below 0.5-2% is considered healthy, but remember, it varies by industry. Consistent monitoring is key to understanding your campaign’s success.

2. How do you reduce the unsubscribe rate within email automation flows?

To reduce unsubscribing from emails in automated flows, refine your content by testing different messaging and offers. Personalize the flow based on subscriber behavior and preferences, and use A/B testing to optimize elements like subject lines and calls-to-action. Regularly review and update your automated flows to ensure they align with changing audience dynamics.

3. How can I address technical issues leading to unsubscribes?

Regularly audit your emails for technical glitches and promptly fix issues to prevent unsubscribes caused by technical frustrations.

Masrun Akter

A Content Writer at CODE REX, Marketing Team.

Masrun Akter

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